In a bizarre incident, a Malaysian grandmother’s life savings were completely destroyed by termites. The story, shared by her grandson, Khairul Azhar, on Facebook, has since gone viral. The elderly woman had reportedly saved RM30,000 (approximately $8,700) for a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2024.
However, her dreams were shattered when she discovered that her savings, stored in a box, had been reduced to shreds by termites. The accompanying photos on the Facebook post showed the damaged banknotes, which had been chewed into leaf-like shapes.
Azhar, a resident of Kelantan, attempted to salvage the situation by sending half of the damaged bills to the Central Bank of Malaysia in the hope of getting them replaced. However, he stated that the other half of the notes were beyond repair.
Azhar speculated that the unfortunate incident might be a sign that his grandmother was not meant to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. He also used the incident to caution others against storing cash at home to avoid a similar fate.
Social media users offered various suggestions on how to better save money, with many recommending converting the cash into gold, which is not a food source for termites.
Interestingly, this is not the first instance of termites destroying money. Banknotes often contain cellulose, a component of wood that termites feed on. In 2013, a Chinese woman lost $65,000 of her savings to termites.
This incident highlights the risks of hoarding physical cash. A recent poll of 2,000 US adults revealed that 51% of people keep cash at home, with the average person stashing away $1,010.