Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Malaysian ringgit, unofficially also known as the Malaysian dollar, divided into 100 sen, is the monetary unit of Malaysia (currency code MYR). The Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar are also called ringgit in Malay. Hence it is normally abbreviated with the sign RM to distinguish it from the other currencies.
In 1837 the Indian rupee was made the sole official currency in the Straits Settlements, but in 1867 silver dollars were again legal tender. In 1903 the Straits dollar, pegged at two shillings and fourpence (2s. 4d.), was introduced by the Board of Commissioners of Currency and private banks were prevented from issuing notes. Since then continuity of the currency has been broken twice, once by the Japanese occupation 1942-1945, and secondly by the devaluation of the Pound Sterling in 1967, when notes of the Board of Commissioners of Currency of Malaya and British Borneo lost 15% of their value. The new Bank Negara Malaysia and Singapore and Brunei Commissioners of Currency dollars were not devalued.
Bank Negara Malaysia banknotes
The second issue was released with Malaysian traditional ornamental designs from August 1982 to January 1984, in RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100, RM500, and RM1000 denominations.
The RM1 banknotes was replaced with RM1 coins on 1 January 1993.
The current third issue was released with Wawasan 2020 designs from February 1996 to 1999, in RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100 denominations. There are no longer any RM500 and RM1000 denominations.
Recently in 2004, Bank Negara Malaysia has issued a new RM10 note with addittional security features and a new polymer RM5 note. According to Bank Negara, all paper notes will be phased out in phases by polymer notes.
A commemorative RM50 polymer banknote was issued to commemorate the 1998 Commonwealth games in Kuala Lumpur.
Name and currency peg
The Malay names ringgit and sen were officially adopted as the sole official names in August 1975. Previously they had been known as dollars and cents in English and ringgit and sen in Malay. However, the use of the dollar sign "$" (or "M$") was not replaced by "RM" (Ringgit Malaysia) until the 1990s.(click for Picture)
Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the ringgit has been pegged to the United States dollar at the fixed rate of RM3.80 to the dollar, although due to the recent fall in the value of the dollar there has been speculation of a repegging or perhaps a complete removal of the peg in 2005.
|Mount Kinabalu and "Wau Bulan" kite|
|Menara Kuala Lumpur communications tower and MEASAT satellite|
|KLIA and Petronas Twin Towers|
|Putra LRT train, Malaysia Airlines aircraft and MISC ship|
|Petronas oil platform|
|Proton car production line and engine|
- Bank Negara Malaysia Currency page showing security features of current banknotes issue (RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50, and RM100 denominations).
- Bank Negara Malaysia Money Museum website providing numismatic collection, history of money in Malaysia, and galleries.
- Malaysia Banknotes and Coins website maintained by Tan Oo Hau, providing history and current tender.
- Stamp & Coin Mart page on Malaysian Banknotes, including history of legal tender in Straits Settlements, Federation of Malaya and Malaysia.
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