亡羊补牢(wang yang bu lao)
Sheeps dead but sheepfold shall be repaired
If something went wrong, or even if losses were already done, if one were to amend the mistake in time, one could still save the day and learn from one's mistake
During the Warring States Period (475-221 BC)， the State of Chu was not a very powerful state. But the king and his senior court officials were incompetent, indulging in luxury and excessive pleasure all the time. Zhuang Xin, one of the ministers can see that was the recipe for disaster for the country. So he told the king one day: "Your Majesty, those people around you, all cannot make it one! They only know how to kiss your ass and make you happy nia. Then see what happen now! You're not tending to the state affairs at all! If carry on like that har, the country sure perish one!"
The Chu King was damn furious. "How dare you! How can you use such vicious words to curse my country! And then the people hear already how? These words are words that arouse resentment!"
Zhuang Xin explained, "I won't dare to curse the State of Chu. But I really feel that our state is facing great danger lah!" But seeing that the king chose not to believe in him and still in favor of those corrupt officials and trust them in everything, Zhuang Xin gave up so he applied leave from the king to go to the State of Zhao to stay instead.
Five months later, Qin King sent his troops to invade Chu and occupied a large area of its territory. Chu King himself went into exile. Then, the king remembered Zhuang Xin's words so he sent his men to fetch him. When the king saw Zhuang Xin again, he asked him, "So what now?"
Zhuang Xin replied, "It's never too late lah. You see, if you find a sheep is missing, you should mend the sheepfold." He then gave some good suggestions on how to rehabilitate the state and recover lost land. And the king was very pleased.