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.