by Richard Loh
I was having a beautiful dream, sleeping among the other 100 ringgit notes banded in stack of 100, when suddenly the loud noise from the opening of heavy metal door woke me up. The lights were switched on and by now all other denominations notes were wide awake as well.
We were inside a strong bank vault with two armed security guards guarding the opened vault. Inside, all new notes comprising of the various denominations were stacked separately from the old notes.
I was part of the new note, under the 100 ringgit denomination. I was just released yesterday, after being dressed so beautifully in colors with security input and a serial number which I supposed was to be my name, from the authority of Bank Negara to my new owner, the Bank.
The old notes were laughing at us, the new notes, and I asked why they are laughing at us. One 5 ringgit note started yelling, afraid that we could not hear him because the bankers inside the vault were talking so loudly. “You all are going out to face the world, you will be squeezed, splashed with saliva, argued and fought over, love and hate, all kinds of hands will be touching you and you may get to travel all over the world. The Chinese New Year is just a week away and you all will be in great demand. We the old notes are tired and needed some rest, so good luck to you all.”
One banker started to grab us and stacked them inside a tray and after taking a few more stacks he walked out of the vault and ordered the security to lock the vault.
Once outside, he counted the stacks again together with a nice looking lady, I supposed must be the cashier over the counter. We were roughly handled and squeezed together inside a drawer. After a while I heard the cashier asking someone over the counter, “you want the 100 ringgit new notes as well” and that someone, a bank customer answered yes, he wanted some new 100 ringgit notes.
The cashier opened the drawer and took a stack of the 100 ringgit note which included me and placed us inside a machine. Suddenly we were shaking so vigorously and one by one we were jammed through a tiny slot and came out to the other side. Still dizzy from the shaking machine, which I learned later was a money counting machine, we were picked up and handed over to the customer, a middle age man. Before leaving the man requested for some ang pow envelope which the cashier gladly gave him.
My long journey into this new world started with this man, an office manager. He took me back to his office and sitting behind his chair, he pulled me out but not before he put his finger in his mouth to get wet from his saliva and recounting his stack of note. Still wet from his saliva, I was slided into the red packet and sealed. He continued with what he was doing with the other notes.
Before the office closes he called in his secretary, a malay lady and gave her an ang pow with me inside. The manager told the secretary that this ang pow was his personally and her bonus from the company will followed suit. The secretary thanked him and left for home feel with happiness.
The next day, my new owner went to the market to but some vegetables. I was traded for the vegetables to an Indian vegetable seller. With me tagging along, the Indian vegetable seller went to a toddy shop and passed me to another Indian selling the toddy.
Before going home, the toddy man pass by a 4D outlet and gambled me away. By now, I was a little soiled with me been squeezed into the vegetable seller’s pocket and spilled with toddy. I remained with the 4D owner for a while locked inside a little safe. I guess it was about a week before I was taken out.
I heard the 4D owner talking to someone over the phone, “we have to kow tim them, a few hundred ringgit should solved our problem”. Out I go again, this time to a small secluded coffee stall. I was handed over to someone who converse in malay. This man took me to a money changer and exchanged for Thai baht.
The money changer then exchanged me to a Chinese who just came back from holiday and wanted to change his remaining US dollar back to ringgit.
The Chinese man with his family traded me for some pork and the pork seller took me to Genting. What a nice and cool place. The pork seller exchanged me for the casino chips and play his heart out while I was squeezed into a small box near the gambling table mixing with other notes of various denominations. I stayed there for a while until the casino security took the box and delivered us to the casino vault where we were separated and went through the counting machine. I was so dizzy that I doses of and when I woke up I was about to be exchanged to a young lady for her winning chips.
The young lady was so thrilled with her winning and now she can pay her government tax with her winning without hurting her monthly income. There I go inside a government office for the first time after the young lady paid her tax. The government has to pay the civil servants through their bank accounts and I was bundled by the bank into an atm machine.
Today is pay day for the civil servants and you can see almost all banks with atm machines were crowded. Most of the civil servants were muslim malays and they started emptying the atm by withdrawing their salary. I was withdrawn by an elderly civil servant and he put me inside his newly bought wallet. Coincidentally today was also a Friday and with me inside this civil servant’s wallet, he went for his prayer.
Over the weekend the son of the civil servant requested some money to buy some books. The father took out his wallet and pulled me out and the son took me and went in search for his books. Finally I landed inside the cashier box of a book shop.
The cycle of me going round and round continues for a couple of years. I was owned by all different races one time or another, muslim and non muslim and all kinds of hands had handled me. There are the hands of Indians selling vegetables and toddy, the Chinese hands selling pork, non halal food and from gambling outlets, the malay hands selling nasi lemak, tom tam, ikan bakar and the mamak stalls and even through the hands of the corrupt. The government had used me to pay the salary of the civil servant through the banks.
One day I found myself back inside the government treasury. The government had announced that those elderly citizen 60 years and above will received 100 ringgit each as appreciation for their contribution. Some will be receiving by cash while others through the bank.
On the day of distribution, I was given to an old elderly malay woman. She was so happy and she decided not to used me as yet and she kept me inside her locker at home.
There was no problem of me being circulated among the different races, religious and non religious, Malays, Chinese, Indians and even foreigners for so many years and there was not a single complain about me.
Out of the blue the elderly malay woman who owned me, after hearing rumors that I was dirty and non halal or whatever they claimed me to be, decided to give me up. I was shocked because all these years I was appreciated and happily owned without any fussed.
What is happening, is there something that I don’t know of and why condemned me for being dirty after being so useful to everyone for so many years?
What is the government and bank negara going to do with me, clean me up or burn me? I pray that those who had insulted me to face the reality of the world and not by using religious argument to discredit me for I am non political, non religious and I am born into this world just to serve everyone human being without discrimination or distortion.