Wednesday, December 30, 2009

RM50 Error Banknote

The Star newspaper reported that a man withdrew a RM50 print defect note from an ATM machine at Penang International Airport on 29/12/09. This error note was among the 20 pieces of RM50 note which was withdrawn by him.

Of course, the error or defect note does happen. Perhaps, it happens only one in millions and many of error notes have been destroyed before they are released in the market. I suppose this guys is one of the lucky guy that bounds to withdraw an error note from ATM machine. This is what many banknote collectors are scouting for - "Error Banknote".

RM50 Error Banknote. Picture is taken from The Star.

You may want to read further report from The Star.

Friday, December 25, 2009

RM1 with Prefix CR

3rd Series of RM1 Note with the signature of Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ali Abul Hassan Bin Sulaiman

Out of all the new series of RM1 Malaysian banknotes, this 3rd Series of RM1 banknote signed by Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ali Abul Hassan Bin Sulaiman is the most expensive RM1 at the current market. It will continue to be one of the most expensive RM1 and continue to be searching by collectors.

This RM is special because all the 3rd Series of RM1 bears with Tan Sri Dato' Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz signature except the Prefix CR that comes with Tan Sri Dato' Seri Ali Abul Hassan Bin Sulaiman signature. In other words, out of billions RM1 banknote that issued by Bank Negara Malaysia, only 1 million of these notes have the signature that mentioned above.

Some collectors even pay thousands to own a piece of this RM1 note.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

RM1 ZG Replacement Note

Is all the replacement note of 3rd Series printed with prefix "Z"? I would say at this moment the answer is "Yes". But, there are also rumours say that not all the RM1 note with prefix "Z" is the replacement note. Anyway, not many of the replacement note with prefix "Z" appear in the market. I have seen Prefix "ZA, ZB, ZC, ZD, ZE, ZG and ZW". Anyone has seen replacement note of RM1 with other prefix than mentioned above?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Straits Settlement - Emergency Issues 10 Cents

The Straits Settlements Government issued the low value of Emergency Notes from 1917 to 1920 resulted from the shortage of subsidiary coinage in the latter part of World War 1. Part of these notes (mainly 1st and 2nd Issuance of 10 Cents note) were printed by the Government Survey Office in Kuala Lumpur and others (3rd Issuance) are by the Thomas De La Rue & Co Ltd in London.

Straits Settlements - 10 Cents Emergency Note 2nd Issue with signature of Treasurer, A. M. Poutney

The 1st and 2nd Issue of Straits Settlements 10 Cents Emergency Note were issued from 1917 to 1920. The front feature the British Royal Arms with the main inscription "The Government of The Straits Settlements Promise to pay the bearer on demand at Singapore Ten Cents Local Currency for value received" below it. The serial number and Treasurer's signature were printed at lower left and right corners. At the four corners within the double boarder, the value of Ten Cents was printed in languages of Jawi, Tamil, Chinese and English.

The different of 1st and 2nd Issuance of this 10 Cents Emergency note is the Treasurer's signature. The 1st Issuance bears the signature of H. Marriott while the 2nd Issuance was signed with A. M. Poutney.

Straits Settlements - 10 Cents Emergency Note 3rd Issue

The 3rd Issue of 10 Cents Emergency Note was issued by the Straits Settlement Government in 1919. The front features the Crown Arms flanked by serial number with the inscriptions of "The Government of The Straits Settlements Promise to pay the bearer on demand at Singapore Ten Cents Local Currency for value received" below it. This note is designed within a patterned green border which contains the value written in Malay, Tamil, Chinese and English at the four corners.

Malaya King George VI - $10,000 Note

Malaya King George VI - $10,000 Note

This is a rare piece of "Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya" specimen note with a face value of Ten Thousand Dollars. It was one of the highest face value note in peninsular Malaya during early 1940s. This note was originally printed by Bradbury, Wilkinson and Co Ltd in 1 January 1942. It was not commonly circulation and was only used for inter-bank transactions.

The front note features the portrait of King George VI in oval frame at right and the note value in ornate guilloche at left. Interestingly, this note bears two serial numbers A/1 10751 and A/1 02750 located at the upper right and lower left corners.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Watermark on Banknote

Watermark has been one of the security features against any counterfeit notes since many decades ago. It is so common that the most of the modern paper banknotes have equipped with it. Do you have any idea how it is made or incorporated inside our banknotes?

Watermark is a design or pattern that put into a paper during its production by modifying the concentration of fibres of which the paper is composed. It is produced in such a way that the darker portions having a higher density while the lighter portions having a lower density than the normal. The true effect is it can only be produced during the manufacture of the paper itself. Any attempt to imitate a shaded watermark by using "pressure", "wax" or even printing is inevitable and can be detected easily.

One of the common test to view the watermark is by holding the paper banknote against lights. The object of watermark shows in the banknote are varies and they are ranging from images, portraits, animals or even geometric designs.

Watermark with portrait of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

The watermark appears in Malaysian Banknotes as early as in Straits Settlement Notes with the image of tiger head. This watermark has inherited until the First Series of Malaysian Banknotes. The watermark with the portrait of First Yang Di-Pertuan Agong was adopted since the Second Series until the latest issuance.

What Do You Know About "Duit"?

In the earlier discussion, we have understood the meaning of "Wang". Let's explore on what do you know about "Duit"? Indeed, besides the silver coins that introduced by Dutch in Southeast Asian, they also brought along some small type of coins that made of copper. This copper coin was known as "Doit" or "Duyt". Back then, the usual exchange rate for "Wang" and "Doit" is 1 Wang (Double-Stiver piece) = 10 Doit.

Among all the copper coins introduced by Dutch, the "One Doit" is the most popular in circulation and widely used by local people. It was known as "Duit" in the Malay peninsular and was later became common word and well recognised by the local people. They had even adopted the word "Duit" into the Malay language that used to represent all type of instruments for payment.

The emerging of the "Duit" word since then had substituted other Malay words that represent the mode of payment such as "Kupang", "Emas", "Belanja" etc that relating to their payment instruments.

Therefore, both "Wang" and "Duit" are in fact the currency units that introduced by the Dutch. However, the meaning of both words have beyond their original context nowadays. They are used to represent the general term of money in our daily transaction.

The Meaning of "Wang"

The Dutch was among the earliest European to enter the Southeast Asia in their way to search and conquer the spice trade route. The Dutch manage to extend their control in Malacca after defeated the Portuguese in 1641. Since then, the Dutch introduced their own currency system via the trading company, Venerisch Oest-Indische Companie - V.O.C. from 1602 to 1799.

The silver coins that they introduced to the Malaya peninsular were known as "Daalder" which sounds closely to "Dollar" according to the Dutch pronunciation. Meanwhile, they also used the fractional silver coins known as "Stuiver" or "Stiver". The most popular fractional silver coin was the "2-Stiver-piece". The Dutch recognised it s "Double-tje" and the Malays as a whole used to named the silver coin as "One Wang".

The word "Wang" was indeed transformed from the currency units of that introduced by the Dutch and was adopted commonly by the local. However, the word "Wang" today has expanded its meaning further and it is used to represent general money in our daily life. "Ada Wang tak?" or "Do you have any money?" and that's how we interpret it nowadays.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jonker Stamp & Money Fair 2009

For those collectors who are looking for Stamp and Money Fair around the country, it is a good change to search for the coins, banknotes and stamps in the up coming "Jonker Stamp & Money Fair 2009". I bet should be familiar with famous Jonker Walk located at the Historical City of Malacca. If you have not been to Jonker Walk, take this as an opportunity to spend time with your family on this coming holiday.

This Jonker Stamp and Money fair will be held from 25-27 December 2009. It starts from 9:30am to 9:00pm. There will be many dealers available to offer you rare coins, banknotes, stamps and antiques at very attractive prices. So, come a join this meaningful event and you will surprise to find some good deal then. See Ya!

Directory Map of Jonker Stamps and Money Fair.

The Chronicles of The Ringgit

This is a very interesting book about the history and development of "Ringgit" or Malaysian currency during the colonial, pre-independence and post Independence. This book is co-published by "Lembaga Muzium Negeri Pulau Pinang" and "Pesatuan Warisan Numismatik Kesultanan Melayu, Malaysia". I am glad to obtain this book during my recent visit to Penang State Museum.

"Ceritera Ringgit" or The Chronicles of The Ringgit

This book is written in two languages namely Malay and English. It is divided into three sections. The Section 1 gives the definition and origin of the Ringgit. It explains the meaning of "Trade Currency" in general and recounts the origin of the "Ringg it" which has been used throughout the Malay world, from the very beginning up to present day Malaysia.

The Section 2 explains the Ringgit and its supporting fractions. This section touches on several types of currency fractions which had been circulated to support the "Ringgit or Dollar" system, from the early days until present.

The Section 3 of this book provides information on the value of Ringgit. It covers lightly on the value of the Ringgit as compared to commodity, as as t be able to feel its changing value in daily life, with the passage of time.

Section 1 covers the trade currency and the origin of the Ringgit.

Section 2 gives information on the Ringgit and its supporting fractions

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Banknote Holder

For a beginner, a banknote album and holder could be expensive to them. Most of the banknote album and holder are imported from oversea and it is quite costly. An imported and good quality banknote album with holders can easily cost few hundred bulks and therefore not many of the beginner can afford it.

However, banknote holder and protector is required and essential to protect your banknote. It is advisable not to use plastic wrappers or plastic bags to store your banknote as most plastics contain PVC (PolyVInyl Chloride) which can trap moisture and release acidic gases harmful to the banknote and may cause discoloration over the course of time.

I notice that some of the banknote holders are also produced locally and they price is much cheaper than those imported. As comparison, I have scanned both of the banknote holders: locally made and imported for your viewing. Of course I have added a black separator for easy viewing as both holders suppose to be transparent.

Banknote holder by local brand - Numis

Banknote holder by Leuchtturm, Gemarny

Notice that manufacturer names are printed on the left side (near the punched holes). Local made printed with "Numis" while the imported printed with "Vario - Made in Germany". Besides, you can also feel that the quality of two holders are different and there is where you need to pay extra for the imported holder. Having said that, the local made holders are also safe to be used.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Counterfeit Banknote

There are many cases of counterfeit banknote appear recently in the market. A local newspaper reported a couple was caught by police for depositing the fake banknote into ATM machine and later withdrawing it through another ATM machine. Ironically, some of these counterfeit banknotes were identified as new series of RM50 note.

According the Bernama, cases of counterfeit banknote in the country is still low and under control, especially involving RM50 notes, with only 13 notes found per million Ringgit. The Finance Department informed that 48,555 counterfeit notes were detected and reported to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) from 1 January 2009 to 30 September 2009.

The international guideline says that if the counterfeit money reaches 20 pieces per million issued, it can be considered serious. Only when that happens will the situation need to be rectified and safety measures implemented immediately.

Eventhough we have yet to reach the critical mark as highlighted above, the government and BNM are taken several measurements to improve the security features of the notes. This includes the new series of RM50 note that has equipped with high technology security features to make it difficult to falsify.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

$100 Japanese Occupation of Malaya Banknote

A complete series of Japanese Occupation of Malaya note consists of 9 denominations namely 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, 100 dollars and 1000 dollars. These notes bear a prefix of 'M' that represents 'Malaya'.

Unlike others denominations which only has a single design, the 100 dollars note has two different types. The common circulation notes back then was the Type 2 note (features a Malaya village) and for that reason the Type 2 (features workers tapping rubble trees) note is more difficult to obtain. The value of these two notes also varies a lot. The type 1 note is easily 10x higher that the Type 2 note.

Type 1 of 100 dollars Japanese Occupation note

Type 2 of 100 dollars Japanese Occupation note

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Board of Commissioners For Currency Malaya

I believe many of us have never seen these notes before. These are two pieces of hand executed essay for the proposed of $1 meant to replace "The Government of The Straits Settlements" note circulated from 1931 to 1935. In other words, these notes are the trial design notes for the "Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya" which was issued officially on 1st July 1941.

Hand executed essay for a proposed issue for $1 Note - Type 1 (1937)

Hand executed essay for a proposed issue for $1 Note - Type 2 (1938)

Through observation of these notes, you can find the Type 1 of the hand executed note (1937)shown above is likely to adopt the design of Straits Settlements Note issued from 1931 to 1935. The blue color used for this $1 note is also similar to the Straits Settlements $1 note.

The Type 2 of the hand executed note which was produced in 1938 was the pre-design note for the Malaya Banknote. The color of this design (green color) matches the 1940 of Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya which was issued on 1st January 1940 but was unable to release to the public due to the World War II.

These notes were auctioned and sold recently in Singapore for S$20,000.00 and S$13,000.00 respectively.

The Sarawak Government Treasury - Emergency Issues

This is a rare piece of 10 Cents note printed for "The Government of Sarawak" with a date of 6.9.1945 by the printer in manuscript. It is learnt that a series of 1 Cent, 5 Cents and 10 Cents of these Sarawak notes were planned to be printed and issued after the Pacific War when the British returned to the State of Sarawak. However, the plan was terminated and resulted these notes never appear in circulation.

10 Cents of Sarawak Note that never been issued.

Note that this series of 1 Cent, 5 Cents and 10 Cents notes are all inscribed with "For the Government of Sarawak" in stead of "Treasurer of Sarawak" which appeared on all the Sarawak currency issued up to 1941.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

4th Series : RM50 Replacement Note

This is a piece of 4th Series replacement note with the Prefix of ZB. Notice that this replacement note does not carry a 50th Anniversary logo at the upper right corner of the note. Thus, it is believed that this replacement note is designated to replace the mistake notes with the Prefix of AF and later.

4th Series of Malaysian Banknote - RM50 Replacement Note with Prefix ZB

Unlike the replacement note of ZA, the logo of 50th Anniversary is depicted at upper right corner of the reverse side. As discussed earlier, only the prefix of AA of these RM50 notes are with this 50th Anniversary logo. Hence, ZA replacement note is meant for the replacement to the note of prefix AA only? You can prove it otherwise if you can find a replacement note of ZA that is without the anniversary logo.

ZA Replcement note with 50th Anniversary logo depicted on the upper corner of the back side of the note.

Royal Headdress or Tengkolok Diraja

All the four series of Malaysian banknotes are depicted with the portrait of first Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Malaysia. The royal uniform of Yang Di Pertuan Agong includes the Royal Headdress or is known as Tengkolok Diraja which is also part of the Royal Regalia of Malaysia.

Portrait of the first Yang Di-Pertuan Agong with Tengkolok Diraja.

Many centuries ago, the Malay Rulers during the Malay Sultanate have been wearing the Tengkolok or the Malay headdresses as part of the royal regalia. Tengkolok is made up by embroidered silk folded in different styles. The style of folding is called solek and there are various styles depending on the tradition of the royal family of the particular states. The colour of the Tengkolok is also varies from one state to another.

The Royal Headdress or Tengkolok worn by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong during his installation is made of black fabric embroidered with gold thread. It is folded in the style called "Dendam Tak Sudah" which originated from state of Negeri Sembilan. The crescent and the 14-point stars that made from white gold together of Coat of Arms of Malaysia is placed at the middle of Tengkolok that represents the state of Malaysia.

Tengkolok of Yang Dipertuan Agong Malaysia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sarawak Government Treasury Emergency Note - 25 Cents 1919

This is one of the earliest banknotes issued by Sarawak government in 1900s. There were two Emergency Notes issued by the Sarawak Government Treasury i.e. in the denomination of 10 Cents and 25 Cents. They are extremely rare especially the note with the face value of 25 Cents.

The date on the note itself tells the issuance date i.e. 1st July 1919 and it was signed by George C. Gillian, the Treasurer of The Sarawak Government Treasury. Unlike those Sarawak notes that bears the portrait of Charles Vyner Brooke, these Emergency Notes were printed locally by the Government Printing Press at Kuching. Obviously, the printing quality of these notes were far behind from those printed in Europe.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Another tourist spot that I revisited recently during my city tour is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building located in the middle of Kuala Lumpur city. This historical building was one of the oldest building and has became the icon of Kuala Lumpur. Indeed the logo of Visit Malaysia in Year 1990 was using the building of Sultan Abdul Samad as its background.

The Abdul Samad Building was designed by A.C. Norman and was built in 1894 to 1897. It was one of the essential buildings that houses several important departments during the British Administration in Malaya States. This major landmark of the Kuala Lumpur city has gone through many important events in the history of Malaya or Malaysia. It was here that the declaration of independence of Malaya was took place opposite the building where the Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square was back in 1957. It also held another significant event where the clock tower became the venue for another historic event when the time between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were standardized in 1982. Besides, this heritage building was also used to be occupied by the then Supreme Court which was subsequently renamed the Federal Court but it had later moved to the Palace of Justice located in Putrajaya.

The back of RM500 of 2nd Series of Malaysian Banknotes that features the Building of Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Visit Malaysia Year 1990 was adopting the Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Photo of Abdul Samad Building taken from Dataran Merdeka

Anyone who wants to pay the Kuala Lumpur city a visit should have not miss out this landmark. You will be amazed with the building design that adopted Moorish architectural elements which is also known as the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

National Monument / Tugu Negara

Do you even think of having a city tour in Kuala Lumpur? If yes, where are those places of interest or prominent buildings to look for in the capital city of Malaysia? The second series of Malaysian banknote might offer you some ideas on where you should drop by to enjoy the landmark of Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia. I recently have revisited these places.

Depicted on the reverse of RM1 is the Tugu Negara or the National Monument which was built in 1966 to commemorate those who sacrificed in Malaysia's struggle for freedom especially against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the during 12 years Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960.

This monument was design by an Austrian sculptor, Felix de Weldon. It is 15 meters (49.21 feet) tall and is made up of bronze. The monument depicts a group of soldiers holding the Jalur Gemilang, the Malaysian national flag. Each of the bronze figures symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice.

The 2nd Series of Malaysian Banknote that depicts the National Monument on the reverse of the RM1 note.

Tugu Negara located at Kuala Lumpur city

Besides visiting this monument, one can also enjoy various parks nearby to this monument such as the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Lake Gardens and Butterfly Park. There are also few museums available at this tourist spot. The Malaysian Houses of Parliament and National Mosque are also situated not far away from the monument.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Polymer Banknote Printer

As we are aware, Bank Negara Malaysia has so far issued two polymer banknotes until to date. The first polymer banknote also known as RM50 Commemorative Note was issued in 1998 to commemorate the Kuala Lumpur '98 XVI Commonwealth Games. The second polymer banknote was issued in the form of circulation polymer RM5 banknote in which in adopted the almost the same design and feature of the paper type note.

RM50 Commemorative Polymer Banknote

RM5 Circulation Polymer Banknote

Besides both are polymer banknotes, they do have a common feature. That is they are printed by Note Printing Australia (NPA). Not just Malaysia, there are many countries in the world are using Australian technology in term of polymer note printing. Further information about the Polymer Banknotes printed by NPA is shown through the link provided here.

NPA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia. It was the organisation that started to print paper money for Australian and later introduced polymer banknote technology same year after it was coporatised in 1998.

Current Banknote Printer

In my earlier blog that I have discussed about banknote printer as one of the features of 1st and 2nd Series of Malaysian Banknotes. To recap, the banknote printer name was printed at the reverse of the note in the very tiny wording. Some example of these printers are "Thomas De La Rue", "Bradbury Wilkinson & Co, "United States Banknote Co" and "Canadian Banknote". This information is very much useful to tell us the where does this banknote printed from or the foreign technology the we rely on.

Unfortunately, this feature has note been inherited for its subsequent series (3rd Series onwards) or banknote that issued after 1996. Even the new issuance series has not tagged with this feature as well. Few have raised question on where do these banknote printed from. Or shouldn't we bother when they printed from as long as they are legal tender to use as money? When the recent announcement by BNM on the release of new RM50 note, it was mentioned by the Governor that these banknotes were printed using Germany base technology. But, no mark is made to identify these banknotes are in fact printed from Germany. Perhaps, there are some other good reasons why banknote printer shouldn't appear anymore.

Nowaday, it is observed that the feature of banknote printer appear on the banknote itself no longer common anymore. As we also aware polymer banknote does not have this feature as well. The different from the earlier is many have already known where exactly the polymer banknote printer from.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Merdeka Spirit on Malaysian Banknote

One thing that I like about collecting banknote is that it provides information and background for us to understand the development of a nation. Not just about a history of a nation, the social-economy development of the country can also be reviewed through the banknotes issued.

Photo by Wikipedia that shows Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaiming Malayan Independence

Photo of Tunku Abdul Rahman depicts on the 4th Series of RM50 Banknote

For Malaysian, we are celebrating our 52th Merdeka or Independence Day on 31 August 2009. Those older generation whom has gone through the process of independence from the British colonial will never forget the scene that Tungku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, who led the crowd in announcing the MERDEKA (Independence) at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) situated in front of Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur on 31 August 1957. It was the moment that all nation was waited for to witness the first Malaya flag hoisted for the first time.

Tunku Abdul Rahman (1903 - 1990) who is also known as Bapa Kemerdekaan or Farther of Independence was the country's first Prime Minister from independence in 1957. He remained as the Prime Minister after Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore joined the federation in 1963 to form Malaysia.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

4th Series : RM50's Differences

By now, we should be familiar with this newly released of RM50 circulation notes. At least, these notes are now loaded in commercial banks' ATM and waiting for your withdrawal. As most of collectors recognise major different of the earlier issuance (issued in late 2007 and early 2008) whereby the 50th Anniversary logo was printed on the upper right corner of the reverse of the note, one might only notice the disappearance of the 50th Anniversary logo the the new released banknote.

However, take a closer look into the banknote again (with Prefix AF0000001 above), there are several differences as compare the earlier issuance. These differences are:-

  • Obverse - The portrait of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is printed slightly slimmer than earlier.
  • Obverse - The Governor's signature "Zeti Aziz" is slightly bigger than earlier.
  • Reverse - The 50th Anniversary of upper right corner has disappeared.
  • Reverse - The wording of "1957 - 2007" beside the RM50 at the lower middle portion has disappeared
  • Reverse - Change of new security thread.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RM1 Replacement Note

A collection of RM1 Replacement Note of 'ZA', 'ZB', 'ZC' & 'ZE'

These are some of my 'Z' series replacement note collection. Some of these are circulated notes which were received through the balances after paying my grocery bills. Even though these circulated notes normally will not have a great appreciation in value, I am just keeping them for the sake of replacement notes. If you understand what these replacement notes are, perhaps you will have the same interest with me. Won't you?

RM1 'ZE' Replacement Note

RM1 'ZE' Replacement Note

The replacement note in any of the 3rd Series of Malaysian Banknote always carry a prefix of 'Z'. In short, a replacement note is a reprinted banknote that replaces those mistake notes in the printing process. These notes are highly searched by collector due to its limited issuance. This is another ZE series of RM1 replacement banknote. Many times, I receive these replacement during my daily grocery transaction.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Legacy of Bank Negara Malaysia Governors

Since the establishment of Bank Negara Tanah Melayu in 1959, replacing the Currency Board of Malaya and British Borneo, there have been seven governors that lead the central banking of Malaysia. These excellent governors are Tan Sri William Howard Wilcock, Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Taha, Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, Tan Sri Ahmad Mohd Don, Tan Sri Ali Hassan Sulaiman and Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Although there are seven governors of BNM till todate, collector can only find six governors' signature on Malaysian Banknotes. This is because the first series of Malaysian Banknotes was issued in 1967 and also the Bank Negara Malasia was named after the formation of Malaysia in 1964. Prior to that, it was called Bank Negara Tanah Melayu. As such, some have mentioned that the BNM has six governors.

Anyway, let go through the legacy of BNM's Governors. (Article below is compiled from StarBiz)

1) Tan Sri William Howard Wilcock (1959 – 1962)

Tan Sri W. H. Wilcock came to Malaysia as the banking adviser to the Government of the Federation of Malaya in 1958. In 1959, he was appointed the first governor and chairman of the board of the central bank of Malaya (then known as Bank Negara Tanah Melayu).

Wilcock had always recognised the need for Bank Negara to be helmed by a local. In his inaugural speech, he said: “I appreciate deeply the honour … in making me the first governor … but I believe most fervently that the head of any country’s central bank should be a national of that country.” In 1962, he handed over the baton to Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali.

2) Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali (1962 - 1980)

Tun Ismail Mohamed Ali was the first Bank Negara Malaysia's governor. In many ways, he set the tone for the bank's core values and instilled a culture of accountability, prfessionalism, integrity and service.
In the early years of the central bank’s existence, Ismail saw his primary role as setting up a body of traditions – of absolute integrity, competency at all levels in the organisations and efficiency.

He also placed strong emphasis on building up a dependable expertise in economic affairs and monetary matters and, above all, the ability to place national interest as against that of the individual. During Ismail’s stewardship of 18 years, the central bank wielded considerable independence and influence in economic policies.

People who knew him, and who had worked with him, described him as a stickler for punctuality, and recounted incidents that revealed his strictness and high expectations of those around him.
Ismail was also the first chairman of Permodalan Nasional Bhd, a position he assumed in 1978.

3) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Taha (1980–1985)

Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Taha had a remarkable career with the bank – rising rapidly through the ranks to become governor in 1980. He joined the bank in 1969 as assistant manager of the investment and accounting department. He is described as a “cloned’’ version of his mentor, Tun Ismail, in his scrupulous stewardship of the affairs of the central bank.

During his tenure, he fostered close ties with fellow South East Asian Central Banks governors. Generally regarded as a low profile man, Aziz was unwavering in his belief in the basic functions of the central bank. “Every central bank’s main objective is to ensure stability of the economy, the financial system and help and advise the government on sound monetary and fiscal policy.

“That is the basic bread-and-butter functions of a central bank … if it deviates from that, then I think the central bank would have failed in its most important objective. …” Aziz is quoted as saying in an interview with a local business magazine.

4) Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein (1985 – 1994)

Under Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein’s tenure, Bank Negara weathered the recession, and he made the country’s financial system more sophisticated and mature. The concept of Islamic banking began to take shape as part of his dream to establish a full-fledged Islamic financial system in Malaysia, functioning side-by-side with the conventional system. This came true in 1994.

Also during his tenure, the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 was enacted and the supervision of the insurance industry was transferred from the Finance Ministry to Bank Negara in May 1988. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the Securities Commission and national mortgage corporation Cagamas Bhd. The idea for the setting up of Rating Agency Malaysia Bhd was also mooted by him. Back in the 80s, Jaafar was chairman and CEO of Malayan Banking Bhd before assuming the position of Bank Negara governor.

Jaffar’s biggest crisis was the massive paper losses incurred by the central bank’s foreign exchange operations. On March 31, 1994 the central bank announced forex losses of RM5.7bil for the previous year. It was also during his tenure that the deposit taking co-operatives crisis was resolved through a series of measures including the appointment of receivers.

5) Tan Sri Ahmad Mohd Don (1994 – 1998)

Tan Sri Ahmad Mohd Don became the fifth governor on May 1, 1994. During his tenure, Ahmad Don initiated the formulation of the central bank’s mission, aspiration and shared value. The outcome of all these efforts has now been incorporated in a document, known as Strategic Plan 1995 – 2000.

It was during Ahmad Don’s tenure that Asia was hit by speculative attacks on its currencies. Although the prescribed monetary policy action was to tighten interest rates, Malaysia, under then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, imposed capital controls, pegged the ringgit to the US dollar and slashed lending rates. In disagreement over the move, Ahmad Don and his deputy, Fong Weng Phak, resigned in August 1998.

6) Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan Sulaiman (1998 – 2000)

Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan took over as the sixth governor during the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1998. During his tenure, he adopted a proactive and business-friendly policy to revive the economy.

His main focus was to improve Malaysia’s economy with specific initiatives to stimulate domestic and foreign investments. During his time, Ali Abul Hassan steered Bank Negara to greater heights, particularly in working hand-in-hand with other government agencies, to bring the economy back to shape.

Ali Abul Hassan retired in May 2000 and was appointed special economic adviser in following year to then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

7) Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz (2000 to present)

Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz took over the governor position from Tan Sri Ali Abul Hassan from May 2000 and has became the first women in Malaysia that holds BNM governor position. She is the seventh and current governor of Bank Negara Malaysia.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

4th Series of RM50 : The Facts

There are many rumors and speculations given on the 4th Series of RM50 note since its first debut in the market in December 2007. With the relaunched of these notes by Bank Negara Malaysia recently, has the cloud being blown away and sky is getting blue again? Let us recap the development of these series of banknote.
  • The first issuance was on 21 December 2007 (shown above) are with 50th Anniversary Logo printed on the reverse of the note.
  • The first 20,000 notes was issued with folder i.e. AA0000001 to AA0020000.
  • Bank Negara Malaysia intends to launch 50,000,000 notes with Prefix of AA0000001 to AE0000001 with the 50th Anniversary Logo.
  • Some speculate that these notes are non-ATM compatibility. Therefore, not many notes surface in the market. Only notes with Prefix AA was released.
  • On 15 July 2009, Bank Negara Malaysia has relaunched this 4th Series of RM50 note. These note do NOT have 50th Anniversary Logo printed on the reverse of the note.
  • The Prefix of reintroduced RM50 note is starting with Prefix AF0000001.
  • The newly introduced of the RM50 has said to incorporate several modern and innovative security featues to deter counterfeiting.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bank Negara Malaysia Issued New RM50 Banknote

Further to the announcement made on 21 December 2007 where the Bank Negara Malaysia has introduced the new 4th Series of RM50 in conjunction with the celebration of 50th Anniversary of Independence, BNM has reintroduced the new design of RM50 banknote by omitting the logo of the country's golden jubilee celebrations but has enhanced security features of the banknote. This RM50 banknote is the first denomination of the Fourth Series of Malaysian Banknote which will be replacing the existing series in stages.

This RM50 banknote is the first issuance of Fourth Series back in 21/12/2007. The newly issuance of RM50 in 15/7/2009 has removed the logo of the country's golden jubilee celebrations located at the upper right corner of the reverse note.

This series of RM50 banknote retains the predominant colour of green-blue. The main theme of the design is the National Mission where the first thrust is "to move the economy up the value chain" which reflects Malaysia's economic transformation to the higher value-added activities in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors of the economy.

The Front features the portrait of the first Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Tuanku Muhammad, on the right and the national flower hibiscus is in the centre on the front of this new banknote. Design patterns from songket weaving, which are in the background and edges of the banknote, are featured to reflect the traditional Malaysian textile handicraft and embroidery.

The Back features Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj at the historic declaration of Malaya's independence in 1957. It also features the Oil Palm as one of the main contributing sectors in agriculture.

4th Series of RM50 Banknote - Security Features

Bank Negara Malaysia has introduced its RM50 of Fourth Series of Malaysia Banknote on 15 July 2009. The newly introduced of the RM50 has incorporated several modern and innovative security featues to deter counterfeiting. It also retains some of the existing security features for public verification. Among these enhanced security features are:-

The Colour Shifting Security Thread

1) The Colour Shifting Security Thread which replaces the existing security thread and is embedded in the paper. The thread appears on the reverse side of the note as coloured intermittent lines. When held against light, it is seen as a continuous dark coloured line and the repeated text of BNM RM50 can be read. When the note is tilted, the colour of the thread changes from red to green and vice versa. Under ultra-violet light, the repeated text of BNM RM50 will fluoresce yellow and the thread is seen as a continuous fluorescent yellow line when the banknote is viewed from the obverse.

Two-Cloured Fluorescent Elements

2) The Two-Coloured Fluorescent Elements is an additional invisible printed feature on the reverse of the note. Under ultra-violet light, a complex design two-colour numeral 50 will fluoresce.

The watermark portrait of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

3) The Watermark Portrait can be recognised by tints that are lighter or darker than the surrounding paper. This watermark portrait which has a three-dimensional effect appears without sharp outlines. At the base of the watermark, the numeral 50 is clearly visible.

Perfect See-through Register

4) Perfect See-Through Register features the songket design on the obverse and reverse of the banknote when it is held against the light.

5) Invisible Fluorescent Elements of the background on the obverse and reverse of the banknote which fluoresces in different colours under ultra-violet light.

6) Micro-Letterings of "BNM RM50" which can be viewed under a magnifying glass.

Holographic Stripe

7) Holographic Stripe features the numeral 50 and hibiscus flower

8) Multicolor Latent Image where the numeral 50 is visible when the banknote is tilted slightly and changes colour when it is rotated.

9) Anti-Scanner feature in which certain design cannot be captured by scanning machines.

10) Braille Feature for the visually impaired.