Friday, December 23, 2011

Launch of Malaysia's New Currency Series 2012

Bank Negara Malaysia has announced that a new series design of Malaysian banknotes and coins will be issued for circulation in 2012, an exercise that is undertaken periodically every twelve years. The latest series of Malaysian banknotes draws its inspiration from the distinctive features of Malaysia, incorporating elements of the country's natural treasures, culture and heritage. Themed 'Distinctively Malaysia', the banknotes features traditional expressions in the art and craft, natural wonders, flora and fauna and the economy.  It will also have enhanced security elements in line with the latest advancements in technology such as shadow image, clear window, watermark portrait with pixel and highlighted numerals, colour shifting security thread, micro lens thread, perfect see-through register, coloured glossy patch for public recognition. Other features include tactile identification which enables the visually impaired to identify and distinguish the different denominations for currency notes. The banknotes issued are in the denominations of RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20 and RM100 and will be available for circulation in the second half of 2012. The RM50 denomination banknote for the new currency series is already in circulation since December 2007 to commemorate Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary of Independence and will continue to remain in circulation. For this new series, polymer substrate is used to make the RM1 and RM5 banknotes. The coins for this series, with denominations of 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen, were launched earlier on 25 July 2011 and will be introduced into circulation in January 2012. 

Banknotes Design - All banknote denominations in the new series retain the portrait of the first Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Tuanku Muhammad, the national flower Rosa-sinensishibiscus (known locally as the 'Bunga Raya'), the face value of the banknote, the words 'Bank Negara Malaysia' as the issuing authority of the banknotes and patterns of traditional woven fabric the 'songket' which are in the background and edges of the banknote to reflect traditional Malaysian textile handicraft and embroidery. Other features include the tactile identification for the visual impaired, watermark portrait with pixel and highlighted numerals. The reverse side of each banknote features different elements of nature, tradition, culture, flora, fauna and the economy that are distinctively Malaysian. The new banknotes also retain the Bank Negara Malaysia logo, serial numbers, Jawi wordings and songket weave patterns on the reverse side of the banknotes.

RM100Mount Kinabalu and pinnacles rock formations of Gunung Api valley
RM50Oil Palm and Biotechnology
RM20The Hawksbill and Leatherback Turtle
RM5Rhinoceros Hornbill
RM1Wau Bulan (Moon Kite)

Specification for New Fourth Series Banknotes
DenominationSubstrateDimensionPredominant Colour
RM100Paper150mm X 69mmPurple
RM50Paper145mm X 69mmGreen-blue
RM20Paper145mm X 65mmOrange
RM10Paper140mm X 65mmRed
RM5Polymer135mm X 65mmGreen
RM1Polymer120mm X 65mmBlue

Coins Technical Specifications
Face Value50 sen20 sen10 sen5 sen
AlloyNickel Brass Clad CopperNickel BrassStainless SteelStainless Steel
Diameter (mm)22.6520.6018.8017.78
Weight (gram)5.664.182.981.72
ShapeRound with 9 indentsRoundRoundRound

Common FeaturesOn the obverse, each denomination features a different motif, 14 dots representing the 13 states and the Federal Territory and (with exception in the case of the 50 sen coin) five horizontal lines representing the five principles of the ‘Rukun Negara’ (national pillars). On the reverse, the new series of coins feature the national flower Rosa-sinensis hibiscus (known as the ‘Bunga Raya’), numerals indicating the year of minting, the face value of the coin and the words ‘BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA’.

50 sen - Sulur Kacang
The ‘sulur kacang’ (pea tendrils) motif featured on the new 50 sen coin is popular among traditional woodcarvers and silversmiths. The motif is drawn from the graceful twists and curls of long bean vines, and can be seen embellishing fine jewellery pieces and boxes, in addition to decorating doorways, window frames and wood paneling in traditional wooden homes. Fine lines in the motif background are part of the security features. Security Feature - Latent Image of the denomination 50 sen can be seen when the coin is tilted slightly.
20 sen - Bunga Melur
The ‘bunga melur’ or jasmine flower is culturally significant among the three major races in Malaysia. Its aromatic scent makes it an important part of traditional ceremonies like weddings and prayers. It is also a popular motif in traditional arts and crafts like embroidery and silverwork. On the new 20 sen coin, the jasmine flower is featured with a ‘destar siga’ cloth motif in the background.
10 sen - Orang Asli Motif
The ‘orang asli’ (aboriginal tribes) of Malaysia are talented in weaving indigenous leaves and plants into decorative items such as headbands, sashes and skirts for traditional rituals and ceremonies. Each tribe have their own weave pattern that is often inspired by their belief system and surrounding environment. On the new 10 sen coin, this heritage is represented by the unique weave pattern of the Mah Meri tribe in Peninsular Malaysia.
5 sen - Destar Siga
The ‘destar siga’ cloth is an indigenous form of fabric weaving that originates from the Kadazan Dusun tribe in Sabah. Used as a headdress during traditional ceremonies, it is woven mainly from yarns of black thread and accented by multi-coloured threads into various geometric patterns and flora and fauna inspired motifs. On the new 5 sen coin, the ‘destar siga’ pattern is prominently featured, accompanied by the ‘sulur kacang’ as a background motif.

-Source: Bank Negara Malaysia ( and nbc-