Debunking Faiths in Malaysia (Read Myths) #1

Dear WordPress,

Love it or hate it, Malaysians are easily misled with unverified so-called news just because it was emailed / sms / blogged. Instead of checking with the authorities or reliable sources, such piece of (mis)information is usually viewed as the bible of irrefutable truth. Hence, one must be extremely wary and avoid rebutting this newly found but yet iron clad faith of gullible Malaysians lest one would land into a hopelessly lopsided argument.

One particular example is the on-going merry-go-round email regarding fake RM50 notes. At EPI and its broadcasting partner Tok Ijal Multiverse Network Broadcast, we endeavour to check and verify our sources before going public. Nonetheless, we can’t be held responsible for mistakes since we are also humans🙂 The point is, please check it yourselves! In legal eagle jargon Caveat Emptor or Let Buyers Beware! We will always link back to our sources in our quotes and publications for you guys. Our version is much of a in-a-nutshell posting without going into technical details and gory nitpicks.

BACKGROUND
As early as July 2009 (or probably earlier), hoax regarding the fake RM50 notes emails and blog posting began to propagate since the circulation of the newly designed RM50 denomination notes. As quick as receiving one, the recipient of the email will shoot it out into the email realm of fellow friends and colleagues without giving a thought of checking out the story behind it. With the advent of blogging and facebooking as well as groups and forums, a mere quote and cut-and-paste frenzy soon took place as these so-called netizens raced to become the bearer of news flashes. And they tell me I don’t have a life!

THE ISSUANCE OF THE ‘1ST D’ NOTES
Bank Negara Malaysia issued a statement in 27.12.2007 announcing the usage and circulation of RM50 notes (beginning 30 January 2008) with new designs and security features dubbed “first denomination of the Fourth Series of Malaysian currency note”. Not only will this 1st denomination of the 4th Series will replace the then existing series (3rd obviously, here’s the full specs of it) but it was also issued TO COMMEMORATE THE 50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE OF MALAYSIA. Bearing that in mind, these ‘Commemorative Merdeka Design’ notes bears a small logo of the 50th Merdeka Day Anniversary. The official link to an image of the CMD note is here. Below is the said image taken from the source page.

50_notes

‘CMD’ SPECIFIC DESIGNS
Colour – Green Bluish
Theme – 1st Thrust of the National Mission (To Move Up the Economy in the Value Chain)
Potrait of the YDPA – Right
National Flower (Hibiscus) –  Centre
Design Patterns (Embroidery) – Songket weavings
According to BNM, the first 50 million pieces of the CMD notes will feature among others the LOGO OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE ON THE REVERSE SIDE.

‘CMD’ SECURITY FEATURES
Exactly there are 8 security features of the CMD but I will list down 3 of it which are salient in debunking our fellow Malaysians ‘iron clad faith’:
i. “The Watermark Portrait has a three-dimensional effect appears without sharp outlines.
At the base of the watermark, the numeral 50 is clearly visible.”
ii. “The Security Thread is embedded in the paper and appears on the reverse side of the note as a silver coloured dotted line. When the note is held against the light, it is seen as a continuous dark coloured line and the repeated text BNM RM50 can be read.”
iii. “Micro-Letterings of
“BNM RM50” which can be viewed under a magnifying glass.”
For a complete listings AND interactive graphical details of the security features of the CMD, please click here.

THE ISSUANCE OF THE “NEW DESIGN OF THE FOURTH SERIES” NOTES
As said earlier, BNM issued the so-called Commemorative 50th Anniversary of Malaysia Independence Day RM50 notes in excess of 50 million pieces. By July 2009, the circulation of the commemorative RM50 notes hit the 50th million mark and BNM issued what it dubbed the “New Design” RM50 notes which I would refer as the “ND”.  This was announced to the public on th 15.7.2009 as can be seen here. Hence, until the next announcement, we all can sigh a breath of relief to know that this ND version will be the latest design replacing the 3rd Series for the forseeable future.

obverse2

inverse2

THE “ND” DESIGNS
Both the CMD and ND RM50 notes are of the same widths and lengths i.e. 145mm x 69 mm.
The ND also retains the same designs of the CMD as far as its front side is concerned.
Gone are however, the 50th Merdeka Anniversary Logo on the reverse side and please do take note of this!

‘ND’ SECURITY FEATURES
Again the ND retains most of the CMD security features as far as the naked eye can see.
The starking difference would be the security thread wherein the CMD it was just silverish and thin but in the ND it’s wider and blackish red in the first instance but changes to dark  green when tilted. The words “BNM” and “RM50” can be seen on the threads. For the full details, click the this link which will bring you to BNM’s interactive graphical explanation of its security features.

CONCLUSION
Having seen and go through the details provided by BNM, one can rest assure that the emails / sms / blog / forum postings regarding the purportedly counterfeit RM50 notes which bear neither the 50th Merdeka Anniversary nor the silver security thread ARE TRULY PROVEN GENUINE HOAXES.

COUNTERFEIT NOTES (CN)
According to BNM, CN:

i. are reproduction of the real ones
ii. are using low quality materials
iii. appear almost similar to the genuine article
iv. intentionally reproduced to deceive the public (not a hobby perhaps?)
v. HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO VALUE WHATSOEVER

I RECEIVE A ‘CN’! WHAT TO DO THEN?
Again, according to BNM,
RETURNING THE ‘CN’ TO ITS SOURCE IS AS ILLEGAL AS COUNTERFEITING. So we are advised to :
i. Delay the person / source of the CN as much as possible to get valuable information such as license plate, demeanour, accomplices, physical appearances, the Modus Operandi etc
ii. report the incident to the police ASAP
iii.  following the CSI Miami or Kuala Lumpur, you should handle the CN as little as possible and putting it in a envelope or the likes before surrendering it to the police
iv. don’t try to write or mark or cut or recirculate the note.

WHAT IS THE LAW RELATING TO ‘CN’

Section 489 Penal Code (Offence Relating to Currency Matter)

Subject
Type of Offence
Whether the police may ordinarily arrest without warrant or not
Penalty imposed
489A
Forging or counterfeiting currency notes or banknotes
May arrest without warrant
Imprisonment for 20 years
and fine
489B
Using as genuine forged or counterfeiting currency or banknotes
– do –
Imprisonment for 20 years
and fine
489C
Possession of forged or counterfeiting currency notes or banknotes
– do –
Imprisonment for 10 years
489D
Making or possession of instrument or materials for forging or counterfeiting currency notes or banknotes
– do –
Imprisonment for 20 years
and fine

The Watermark Portrait can be recognised by tints that are lighter or darker than thessssssssssss surrounding paper. This watermark portrait which has a three-dimensional effect appears without sharp outlines. At the base of the watermark, the numeral 50 is clearly visible.
The Security Thread is embedded in the paper and appears on the reverse side of the note as a silver coloured dotted line. When the note is held against the light, it is seen as a continuous dark coloured line and the repeated text BNM RM50 can be read. When viewed under ultra-violet light, the thread is seen in various changing colours known as the “rainbow effect”.
Micro-Letterings of “BNM RM50” which can be viewed under a magnifying glass.

Well, so much for our EPI – Tok Ijal Myth Busting effort for today. Whew, it really was mentally taxing trying to sort out the mumbo jumbo techie banking stuff. The 15 minutes before ending the entry, I could swear I smell bread toasting… looks like my brain’s overheating again. It’s time for a well-deserved rest thinking that Malaysians now are much better informed with my posting… NOT! These guys prefer to believe standing ‘sejadah’ than ponder the truth in the Quran! Come to think of it, maybe EPI will do a myth busting on the sejadah praying hoax!

Till then, good night all!

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