Tuesday, February 5, 2008

History of Malaysia Banknote / Paper Money

The currency of Malaysia is Ringgit. The word Ringgit means “jagged” in Malay and was originally used to refer to the serrated edges of Spanish silver dollars circulated in the area. The Malaysian Ringgit, divided into 100 Sen per 1 Ringgit, is the monetary unit of Malaysia. The Ringgit and Sen were adopted as the sole official names in 1975 and use of the dollar sign “$” or “M$”. However, it was replaced by “RM” (known as Ringgit Malaysia) since early 1993.

Prior to Malaysia independent in 1957 or during the British colonial, banknotes issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya were used from 1946 to 1952. These banknotes carried the portraits of His Majesty King George VI. From 1952 to 1967, the Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya And British Borneo came into existence. The Malaya and British Borneo banknotes were issued. These banknotes bear the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabert II. The new design of the Malaya and British Borneo banknotes were issued after Malaysia independent in 1957. These banknotes feature the local Malay agriculture activities.

The FIRST SERIES of Malaysian banknote was issued by Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) in June 1967, comprising RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, RM100 and RM1000 denominations. The SECOND SERIES with Malaysian traditional and cultural ornamental designs was released in August 1982, comprising RM1, RM5, RM10, RM 20, RM100, RM500 and RM1000 denominations. The current or THIRD SERIES with Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) design was released in February 1996, comprising RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM10, RM50 and RM100 denominations. On 21st December 2007, Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank Malaysia) has announced the issuance of a new-design banknote in denomination of 50 ringgit as the first denomination of the country's FOURTH SERIES of currency notes which will replace its existing series in stages. This new series of banknote retains the main theme of the design which is the country's Vision 2020.

The Malaysian first polymer banknote or Commemorative Note RM50 was issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 1998 to commemorate the XVI Commonwealth Games in which the Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia, became the first Asian city to host these games. In 2004, Bank Negara Malaysia released a new circulation polymer RM5 banknote.

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