Death: How Public Bank Malaysia Ruined My Father's Death Even More

Please consider this blog post a PSA, ladies and gentlemen, to get your grandparents/ parents/ even yourself to get the LAST WILL done, and to update that LAST WILL at least once every 5 years once the assets change.

I have a personal grudge against how Public Bank has handled affairs related to my father's death. I'm guessing that other banks would probably have acted the same, but since my suffering is tied to this bank, this is the unfortunate bank that shall bear my banning FOR LIFE (just like how I won't use foodpanda or Borderlinx again).

My father passed away early this year due to a terminal illness.

Quick, swiftly, suddenly, a month after he was diagnosed.

No will.

Now, he only had the one bank account anyway, but it still had a small amount of money in it (which came in in the month before he passed away).

How small? It's 25% less than what my current laptop costs.

However, it IS still money, so here is a timeline of what has happened in the process of actually trying to get the money:

1. Grieve a lot before actually finding the time to visit the nearest Public Bank branch to find out what can be done to retrieve this money.


2. Wait for at least two hours (neighbourhood banks move slower than the snails in my garden, and I don't even have a garden) before being asked questions about wills (none) and whatnot.


3. Also told that as the bank account was opened in the city, I have to travel all the way to the city with legitimate documents proving that I am kin before I am allowed to touch the account.

4. Darlings, I have this thing called a full-time job which takes place from Monday to Friday, also during the time that banks also open. WHO HAS TIME TO GO TO THE PART OF THE CITY THAT'S AT LEAST AN HOUR AWAY DURING ALL THE HOURS?


5. I also actually get a lot of conflicting information about what can be done by Customer Service, bank managers, bank tellers, and whatnot, when asking about how to retrieve the money from a deceased person's account.

People die all the time without a will, you think they'd know how to help make the process smoother, but NO, PLEASE PROCEED TO THE BANK BRANCH THAT THE DECEASED OPENED THE BANK ACCOUNT AT DESPITE THIS BEING THE 21ST CENTURY AND EVERYTHING IS ONLINE ANYWAY.

6. Anyway, finally find the time to go to the bank branch this morning BEFORE being told that "oh, it's actually another bank branch on the same road one kilometer away".


7. ALSO, since I was there anyway, I asked AGAIN at that particular bank branch IF I TRULY can withdraw the money with just the proof-of-kin documentation, but am told by Customer Service to try at the ACTUAL branch.

8. Fine, fine, I head to the actual branch and get a ticket number. I was number 3010, and they were serving 3005 at 9:45AM. When I actually GOT to the table at 10:30AM, the Customer Service executive said that he will get his (newbie) colleague to assist me after THAT colleague was done with his current customer.

9. THAT current customer sat there for another half an hour. During that meantime, some senior woman who didn't know the meaning of getting a queue number also kept creeping up and looking at me, CLEARLY KNOWING SHE WAS JUMPING THE QUEUE BECAUSE I WAS STANDING THERE WAITING TOO BEFORE SHE ARRIVED.

I even took a bloody picture from where I was waiting.

Yeah you hide your face from me lady as you inch closer and closer to the Customer Service table. FYI you need a queue number and if you sit down after this guy leaves just like that I will fight you on this.

10. Some other irate customer sat down instead after the guy in the blue leaves, but takes about 10 minutes before leaving as he sweared away about time wasted.

11. Turns out the next one who wants to swear is me! After waiting for a MARVELOUS 1.5 HOURS, the Customer Service executive tells us (that's "my mother and me" us) that since there is no will, we now need a GRANT OF PROBATE FROM THE JABATAN TANAH that says we are ENTITLED to getting the money!


12. So basically, the previous Customer Service executive turned us over to the NEW Customer Service executive, ADDING ANOTHER 45 MINUTES OF WAITING TIME, JUST FOR US TO HEAR THE ABOVE.

The new Customer Service executive also manages to shoot himself in the foot as he asked me about why my father didn't do something or the other.

Me: "Well, we would have liked to, EXCEPT HE DIED, SO." 


12. Congratulations, Public Bank. You have now managed to upset my mother and me EVEN FURTHER about my father's death. You now join an illustrious list of people that have done so.

Other companies have also managed to infuriate me as I went about settling stuff, but none to the extent of Public Bank, so congra-effing-lations.

Like, I did the RIGHT thing of asking Touch N Go to refund me the money in my father's senior transport card, BUT GUESS WHAT? The cheque for the refund still hasn't reached my house THREE-FOUR MONTHS LATER.

So people. Really. Get your grandparents/ parents/ yourself to get the last wills done AND update them. It will make life SO MUCH better for everyone.

The end.