Update: The Singapore Currency Act states that any person who prints or stamps or writes any mark, word, letter or figure on banknotes is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $2,000 – so all of you who write telephone numbers on your money – especially the uncles and aunties, be prepared to lose more than the face value of your money. =P

Yes, apparently, not all $50 are equal. Some are worth more than its face value (the ones with special numbers, or well preserved old notes), some are worth what they are while others… are not worth a single cent at all. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has clarified that some of the notes which have the letterings "KF" imprinted on them are worthless. Yes, they are not worth a single cent and if you have any of these notes, you are pretty much screwed.

Ironically, some of these notes were withdrawn from an OCBC machine. The owner of these notes have since stomp’ed the picture of the notes. An article was also published in the Straits Times, with a clarification from MAS that these notes are multilated on purpose and are considered worthless. In the meantime, MAS has agreed to take these notes back as an act of grace and anyone with such notes may return them to the banks.


So, do check your money properly and reject any notes that are defaced. As a consumer, you have the rights to do so – even if it means receiving a bag of $1 coins because the cashier ran out of other notes. =)

WHEN Mr G.S. Lee withdrew some money from an OCBC Bank ATM at Compass Point earlier this month, three of his $50 notes seemed a bit strange – the letters ‘KF’ were on the top right hand corner.

The bank told him then that there was ‘no problem with the notes’, he said, but the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has since clarified that such notes have been mutilated on purpose and are therefore worthless.

The letters looked ‘legally imprinted’, said Mr Lee in an e-mail to The Straits Times online portal, Stomp, asking what the letters might mean. But ‘KF’ is not part of the $50 note’s design, said MAS’ spokesman, adding it did not know what ‘KF’ stood for.

‘Notes with such markings are considered to be deliberate mutilation and they command no value,’ she added.

Anyone who has notes with the markings can take them to the banks to be exchanged, she said, and MAS will take the notes back as an ‘act of grace’.

When contacted, OCBC’s head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching said currency could have become defaced while being circulated.

She said the bank’s ATMs will be checked so any other mutilated notes can be retrieved.

She added that OCBC’s tellers are ‘trained to look out for defaced or mutilated notes and handle them as per guidelines provided by MAS’, and that it has reminded its staff to be vigilant.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 26th March 2008; picture courtesy of Stomp

Reader's Comments

  1. uray | March 27th, 2008 at 9:06 am

    huh! i draw money at compass point also lei..shit!

  2. Vandalin | March 27th, 2008 at 10:24 am

    what does KF mean? Kena F**ked?

  3. Kev | March 27th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Hey Jean! Thx for the info. Will keep a look out in future!

  4. Daily SG: 27 Mar 2008 « The Singapore Daily | March 27th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    […] Daily Discourse – Mr Wang Says So: A Tale of Two Drugs – Simply Jean: If you have these $50 notes (see picture), you are screwed… […]

  5. Passerby | March 27th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Kentucky Fried

  6. uglyfatchick | March 27th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    OMG! I remember having a couple of these notes!

  7. Razlan | March 29th, 2008 at 9:36 am

    King of Fighter!

  8. asdf | March 29th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Post title line is needlessly alarmist. (shame on author and tomorrow.sg.)
    Because the banks and MAS are going to exchange your notes without difficulty.
    Furthermore, I think life will go on as normal, no one really cares about such markings, it’s only when you force MAS to give an official position by “STOMPing” it, that they have to respond this way.
    Big frickin deal.
    The note is in good shape, better than a stained, tattered one.

  9. KFC | March 29th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Mutilated on purpose???

    Who has the ability to print that on a number of notes at the same time with the same font? Can MAS explain how that could have happened?

  10. Charles | March 30th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I think somebody at MAS has smoked too much banknote ink:

    with this comment:
    they have just made a lot of notes obsolete
    they have created problem when there was none
    now people are going to be even slower than they already are at the ATMsm checking every single note one by one, then they will make noise.
    Taxi drivers are going to refuse $50 note….

    It is the month of MAS…

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: