Monday, April 14, 2008

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 1 of 6

My Father's Death and Legacy - Part 1 of 6

Thank you for dropping by. My father died at 1 am on Friday April 4th 2008. For the first couple of days, I was numb from shock and running on adrenalin. After that, intense grief set in. I'm still very sad, but I draw comfort from knowing that I will see my father again... on the 'other' side, when it comes my turn to utilise the Cross of Jesus Christ - as my father did - to safely step through the doorway of death into eternity.

In the interim, I've realised the best thing I can do is to continue to focus on helping the living, to the best of my professional ability. Toward that end, I've thought long and hard about the lessons I learnt from my father, Daniel Alagaretnam Devadason, who right up to last year, 2007, was probably Malaysia's most senior practising lawyer.

I can't even begin to count all the awesome lessons I derived from my father, who was commonly referred to in our hometown of Malacca as 'lawyer Devadason'. Because the primary focus of this blog is personal development, particularly in the realm of financial planning, I'm going to focus this posting and five more that I plan to write for you in the near future on six specific enrichment lessons I learnt from my father. (For those of you who are in Malaysia and eager to read about all six lessons in one place, I wrote about them in my regular financial planning column for Malaysian Business magazine. I believe that particular column will come out in the April 16th 2008 issue of the magazine, so do check out your local newsstand for it. If you have trouble finding it, drop its editor, my friend Charles Raj, a line at for information on where you might be able to buy a copy of that issue.)

The first of those six lessons, the one we'll consider today, is:

Pay for high quality.

Even though I have worked long and hard over the years to provide my readers, audience members and clients a rich selection of free resources that will help them with their life planning endeavours, especially in the spheres of financial planning, time management and goal-setting, I know that the wisest people also understand the importance and often the necessity of paying top dollar for high quality goods and services.

I began to learn that particular lesson when I was very young. You see, my father always made it a point to buy brand new cars. I think he did so because he believed in owning usable assets in tiptop condition. And my father never did anything in half measures!

My older brother Rabin Devadason, himself a well-known lawyer in Kuala Lumpur, tells me that our father owned more than 70 brand new cars throughout his earthly lifespan of 85 years and 4 1/2 months.

I am not a clone of my father. None of his 10 children - Rabin, Eva, Viji, me, Jaya, Rani, Sarah, Pushpa, Parames and Niza - is! We're all vastly different individuals... different from each other and different from our father. But the underpinning principles beneath the intent of our father's words and actions have served all of us well.

In my opinion, that is the greatest possible legacy our father could have ever hoped to leave us. I believe he knows that now, from his vastly changed and improved vantage point in the hereafter!

A classic example of how I extracted the core principle behind my father's lesson about being willing, often eager, to pay for high quality, while not necessarily adopting the same form of expression, is in our car-buying philosophies.

As I mentioned, my father bought more than 70 brand new cars throughout his life. Yet, I still drive the very first one I ever bought myself! It is now 16 years old, with more than 538,000 km on the odometer.

Also, I didn't buy it new. I bought it third-hand, when it was just 2 1/2 years old with 53,199 km on the 'clock'. But back then, that purchase was the absolute best I could afford at the time. In the intervening time, I've worked hard to maintain it in 'tiptop condition'! My adherence to my father's teaching on paying for quality has found expression in very different ways.

Are you also willing to adhere to D.A. Devadason's Principle Number 1: Pay for high quality?

If so, great. If not, I suggest you at least begin considering the wisdom of doing so.

Life is short. The Bible says we each have just one life to live here on earth. It seems to me, therefore, that we owe it to ourselves to ensure we don't shortchange ourselves during this all-too-brief sojourn on Earth.

I'll write on the second lesson soon, so if you want to read about it, please do check back here at The Cool Time and Money Blog by making a note of this URL, few days.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, should you wish to learn more about my life planning, financial planning or retirement planning consulting services, here's my bio. Thank you. Stay well.

Warmest regards,


PS. I am keeping myself even busier than usual, as it is the most effective way I know to deal with my current grief. So, please use the comment facility, via the 'COMMENTS' link below, should you wish to leave a message for me or even a thought to share with others about what I've written today. Thank you again for dropping by.

Rajen Devadason is CEO of RD Book Projects and its sister company RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd. He lives in sunny, peaceful Malaysia with his gorgeous wife Rachel. He's a Malaysian Securities Commission-licensed financial planner, a life planning consultant, a professional speaker and a serial author... which probably explains why he's so exhausted! Some of his books are available here, and, if you're interested, here are some quotations he reckons are accurate, bold or cool.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Rajen,
My deepest condolence.

Monday, April 14, 2008 2:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen, My deepest condolence! If you are just a glimpse of what your father was, then your dad must have been a great man. Times of mourning are not easy. Stay close to God and your loved ones, and thank you for continuously enlightening us with your knowledge and wisdom even in your time of grief.

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Dear Rajen,

My deepest condolence, remember that THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE HEART OF OTHERS WILL NEVER DIE.

Thank you for all the knowledge and take care.

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger Shahreen Kamaluddin said...

Dear Rajen,

My sincere condolences on the recent demise of your beloved father. I am touched by the pride and gratitude you expressed when talking about your father.

I too lost my brother, Christopher Fernando who bravely defended Anwar Ibrahim against great odds. I too am proud of him for standing up for truth and justice at a time when few dared to do so. While many lament the fact that he is not alive to see how his contribution years back, has led to the opening up of the "pandora's box" now, we must take comfort from the fact that Christopher is fully aware of what is going on from his new "vantage point." Your Dad too is aware of what is happening here.

Rajen, my words of comfort to you is that nothing can separate us from our loved ones who have moved on to higher realms. They are only a thought away. Whenever we think of them, they are with us in spirit and will continue to do so until we join them in the hereafter.

Warmest wishes,

Shahreen Kamaluddin

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,

Mz condolences for your father's departure, thou he died in ripe age. May his memory be blessed in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Monday, April 14, 2008 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ann Andrews said...

Rajan my deepest wishes to you. I lost my Mum 2 years ago and the gap our parents leave is enormous.

The best thing you can do to honour your father - is to do exactly as you are doing now - to pass on all the wonderful things he taught you. As long as you do that you can never lose him - kind regards - Ann Andrews (New Zealand)

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Rajen,
Deepest condolence to You and Your Family.

Your Dad's concept of Pay for High Quality resonates well to reality of life.
To my opinion it has translated into your providing help from your heart to anyone you meet. Eventhough have not met your Dad personally but have sure met you many a time and from your sincerity we experience your Dad's Legacy.

Take care & God Bless his soul.

Monday, April 14, 2008 3:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my deepest condolence

Monday, April 14, 2008 5:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,

My hearfelt condolences to you and your family. At times like this,
God is closer. Take care.


Monday, April 14, 2008 7:00:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Rajen,

My deepest condolence on the demise of your Dad. He appears to be your number one role model.

Continue your good work .

Prof Dr John George , Radiologist, UMMC.

Monday, April 14, 2008 9:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,
My deepest condolences to you and your family. May his soul rest in peace.


Monday, April 14, 2008 9:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,
My condolences to you and your family. Your father sounds like he lived a good and long life.

While reading your blog, I thought back to when my father passed away. It was hard for me, but the hardest part was to come, in dealing with his estate. sigh. I was alone and young. I also did not know about his stuff. I am now arranging my affairs better, I hope.

But I too learnt many lessons from my father. I look forward to reading about your father's lessons.
Thank you

Monday, April 14, 2008 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,

Please accept my deepest and heartest condolences.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen & Rachel,

My deepest condolences on your recent loss.
Sincerely, Wijay

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 7:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,
My condolences to your father's departure. May he be blessed. Do live on the way that you would like your life to be just like how your dad lived his life - the way he wanted.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


My condolences for your dear father departure.May god bless his soul and rest in peace

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 3:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,

One of the richest legacies that you father left us in Malaysia is to have raised 10 outstanding children especially your goodself. You have shared generously of your time, love and resources and it reflects most positively on you late father that most of us never knew. I read and reply from Sydney where I have been doing some work since this year. May God's richest blessings continue to pour into your bossom overflowing. I will continue to pray for you and Racheal as you persevere through this painful chapter in you precious life.

your friend

Dr. Christopher Shun

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:50:00 PM  
Blogger yitping said...

Hi Rajen, my deepest condolence. I'm sorry for your lost.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,
My condolences to you on the passing of your beloved dad.He will always be proud of his children who,like you, are respected individuals.He woulld definitely want you to carry on your own life's work helping people and sharing your knowledge.
You take care.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 5:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rajen,

Our deepest condolences to you and Rachel on your father's demise.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 8:40:00 PM  
Blogger sivarj61 said...

Dear Rajen,
Please accept my deepest and heartfelt condolences for the passing on of your beloved father. Losing a loved one, especially parents, is one of the most difficult things in the world. Parents are the ones who have made us who we are. Without their lessons, love, sacrifices and faith in us, we would never achieve the success as we have.
No amount of words can reduce the grief and sadness in our hearts upon the passing of a loved one. Though I have never met your father, by knowing you and your selfless contribution to others via your website, writings and other works, he must have been a great and wonderful man. It is truly a loss to all. It is said, a part of our fathers live in their sons. In you, it shows.
Have your moments of grief, as they come, but celebrate and cherish the memory of your father, as you are doing now.
May God hold you all close in your time of grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Saturday, April 19, 2008 12:08:00 AM  

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