"Salam..tumpang tanya,kenapa tahun 1967 baru malaysia ada coin? Kita merdeka tahun 1957,ada jurang selama 10 tahun. Dalam masa 10 tahun tu matawang apa yang kita pakai?boleh sesiapa terangkan?"
I found the above question in someone blog without any answer by the blog owner. Most probably because the blogger don't know anything about Malaysia coin history. To anyone who don't understand Malay, the guy asked, "Why Malaysia only start to have coin in 1967? Malaysia already achived independence in 1957, why there is a 10 years gap for our first coin. During that 10 years time, what money that we used?"
What money do we use during that 10 years? Right after independence, we are using Malaya coins and banknotes that has been issued by "Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya". The board has been issuing Malaya currency since 1939. All the coins and banknotes carried the portraits of King George VI. The "Malayan Dollar" introduced in 1939 to replace The Straits Settlements Dollar. On 1st January 1952, the "Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya and British Borneo" were born to replace the old board currency of Malaya. The new board only start to issued its currency in March 1953 bearing the portraits of Queen Elizabeth II.
When Federation of Malaya became an independent nation on 31 August 1957, new designs of banknotes were introduced. A $1 dollar notes with a fishing boat (kapal layar 1 ringgit) design and $10 dollars notes showing farmer and the buffalo ploughing a padi field ($10 ringgit kerbau bajak) were issued in 1959 and 1961 respectively. They also introduced a 1 cent bronze coin with a keris design on the obverse in 1962.
Whay Malaysia coin only start in 1967? Bank Negara Tanah Melayu was only established on 26 January 1959 and has been given the authority to issue Malaysia currency under Bank Negara Tanah Melayu Ordinance 1958. However, The Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya and British Borneo still continued to issue currency until 12 June 1967 when 1st Malaysia currency series has been released by Bank Negara. Bank Negara Tanah Melayu change its name to Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) when Malaysia were form on 16 September 1963. The old Malaya currency and Malaysia 1st currency are circulated together until 16 January 1969, when the old Malaya currency legal tender value has been ceased.
On 29 April 1967, samples of the new Malaysia coins and banknotes were shown for the first time to reporter at Malaysia National Operation room (Bilik Gerakan Negara) by Malaysia Finance Minister, Tun Tan Siew Sin. The new currency arrived from London via Port Swettenham with tight security measure. The new banknotes and coins are then kept at Office of Currency, Bank Negara Malaysia in Batu Tiga, Shah Alam to be distributed and used throughout the country beginning 12 June 1967. You can read more about it here; New Malaysia notes-news in 1967.
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