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July 25, 2008

Wikipedia: Malaysian ringgit

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Malaysian ringgit
Ringgit Malaysia (Rumi)
ريڠڬيت مليسيا (Jawi Malay)
50 ringgit
50 ringgit
ISO 4217 Code MYR
User(s) Flag of Malaysia Malaysia
Inflation 3.8%
Source The World Factbook, 2006 est.
Subunit
1/100 sen
Symbol RM
Coins 5, 10, 20, 50 sen
Banknotes RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, RM100
Central bank Bank Negara Malaysia
Website www.bnm.gov.my
Mint Royal Mint of Malaysia
Website royalmintmalaysia.com or www.royalmint.com.my

The ringgit (formerly, and now unofficially, known as the Malaysian dollar), is the currency of Malaysia. It is divided into 100 sen (cents) and its currency code is MYR (Malaysian Ringgit). The ringgit is issued by the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Contents

Etymology

The word ringgit means “jagged” in Malay and was originally used to refer to the serrated edges of silver Spanish dollars which circulated widely in the area. The Singapore dollar and the Brunei dollar are also called ringgit in Malay (although currencies such as the U.S. and Australian dollars are dolar), hence its official abbreviation RM for Ringgit Malaysia.

The Malay names ringgit and sen were officially adopted as the sole official names in August 1975. Previously they had been known officially as dollars and cents in English and ringgit and sen in Malay, and in some parts of the country this usage continues. For example, in Malaysia one ringgit is “one dollar” in English and “tsit8-kåu·1” (一塊/一块) in Teochew. In the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia, denominations of 10 sen are called kupang in Malay (“poat8” in Hokkien), e.g. 50 sen is 5 kupang.

History

On June 12, 1967 the Malaysian dollar, issued by the new central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, replaced the Malaya and British Borneo dollar at par. In November 1967, the British pound was devalued by 14.3%. The new currency was not affected but earlier notes of the Malaya and British Borneo dollar were still pegged to sterling at 8.57 dollars = 1 pound and, consequently, these notes were reduced in value to 85 sen per dollar.

The Malaysian dollar was exchangeable at par with the Singapore dollar and Brunei dollar until 8 May 1973 when the Malaysian government decided to terminate it [1]. The Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board still maintain the exchangeability of their two currencies.

The use of the dollar sign “$” (or “M$”) was not replaced by “RM” (Ringgit Malaysia) until the 1990s, though internationally “MYR” (MY being the country code for Malaysia) is more widely used.

Exchange rate

Between 1995 and 1997, the ringgit was trading as a free float currency at around 2.50 to the U.S. dollar,[2][3] before dipping to under 3.80 to the dollar by the end of 1997,[3] following the year’s East Asian financial crisis. For the first half of 1998, the currency fluctuated between 3.80 and 4.40 to the dollar,[4] before Bank Negara Malaysia pegged the ringgit to the U.S. dollar in September 1998, maintaining its 3.80 to the dollar value for almost seven years. The ringgit lost 50% of its value between 1997 and 1998.

On July 21, 2005, Bank Negara announced the end of the peg to the U.S. dollar immediately after China’s announcement of the end of the renminbi peg to the U.S. dollar.[5][6][7] According to Bank Negara, Malaysia allows the ringgit to operate in a managed float against several major currencies. This has resulted in the value of the ringgit rising closer to its perceived market value, although Bank Negara has intervened in financial markets to maintain stability in the trading level of the ringgit.

After the end of the currency peg, the ringgit appreciated to 3.16 to the U.S. dollar since mid-2005. The ringgit has also appreciated against the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) (from 0.49 to 0.40 to the MYR[8]) and the renminbi (CNY) (0.46 to 0.45 to the MYR[9]). The Hong Kong dollar suffered a gradually steep decline in value against the ringgit, while the renminbi’s value against the ringgit has been volatile.

However, following a downward trend of the U.S. dollar’s value, the ringgit depreciated against other currencies between December 2001 and May 2008, including the Singapore dollar (SGD) (2.07 to 2.39 to the MYR[10]), the Euro (EUR) (3.40 to 5.08 to the MYR[11]), the Australian dollar (AUD) (1.98 to 3.11 to the MYR[12]), and the British pound (GBP) (5.42 to 6.43 to the MYR[13]), as of June 20, 2008.

Current MYR exchange rates
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Coins

First series (1967)

The first series of sen coins were introduced in 1967 in denominations of 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen, 50 sen, followed by the introduction of the 1 ringgit coin (which continued to use the $ symbol and is the largest coin in the series) in 1971. While varied by diameters, virtually all the coins were minted in near-consistent observe and reverse designs, the latter depicting the then recently completed Malaysian Houses of Parliament and the federal star and crescent moon derived from the canton of the Malaysian flag. All coins were minted from cupronickel, the only exception being the 1 sen coin, which was first composed from bronze between 1967 to 1972, followed by steel clad with copper from 1973 onwards. The 50 sen coin is the only coin in the series to undergo a redesign—a minor modification on its edge in 1971 to include “Bank Negara Malaysia” letterings.

Minting of the first sen series was halted in 1989 when the second series was introduced in circulation. The coins, however, remain in legal tender as of 2008, but have steadily declined in numbers since the 1990s. The $1 coin has not been in common circulation since the 1980s.

First series [1]
Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Composition Edge Obverse Reverse first minting issue
1 sen 18 mm Bronze Plain State title, value, year of minting Parliament House and a 13-pointed star and crescent moon 1967 12 June 1967
1 sen Copper clad steel 1973 ?
5 sen 16 mm Cupronickel Reeded State title, value, year of minting Parliament House and a 13-pointed star and crescent moon 1967 12 June 1967
10 sen 19 mm
20 sen 23 mm
50 sen 28 mm
50 sen Lettered “BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA 1971 ?
$1 33 mm Lettered “BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA Parliament House and a 14-pointed star and crescent moon 1971 1 May 1971

Second series (1989)

The second series of sen coins entered circulation in late-1989, sporting completely redesigned observes and reverses, but predominantly retaining the design of edges, diameters and composition of the previous series’ coins as of 1989—the 1 ringgit coin an exception. Changes include the inclusion of a Chinese hibuscus (Malay: Bunga Raya), the national flower of Malaysia, on the upper half of the observe, and the depiction of items solely of Malay culture on the reverse.

The 1 ringgit coin is the only coin to have received a total revision. In addition to changes on its observe and reverse, the size of the coin was also reduced from a diameter of 33 mm to 24 mm, and was minted from an alloy of copper, zinc and tin, as opposed to the first series’ cupronickel. The $ symbol was brought over to the new coin, but was dropped in favor of “RINGGIT” for coins minted from 1993 onwards. On December 7, 2005, the 1 ringgit coin was demonetised and withdrawn from circulation. This was partly due to problems with standardisation (two different versions of the second series coin were minted) and forgery.

As of April 1, 2008, a rounding mechanism of prices to the nearest 5 sen, applied to the total bill only, is in force, which was first announced in 2007 by Bank Negara Malaysia, in an attempt to render the 1 sen coin irrelevant.[14] Individual items and services can still be priced in multiples of 1 sen with the final totaled rounded to the nearest 5 sen. For example, purchasing two items priced RM4.88 and RM3.14, totalling RM8.02, would then be rounded to RM8.00. If each item had been individually rounded (to RM4.90 and RM3.15 respectively) the incorrect total would have been RM8.05. In practice, individual items will probably remain priced at so-called “price points” (or psychological pricing and odd-number pricing) ending in 98 and 99 to maximize rounding gains for the vendor, especially in the case of single item purchases. Existing one (1) sen coins in circulation will remain legal tender for payments up to RM2.00.[15]

Second series [2]
Value Technical parameters Description Date of
Diameter Composition Edge Obverse Reverse first minting issue
1 sen 18 mm Bronze clad steel Plain Bank title, value, year of minting Rebana ubi 1989 4 September 1989
5 sen 16 mm Cupronickel Reeded Bank title, value, year of minting Gasing 1989 4 September 1989
10 sen 19 mm Congkak
20 sen 23 mm Sirih and kapur container
50 sen 28 mm Lettered “BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA Wau
$1 24 mm Copper-zinc-tin Reeded Bank title, “$1”, year Keris with the songket in background 1989 4 September 1989
$1 Bank title, “1 RINGGIT”, year of minting 1993 ?
For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Kijang Emas

Three denominations of gold bullion coins, the “Kijang Emas” (the kijang, a species of deer, being part of Bank Negara Malaysia’s logo) are also issued, at the face value of RM 50, RM 100 and RM 200. It was launched on July 17, 2001 by Bank Negara Malaysia and was minted by the Royal Mint of Malaysia. The purchase and reselling price of Kijang Emas is determined by the prevailing international gold market price.

Banknotes

Economy of Malaysia

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Bank Negara Malaysia first issued Malaysian dollar banknotes in June 1967 in $1, $5, $10, $50 and $100 denominations. The $1000 denomination was first issued in 1968. Malaysian banknotes have always carried the image of Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

ATMs normally dispense RM50 notes, or more rarely, RM10 notes in combination with RM50 notes.

Malaysian banknotes have long followed a colour code originating from colonial times. In the lower denominations this pattern is followed by Singapore and Brunei, and when Bank Negara first introduced the RM2 note it copied the lilac of the Singapore $2 note.

  • RM1 – blue
  • RM2 – lilac (no longer in circulation)
  • RM5 – green
  • RM10 – red
  • RM20 – brown/white (no longer in circulation)
  • RM50 – blue/grey
  • RM100 – violet
  • RM500 – orange (no longer in circulation)
  • RM1000 – blue/green (no longer in circulation)

First series (1967)

The front features Tuanku Abdul Rahman and the back features the traditional design of the Kijang Emas.

First Series
Image Value Main Colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 ringgit 1 ringgit $1 Blue Tuanku Abdul Rahman BNM logo (Kijang Emas) 1967
5 ringgit 5 ringgit $5 Green
10 ringgit 10 ringgit $10 Red
50 ringgit 50 ringgit $50 Blue/grey
100 ringgit 100 ringgit $100 Violet
1000 ringgit 1000 ringgit $1000 purple/green Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur 1983
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Second series (1982)

The second series was issued with Malaysian traditional ornamental designs in 1982–1984, in $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, and $1000 denominations. The $20 was generally relatively uncommon. The second series notes are still occasionally encountered.

The mark for the blind on the upper left hand corner was removed on the second revision in 1986.

In 1999 the RM500 and RM1000 notes were discontinued and ceased to be legal tender. This was due because of the Asian monetary crisis of 1997 when huge amounts of ringgit were taken out of the country to be traded in these notes. In effect the notes were withdrawn out of circulation and the amount of ringgit taken out of the country in banknotes was limited to RM1000.

In 1993, $1 notes were discontinued and replaced by the $1 coin.

Second Series (a)
Image Value Main Colour Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 ringgit 1 ringgit $1 Blue Tuanku Abdul Rahman The National Monument in Kuala Lumpur 1982 with blind mark.
5 ringgit 5 ringgit $5 Green King’s Palace in Kuala Lumpur 1981
10 ringgit 10 ringgit $10 Red Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station 1983
20 ringgit 20 ringgit $20 Brown/white Bank Negara Malaysia headquarters in Kuala Lumpur 1982
50 ringgit 50 ringgit $50 Blue/grey National Museum in Kuala Lumpur 1983
100 ringgit 100 ringgit $100 Violet National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur 1983
500 ringgit 500 ringgit $500 Orange Former Supreme Court building in Kuala Lumpur 1982
$1000 Blue/green Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur 1983
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Second Series (b)
Image Value Main Colour Description Date of issue
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 ringgit 1 ringgit $1 Blue Tuanku Abdul Rahman The National Monument in Kuala Lumpur 1986
5 ringgit 5 ringgit $5 Green King’s Palace in Kuala Lumpur 1986
10 ringgit 10 ringgit $10 Red Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station 1986
20 ringgit 20 ringgit $20 Brown/white Bank Negara Malaysia headquarters in Kuala Lumpur 1986
50 ringgit 50 ringgit $50 Blue/grey National Museum in Kuala Lumpur 1986
100 ringgit 100 ringgit $100 Violet National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur 1986
500 ringgit 500 ringgit $500 Orange Former Supreme Court building in Kuala Lumpur 1986
1000 ringgit 1000 ringgit $1000 Blue/green Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur 1986
For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Third series (1996)

The current and third series was issued with designs in the spirit of Wawasan 2020 in 1996–1999 in denominations of RM2, RM5, RM10, RM50 and RM100. The larger denomination RM50 and RM100 notes had an additional hologram strip to deter counterfeiters.

In 2004, Bank Negara issued a new RM10 note with additional security features including the holographic strip previously only seen on the RM50 and RM100 notes. A new RM5 polymer banknote with a distinctive transparent window was also issued. Both new banknotes are almost identical to their original third series designs. According to Bank Negara, all paper notes will eventually be phased out and replaced by polymer notes.

In 2000 the RM1 note was reintroduced, replacing the RM2 note (and in 2006, the RM1 coin) which remains legal tender.

Third Series [3]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue Status Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 ringgit 1 ringgit RM1 120 × 65 mm Blue Tuanku Abdul Rahman Tourism, Mount Kinabalu, Mount Mulu and “Wau Bulan” kite 2000 Circulation
2 ringgit 2 ringgit RM2 130 × 65 mm Lilac Telecommunications, Menara Kuala Lumpur communications tower and the MEASAT satellite 1996 Withdrawn
5 ringgit 5 ringgit RM5 135 × 65 mm Green Multimedia Super Corridor, KLIA and Petronas Twin Towers 1999 Withdrawn paper
5 ringgit 5 ringgit October 26, 2004 Circulation polymer(Biaxially-oriented polypropylene)
10 ringgit 10 ringgit RM10 140 × 65 mm Red Transportation, Putra LRT train, Malaysia Airlines aircraft and MISC ship 1998 Withdrawn without holographic strip
10 ringgit 10 ringgit 2004 Circulation with holographic strip
50 ringgit 50 ringgit RM50 145 × 69 mm Blue/grey Mining, Petronas oil platform 1998 Circulation
100 ringgit 100 ringgit RM100 150 × 69 mm Violet Heavy Industrial, Proton car production line and engine 1998 Circulation
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre, a Wikipedia standard for world banknotes. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Fourth series (2008)

In early 2008, the Bank released newly-designed RM50 banknote, which according to the Bank, were to enter general circulation beginning January 30, 2008. Earlier, 20,000 more such notes with special packaging were distributed by the bank on December 26, 2007. There is no currently official word on new designs for notes of other denominations.

The newly designed RM50 banknote retains the predominant colour of green-blue, but is designed in a new theme, dubbed the “National Mission”, expressing the notion of Malaysia “[moving] the economy up the value chain”, in accordance to Malaysia’s economic transformation to higher value-added activities in agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors of the economy. The dominant intaglio portrait of the first Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman, is retained on the right and the national flower, the hibiscus, is presented in the center on the obverse of the note. Design patterns from songket weaving, which are in the background and edges of the banknote, are featured to reflect the traditional Malay textile handicraft and embroidery. The first 50 million pieces of the new RM50 banknote features Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the historic declaration of Malaya’s independence, and the logo of the 50th Anniversary of Independence on the reverse.[16]

Security features on the banknote include a watermarked portrait of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a security thread, micro letterings, fluorescent elements visible only under ultraviolet light, a multi coloured latent image which changes colour when viewed at different angles, and a holographic stripe at the side of the note and a image that is visible only via a moiré effect to prevent counterfeiting using photocopiers.[16]

Fourth series[4]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
50 ringgit 50 ringgit RM50 145 × 69 mm blue and green Tuanku Abdul Rahman with the national flower,hibiscus) Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj and the logo of the 50th Anniversary of Independence. 2008 commemorative fourth series
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre, a Wikipedia standard for world banknotes. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

Commemoratives

To commemorate the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, a commemorative RM50 polymer banknote was issued. This note is hardly ever seen in normal usage, its use being a collector’s commemorative.

Commemorative
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of issue Remark
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
50 ringgit 50 ringgit RM50 152 × 76 mm Yellow and green Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the skyline of Kuala Lumpur (with the Petronas Twin Towers) Bukit Jalil Sports complex 1998 polymer(Biaxially-oriented polypropylene)
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre, a Wikipedia standard for world banknotes. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.

References

  1. ^ “The Currency History of Singapore”. Monetary Authority of Singapore (2007-04-09). Retrieved on 2008-07-03. “Official Currencies of The Straits Settlements (1826-1939); Currencies of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya (1939-1951); Currencies of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya and British Borneo (1952-1957); Currencies of the Independent Malaya (1957 -1963); On 12 June 1967, the currency union which had been operating for 29 years came to an end, and the three participating countries, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei each issued its own currency. The currencies of the 3 countries were interchangeable at par value under the Interchangeability Agreement until 8 May 1973 when the Malaysian government decided to terminate it. Brunei and Singapore however continue with the Agreement until the present day.”
  2. ^ “Monthly Average Graph (Malaysian Ringgit, American Dollar) 1995”. x-rates.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-02.
  3. ^ a b “Monthly Average Graph (Malaysian Ringgit, American Dollar) 1997”. x-rates.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-02.
  4. ^ “Monthly Average Graph (Malaysian Ringgit, American Dollar) 1998”. x-rates.com. Retrieved on 2008-01-02.
  5. ^ “2006 Investment Climate Statement — Malaysia”. U.S. State Department. Retrieved on 2008-01-03.
  6. ^Malaysia: Economic and political situation (2005)“. UK Trade & Investment. Retrieved on 2008-01-03.
  7. ^ Lenard, David M (2005-07-23). “Beijing’s ‘Thursday surprise'”. Asia Times Online. Retrieved on 2008-01-03.
  8. ^ “Hong Kong Dollar to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  9. ^ “Chinese Yuan to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  10. ^ “Singapore Dollar to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  11. ^ “Euro to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  12. ^ “Australian Dollar to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  13. ^ “British Pound to Malaysian Ringgit Exchange Rate”. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved on 2008-05-07.
  14. ^ “Doing away with one-sen coin payment”, The Star (2007-11-14). Retrieved on 2007-11-14.
  15. ^ “BNM Rounding Mechanism”, Bank Negara Malaysia. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
  16. ^ a b Bank Negara Malaysia Issues New Design for RM50 Banknote to Commemorate Malaysia’s 50th Anniversary of Independence

See also

  • Economy of Malaysia

External links

  • Don’s World Coin Gallery – Malaysia
  • Tables of Modern Monetary Systems by Kurt Schuler – Asia Mirror site
  • The Global History of Currencies – Malaysia
  • Global Financial Data currency histories table ( Microsoft Excel format)
  • 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.
  • Stamp & Coin Mart page on Malaysian Banknotes, including history of legal tender in Straits Settlements, Federation of Malaya and Malaysia.
Preceded by:
Malaya and British Borneo dollar
Reason: Currency Agreement
Ratio: at par, or 60 dollars = 7 British pounds
Currency of Malaysia
1967 –
Succeeded by:
Current
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