A Guide on How to Spot Fake Money

When businesses big or small unknowingly accept fake money, they single handedly handle the full burden or loss; although counterfeit techniques are getting more and more complex, there are more than enough ways for them to recognize fake money from the real ones.

Fake money is a major problem is business as if accepted they’ll lose both the face value of the bill with any goods or services they provided to the customers who paid with the fake money bill.

Apparently, one in a million notes we see every day is counterfeit. So, how do we spot these counterfeits?

Simple, according to Bank Negara Malaysia, all we have to do is feel, look, tilt and check.

Feel

Feel the quality of paper as genuine banknotes are usually printed on very high-quality paper and manufactured from cotton. It has a unique feel, crisp sound and slightly rough in heavily printed areas. Fake ones would have poor paper quality and would feel similar to commercial type of paper.

Feel the intaglio (design that is engraved into the material) as counterfeit banknotes don’t have the feeling of the printing.

Look

Look at the banknote against a light. Genuine banknotes carry a watermark portrait, security thread and perfect see through features. A watermark portrait of Yang DiPertuan Agong has three-dimensional effect and appears soft and shady without sharp outlines portrait. At the base of watermark, a denomination number is clearly visible.

The security thread will always look embedded in the paper. The hibiscus flower on the obverse will register perfectly with the same flower on the reverse of the banknote.

Fake bills will look like a drawing and the features would be simulated and rather blur. 

Look under a magnifying glass to see the micro lettering on both sides f the bank notes, it should be sharp and not blurred. Use an ultra-violet light to see the Invisible fluorescent elements will be on both sides as well such as invisible fibers and phosphorescence squares.

Tilt

With the RM10, RM50 and RM100 bills, iridescent stripe shines under a bright light and showing the banknote denomination and the name of BNM when the view angle is shifted. When changing the angle of view by shifting the banknote, a hidden image of denomination number i.e. 50 will be revealed in the centre of the PEAK square.

The lead feature is very difficult to counterfeit and counterfeiters may try replicating it by using a plain shiny foil. There is also not latent image of the denomination in the PEAK feature on the fake bills.

In short, the public inly have their senses to depend on when examining a possible fake bill, which is at the first level of security features. Level 2 is where the cash handler comes in using both their senses and also special equipment.

It is also important to mention that involvement of an individual in the counterfeit banknote market may result in prison time of up to 20 years.

Nigerians Face Police Brutality and A “Rogue Police Force”

A nationwide protest over police brutality has recently rocked the nation and world, following claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a controversial police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The protest took a turn for the worst when blood was spilt on Tuesday in Lagos, as rally goers continue on in the nation’s largest city despite a state-wide curfew. Eyewitnesses told CNN in an interview that soldiers had shot down multiple demonstrators.

According to Amnesty International, a global movement that campaigns to end abuses of human rights, at least 56 people have died during two weeks of widespread demonstrations against police violence, including 38 on Tuesday.

The Nigerian inspector general of police announced 10 days ago that the widely criticized SARS unit was being disbanded and its officers are being redeployed.

Protest continued throughout as some young Nigerians insist they will continue to take to the streets until the entire police force in enforced.

SARS and its controversy

SARS has led the country in its most serious crimes – armed robbery, kidnapping, assault and even murder. All these has worsened over time as the alleged abuses were exempted from punishment of an sorts.

Following a month’s long worth of social media campaigns by Nigerian activists protesting alleged human rights abuse by the infamous squad, the government has promised to overhaul the unit back in 2018; but critics says that the campaign has led to little change.

A report in June this year has also revealed 82 documented cases of brutality in Nigeria between 2017 and 2020.

“Detainees in SARS custody have been subjected to a variety of methods of torture including hanging, mock execution, beating, punching and kicking, burning with cigarettes, waterboarding, near-asphyxiation with plastic bags, forcing detainees to assume stressful bodily positions and sexual violence,” the report said.

“Findings from our research indicate that few cases are investigated and hardly any officers are brought to justice on account of torture and other ill-treatment.”

Protesting turned sour

Demonstrations have largely remain peaceful until the police were accused of using excessive force against protesters that allegedly led to a number of deaths and injuries.

Violence took over in the city of Lagos after state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24 hour curfew and deployed anit-riot police.

One witness at the protests, Akinbosola Ogunsanya, said lights were turned off and CCTV cameras were removed before “members of the Nigerian army pulled up on us and they started firing.”

“They were shooting, they were firing straight, directly at us, and a lot of people got hit. I just survived, barely,” Ogunsanya said.

Another witness, Temple Onanugbo, spoke to CNN from his home nearby and said he heard what he believed were bullets being fired. He said the sound lasted “for about 15 to 30 minutes.” Onanugbo said he saw “multiple bodies laying on the ground.”

Amnesty International said on Tuesday it had received “credible but disturbing evidence” of “excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters.”

“While we continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury,” the rights group also tweeted.

Woman Dies After Falling into Coma During Unlicensed Liposuction Surgery

A bride-to-be who wanted to look perfect on her wedding day, has recently died as she put her trust in the hands of an unlicensed beauty parlor to perform a liposuction procedure on her.

The victim who was also a model passed out during the procedure and was rushed to the hospital immediately, she was unfortunately pronounced dead not soon after.

According to her friend, the victim was going to tie the knot with her boyfriend next year and wanted to look perfect.

Liposuction surgery is a technique in cosmetic surgery for removing excess fat from under the skin by suction, hence, she paid RM2,500 for a liposuction procedure to make her arms look slimmer.

A background check revealed that the beauty parlor located in Sunway Velocity Mall was registered under SSM to be only selling beauty products and not licensed to perform any plastic surgeries. The two beauty practitioners also don’t possess any legitimate certificates to perform plastic surgeries.

A friend who was present during the procedure said that the practitioner had looked anxious at one point and that’s where she realized that something wasn’t right. When things turned sour, an ambulance was called for; the paramedic tried to resuscitate her, but she was pronounced dead after reaching the hospital. 

The deceased 23-year-old, Coco Siew, started her modelling career aged 16 and won the Asia New Star Model Contest in 2014.

Siew’s family was informed about her death around noon on October 17th. Her brother soon lodged a police report.

The brother said that his sister lived a very healthy lifestyle and he was proud of her sister’s achievements.

” Hopefully my sister’s experience will serve as a warning to others, and tragedy like this won’t happen again,” he said.

The 23-year-old beauty practitioner who was the person in charge of the procedure, is currently investigate by the police; the beauty parlor has since deleted its Instagram account upon the incident and is yet to comment on the tragedy.

Influencer Uses Googled Picture of a Bloodied Piano to Prove Her “Hardship”

A Malaysian influencer was recently called out for using a Googled image of a bloodied piano to give the impression of the extreme outcome of her practicing on her piano.

The post was written by an anonymous netizen and published on a forum-like Facebook page, Utar Confession yesterday on October 15th.

“Is it just us who think that (the influencer) is very detestable?” netizens began exposing the said influencer.

“At first, I have to admit that my boyfriend and I really liked (the influencer). She knows how to play the piano; she is beautiful, tall, and fit.”

“But I don’t know when I start feeling that this person’s character is very strange.”

Some defended her by how she had posted a fake piano certificate to prove how hard she had worked to be a professional pianist, but it was later revealed that the certificate was fake as the name is just simply replaced.

The controversy continued when the girl shared a picture of a bloodstained piano on her Instagram story.

The caption reads, “In the past, a day before exams or competitions, every minute in an hour was meticulously used.”

“If I had 24 hours left, I practised 20 hours until my wrists, back, and hands were sore, and my nails broke and bled.”

Netizens who were shocked at first realized that it was a gimmick as a quick “blood on piano” search on Google shows the exact same picture, explaining where the image’s source came from.

Many were quick to leave their own thoughts and comments on the now deleted post as it attracted thousands of netizens. Some criticized the girl for her boastfulneess while other were mentioning psychological hardships that she might be facing.

Here’s a screenshot of the now deleted post:

Fast Food Restaurants After Covid-19 May Never Be The Same

From lockers to temporarily store your food orders to an app signaling your arrival to the workers, fast food eateries are looking to bring an end to long line-ups at the drive through but still be able to bring you your order fresh for the go.

Fast food chans such as Burger King is planning to re-invent the service, especially after lessons learned from the pandemic.

Burger King has promised to reduce carbon footprint by 60% with its new restaurant concept. Architectural approaches as to practical aspects and revolution habits when it comes to enjoying a fast food meal, the home of The Whopper unveiled its restautrants of tomorrow.

Cyclists and pedestrians will now be able to collect their orders from storage lockers, much like giant refrigerators like those used by farmers to facilitate the direct sale of fresh produce. Mobile apps also allow customers to tell the restaurant when thye’ll be arriving by car and be guided to park in a specific spot. All this information would then be relayed to a team who would then bring your meal to you.

This would mean the end of the needless shouting to order at the terminal to make your words audible. Such technology such as mobile apps and QR codes started to gain a following during the lockdown and it is picked up by countries everywhere.

Those wanting to eat on site can nibble on their fries in patios that will replace traditional dining spaces, but there will still be an interior eating space. In the concept design, it’s shown on a higher level, like the kitchen, because the building is designed to be raised in order to make way for the drive-in customers below, on ground level. 

At these parking spots, customers will receive their orders without having to interact with humans in real life: a ramp will deliver the burgers and fries.

The fast food chain plans to build these new-generation restaurants in 2021 in Miami, Latin America and in the Caribbean.

Malaysia Airlines or Firefly? Khazanah Has The Final Say

Towards the end of 2018, MAB’s liabilities were just below RM5.5 billion and on October 6th this year, the airline also announced a restructuring of a whopping RM16 billion worth of debt.

Aviation experts are starting to believe it’s time for Khazanah to reduce its ownership and move it towards full privatization as the government no longer has the big guns to power the airline, especially in these trying times.

It was reported that MAB’s parent company, Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd (MAG), had warned leasing companies that Khazanah would stop pumping funds into the group and was ready to shut it down if the ongoing debt restructuring exercise failed.

Malaysia Airlines currently still has over 12,000 employees across the group but salary cuts have already been in place since March this year.

With trouble knocking on Malaysia Airline’s door, the airline group would consider putting their funds into Firefly instead, a low coast airline fully owned by MAG, if the plan to restructure the RM16 billion worth of debt fails; this move would see Firefly become the national airline if Khazanah does in fact go ahead with it.

Venturing into the low-coast segment with Firefly would allow Khazanah more flexibility in the market as the premium segment see much more tougher circumstances.

Some say that Khazanah is able to turn Firefly into Malaysia’s new national airline.

“As long as Khazanah is ready and willing to inject rakyat’s money, any Malaysian company with a valid air operator’s certificate (AOC) can be the new national airline. Who can stop Khazanah?” Endau Analytics aviation analyst Shukor Yusof told in an interview with Bernama.

However there are also arguments that Firefly’s main focus has always been on domestic travel.

“However, by having less financial burden compared to MAB, it would be a good opportunity for Firefly to rescale, especially with a lot of narrow-body planes in the second-hand market and leasing market with low rates.

“While the tourism industry as a whole has not picked up, it may be an opportune time to rescale Firefly before travel demand gains traction in the future,” an aviation expert who wished to be anonymous said.

While the liquidation of Malaysia Airlines is deemed as a last result , the future of it is to hang in doubt for the time being. Khazanah will have big calls to make in the upcoming few weeks.

Singapore Will Pay Citizens to Have Babies During The Pandemic

This photo taken through a glass window at a maternity ward shows a nurse holding a newborn baby wearing a face shield, in an effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok on April 9, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images)

For those with plans to be parents during the pandemic, Singapore is offering a one-time payment to encourage couples to not put those plans into a halt.

Singapore has spent decades to encourage more of its people to have children by offering incentives such as cash grants, preschool subsidies and even going as far as matchmaking tea dances as incentives. According to the deputy prime minister, Heng Swee Keat, officials had earlier heard that parents were delaying their plans due to Covid-19 and it doesn’t come as a surprise to them.

“This is fully understandable, especially when they face uncertainty with their income. Hence, to help with expenses during this period, we will introduce a one-off additional support for new-borns,” he said.

The value of the payment is yet to be announced but it will be added on on top of current benefits that are already worth up to $10,000 Singapore dollars.

Although data shows that fertility is still emerging, many wealthy countries are seeing a fall in birth rates while low and middle-income nations are seeing an increase.

A survey shows that young people across Europe are postponing or abandoning their plans to start a family, especially in countries whose birth rate is already low, such as Spain or Italy.

“People who have the fortune and the economic security and ability to access contraceptives to make that decision [to not have a baby] will do so,” said Dr Clare Wenham, assistant professor in global health policy at London School of Economics, who added that fears about safety and financial security were likely to deter people from having a child.

“The problem is not everyone in the world can choose when they want to get pregnant – either because of gender norms, violence or because of a lack of access to reproductive health service,” she added.

Singapore expects Covid-19 to drop its birth rates, which is already one of the lowest in the world – 1.1 births per woman in 2018.

Other countries in south-east Asia are preparing for a post-pandemic baby boom, such as in the Phillipines who could see the highest numbers of births in two decade due to the country’s strict and enforced lockdown earlier this year.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has predicted as many as 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide as a result of the crisis, while Maries Stopes International has warned of millions of unsafe abortions globally and a rise in maternal deaths.

Currently, Brazil has the highest rate of post-birth deaths where there is coinfection with Covid-19.

Wenham also says that it might be a range of other things but we just don’t know it yet.

How to Not Panic Buy for CMCO

With the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) being in effect from October 14th onwards, the public is already going through this “panic-buy” phase all over again.

For the second time in a year, shelves started going empty on the night of the announcement itself and it is unfortunate to say that we haven’t really learnt from the past when members of the public were over-stocking up on various supplies so much that it created a social media frenzy of “who could do it worst”.

Other than leaving the vulnerable population without the essentials, some of the goods that are hoarded are even often going to waste. So how do you shop for a lockdown?

How often should I go to the grocery store?

The less the better, but it all still comes down to how much food can you transport and store. Consider going an average once every two weeks. The more planned out you are, the less you’ll tend to go for another unneeded grocery run.

If I’m buying to prepare for two weeks, will I cause a shortage for others?

No. Even panic buying at its worst simply created short-term shortages in stores. That doesn’t mean that you should stock up that much more though as the public should’ve known by now that what they put it their shopping cart is usually already more than enough.

So what should I buy that would last me for two weeks?

A good start would be canned goods like canned tomatoes, beans and coconut milk as they’re useful for a variety of dishes while dry foods like pasta, rice, spices and even baking supplies are versatile to keep as well as they’ll be used up at some point. 

Fresh foods that are easy to freeze, sealed blocks of cheese, pre-frozen bags of vegetables can be kept in the freezer while root vegetables, potatoes and onions all can be keot for a long time in the pantry, provided they are stored in a cool, dark place.

If you were to buy meat, buy frozen fish and meat that you can store in the freezer.

All in all, rationalize. Think before you buy and make sure you aren’t overprepared and are coming out of quarantine with and overstocked amount of food supply at home.

What if I come across empty shelves during my grocery shopping trip? 

Empty shelves don’t mean a shortage of food and supplies; it simply means that stores and supply chains need to catch up with the increase in demand. 

It is just taking a while to get the product flowing through supply chain back to the stores, but it is safe to say that the products are surely is on its way back to the public’s demands.

Will there be enough for me if I miss out on the days where everyone is out buying?

Yes. Stores encourage customers to only buy what they need as there’s always plenty to go around for everyone. However, there won’t be a need to wait for a restock if we just buy what we need and not overstock supplies.

Hoarding isn’t really necessary as grocery stores are still going to be open for business and we aren’t limited to visit for emergency grocery shopping. Even if the products aren’t there when you need them, be flexible and move on with other options to replace what is short in supply.

The Coronavirus May Be Here to Stay

As the coronavirus seem to be here to stay for quite some time, it’s unfortunate to say that it will be with us throughout the year at least. 

The global death toll is at 1.4 million and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus may never go away; it also advised that populations may have to learn to live with it one way or another, just as they have with HIV.

Experts say that the most likely scenario would be the pandemic ending at some point in time as enough people would’ve either been infected or vaccinated while the virus continues to circulate the globe in lower levels. Outbreaks may still pop up here and there, but a much-anticipated vaccine would arrive and would only suppress the virus but not completely eradicate it.

Even if the virus were in any case eliminated from the human population, it could still circulate in animals and spread to humans again eventually. SARS-CoV-2 is likely to originated as a bat virus and with a still un-identified animal who perhaps served as an intermediate host, which in time would continue to be a reservoir for the virus.

The existence of these reservoirs could mean that reinfections could keep on happening and is also why scientist don’t mention of these viruses being eradicated. 

Even though the Ebola virus stopped transmitting from human-to-human in 2016, the virus was still present and could still find its way back to humans if the right host comes around, such as in 2018 when Ebola broke out again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The best case scenario possible would mean better treatments that would blunt the severity of Covid-19, making it that much less dangerous. 

Over time, SARS-CoV-2 becomes just another seasonal respiratory virus, like the four other coronaviruses that cause a sizable proportion of common colds: 229E, OC43, NL63, and HKU1. 

The endgame of this would be SARS-CoV-2 becoming the fifth coronavirus that regularly circulate among humans.

How to Protect Yourself from The Coronavirus

400, that’s the current highest daily cases recorded in Malaysia and it shows glimpse of another wave of infections due in the near future.

More shopping malls are getting closed down as of today and Malaysians are already preparing themselves for another possible round of working from home.

As the virus continues to terrorize in communities and produce clusters in areas large or small, the public needs to get started with the steps needed to protect themselves from the virus, because if not now, then when?

Keep it clean

  • Considered as your first personal line of defense is to practice good hygiene.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as your hands touch many surfaces on a daily basis and can pick up all sorts of viruses.
  • Practice good raspatory hygiene by covering your nose and mouth when you cough with your bent elbow or tissue.

Wear a face mask

  • WHO recommends the use of face masks in public settings as a comprehensive strategy against the coronavirus.
  • Wear a facemask in areas where social distancing is not possible as it helps to prevent getting infected.
  • Masks are also recommended for those who are 60 or over and if they have any underlying health conditions.

Stay away from the crowds

  • An essential way to reduce the spread of Covid-19 is to practice social distancing.
  • Stay a meter away from others, especially in public places as water droplets produced by coughs and sneezes do not travel more than 6 feet (1.82 metres).

Reschedule your travel plans

  • Avoid all non-essential travel at this time due to the global spread of the coronavirus.
  • Domestic travel plans should also be looked at again with current factors in mind.
  • If you must travel at all costs, implement safety measures, consider if your mode of transportation puts you at risk and stay up to date on the restrictions that are in place at your destinations.