Termites Eat RM30,000 Cash Of Elderly Malaysian Woman's Hajj Savings

The family plans to send the damaged ringgit notes to Bank Negara for evaluation.

Cover image via Muhammad Khairul Azhar Mat Nawi via Harian Metro

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An elderly woman's dream to perform the hajj next year may not come true after termites damaged and ate her cash savings of RM30,000

The woman's grandson, Muhammad Khairul Azhar Mat Nawi, said that his grandmother, Zainab Sulong, had slowly saved the cash by selling homemade pastries in small amounts for several years.

Khairul, who's a teacher at a secondary school in Gua Musang, Kelantan, said that the family learned about the issue after his mother, Zainab Rahim, 55, shared the incident in the family's WhatsApp group.

In a Facebook post earlier this week, he shared that he found out that as much as RM30,000 that his grandmother had saved at her home in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan was eaten by termites.

"My mother lives with me in Gua Musang, while my grandmother is in Rantau Panjang. Last week, my mother went back after my grandmother called her to inform her about what had happened. The money consisted of both Malaysian and Thai currencies with a value reaching RM30,000," he said.

He also attached a picture of the destroyed ringgit notes that appeared to be placed in a shoe box.

According to Khairul, the family wasn't aware that the grandma was keeping such a large amount of money in a cloth under a box at home, and that if they had known, they would have advised against it

"We knew that grandma planned to perform hajj next year with a private company, and we thought she might have enough money for it. But we didn't know she was keeping them at home. She's 72 years old, and perhaps she felt it was easier to keep the money at home rather than in a bank," he said.

Khairul told Harian Metro that he will be sending the damaged money to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) for evaluation, but his visit to a bank in Gua Musang, Kelantan to inquire about the issue hasn't been positive.

"I have already visited a bank to inquire about this issue, showing them a picture of the damaged money, but they informed me that it might not be possible to exchange it for new notes. I was told that if the damage to the money exceeds 50%, there's nothing they can do. However, regardless of the extent of the damage, the actual value of the money will be reassessed by examining the genuine notes," he added.

Image via Facebook

In the meantime, Khairul said that the family is now planning to raise funds to replace his grandmother's damaged savings

"Of course, grandma is sad because her savings got damaged... my siblings and I are planning to collect funds among ourselves to replace the money, and as a start, we want to send grandma for Umrah next year," he said.

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A few years ago, a woman in Penang realised that a good sum of her savings was destroyed by pests only after her grandson took out the cash that she had kept in biscuit tins under her bed:

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