The new economy has seen numerous new ways of doing things, bigger, faster and better. UberPool allows us to share our cab rides at cheaper rates albeit with the company of the occasional annoying co-passenger who would never shut up. Queuing apps mean that we can do other things while waiting for our number to be called at the tax office. The onslaught of the new economy has benefited plenty. But is everyone getting the better side of the deal? Unfortunately not. 

One particular group is feeling the pinch more than ever and that is the ‘toyols’. Found mostly in the Southeast Asian regions, ‘toyols’ tirelessly obey their masters’ commands to steal cash from the intended victims. Their modus operandi has generally been known to steal hard cash and jewellery when their victims are showering.

The reason, you guessed it : Cashless transactions. The new payment method means that more often than not, consumers are seeing less of a need to carry with them cash notes everywhere they go.Namely, payment transactions are now increasingly going cashless. Whether you’re ordering a meal at a restaurant or paying for your cab fare, it is becoming increasingly common for hard cash to not have to be involved in the transaction at all. 

Toyols aren't cheap to maintain - Bomoh Buang

“Toyols aren’t cheap to maintain” says Bomoh Buang


Local Bomoh Buang Bin Kutip who has been at the job for several decades says “Ah, last time very easy only. I send them out for mission, take commission from cash taking. These days, very difficult la, want to steal also wallet got nothing. Steal the credit card also need OTP (One-Time Password). Steal phone also need unlock passcode. Rabak lah brother. My toyols whole day come back empty handed these days.” He cites a sharp 40-60% take-home pay cut from previous years.

It turns out that toyols aren’t the only ones facing these hard times. The economic crisis hitting the global economy has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, resulting in record-high unemployment rates. 

Long-time victim of toyols,  Madam Sharifah says “Of course I welcome this trend lah. I how many times already kena stolen my money. Sometimes got people send, two at a time some more. I where got so much money one. Machiam overkill like that. So this trend, at most also, they get some small change. Oklah I can live with that.”

Another resident, Salim, when asked about his thoughts “Actually ah, toyols or no toyols also, these days my money disappear faster than ever. I also don’t know why..”

When asked what Buang the Bomoh  intends to do about the situation, “What to do? The government is not doing enough to ensure stability of our jobs. We cannot afford to sit around and accept our circumstances mah. So I’ve started enquiring about night time hacking classes at the local polytechnics. We have to keep up with the new age economy. Otherwise, what can my toyols do? I need to eat. They also need to eat.”

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