We all have a price


Everyone has a price. It could be money and wealth, it could be the safety and security of you and your family, or it could be a good career and better future, anything. But whatever you do and whatever you decide has to be about this price that you seek.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I did not ask to be born. I did not stipulate where, when and how I should be born. Was my birth part of a grand design or was it by chance like the roll of a dice? Religionists would say it was by grand design. Atheists would argue otherwise and say it was merely the luck of the draw.

What if they did not manage to evacuate my mother in time together with all those other children when they dropped those bombs on London during WWII? What if my father had been one of those victims of the Japanese occupation of Malaya during WWII? And what if the British had not decided to send all those bright Malay, Chinese and Indian kids to England for their further education at the end of WWII?

Well, I suppose this would mean my parents would never have met and I would not have been conceived around that cold Christmas of 1949 and would not have come into this world on 27th September 1950. In short, I would not exist.

I suppose I am the lucky sperm. I had billions of other ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ swimming for survival but I happen to be the only one that made it. It could have been any one of the other billions but I was the one that somehow won the swimming contest. And that is why I am here today. So, again, was it by grand design that only I out of billions succeeded or was it merely the luck of the draw?

Yes, considering the very stiff competition, I was either blessed or lucky, or maybe I was the chosen one if you believe in the intervention of a higher power. Nevertheless, even though I did not make that decision to be born and was not instrumental in deciding where, how or when to be born, now that I am here, whether by choice or not, I shall try to make the best of it and will try also to stay as long as I possibly can.

In a way we all have a price. Even those of you who read Malaysia Today and always condemn this person or that person of having a price, you, too, have a price. No one can claim he or she does not have a price.

Someone once said (I can’t quite remember whom), “Everyone has a price. The only thing is whether we can afford to pay that price.” But then when we say price this does not always mean money. The price could be something else altogether and nothing at all to do with money.

If your country was under attack and the danger of you and/or your family getting killed in the crossfire is very real, would you still stay for patriotic reasons or would you seek the safety of another country if given the chance?

Hence you have ‘betrayed’ your country. Your betrayal is in deserting your country. Hence you, too, have a price. And your price is your life and that of your family. Why should you stay and die even if just to demonstrate patriotism? So you sold out just for the price of staying alive.

You send your children overseas to study and advice them to stay in that country after they graduate if they can and not come back to Malaysia to serve their country.

Malaysia is their home, as it is yours. You were all born in Malaysia. Now that you have received a good education you refuse to go home to pay back the country what your country gave you by serving your country.

Some of you who refuse to go home received government help and that is why you were able to go overseas to study. Some of you paid for your own education or your parents did (like I paid for my daughters). Nevertheless, you still should be patriotic enough to serve your country whether the money came from the government or from your pocket.

But you want to stay overseas or you want your children to stay overseas because they have better career prospects overseas and can make more money working overseas.

You are prepared to abandon your country just so that you can have a better life. You are not prepared to pay the price of coming home to serve your country when you are better off somewhere else. So you, too, have your price and your price is a better future.

Everyone has a price. It could be money and wealth, it could be the safety and security of you and your family, or it could be a good career and better future, anything. But whatever you do and whatever you decide has to be about this price that you seek.

To some the price is power. They would even spend large sums of money to seek and retain power. And if they have to do the right thing but lose power, they would rather do the wrong thing and stay in power. And that is why many politicians would compromise their principles and ideals to ensure they do not lose power.

Would you sell everything you own and donate all your money to the cause? Are you prepared to go broke and live in a welfare home just so that the cause can succeed? That is definitely a price you will not pay. You are prepared to support the cause as long as it does not inconvenience you and bring suffering to you and your family. Hence, your price for supporting the cause is that you and your family must not end up as penniless refugees, or worse, in jail.

Even religionists have a price. Their price is heaven and to avoid punishment in the Afterlife. If there is no difference between being good and being bad, and we all go to the same place after we die, or nothing happens after we die, how many good people would remain good when nothing can be achieved by being good?

And you dare say you do not have a price? Everyone has a price. It is just that you live in denial and think that you do not.