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Historical Background

The First Series


Satu Dolar
Lima Dolar
Sapuluh Dolar
Lima Puluh Dolar
Satu Ratus Dolar
Satu Ribu

Bank Negara Malaysia began issuing currency notes in June 1967. These banknotes were in five denominations: $1, $5, $10, $50 and $100. A $1,000 denomination note was issued on 2 September 1968.

The basic design of these banknotes was common across all denominations. The obverse depicted a portrait of His Majesty the first King, together with the words `Bank Negara Malaysia’. The words `legal tender’, the face value and the signature of Tun Ismail bin Mohamed Ali, the first Malaysian appointed as the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, appeared on the obverse of these banknotes. The reverse had the Bank Negara Malaysia logo, with a background of geometrical designs.

The banknotes’ security features included a tiger’s head watermark on the left and a security thread on the right.

With the official implementation of the new spelling system for Bahasa Malaysia (the national language of Malaysia) on 16 August 1972, Bank Negara Malaysia began using the new spelling system in the printing of its banknotes, but retained the existing designs.

The changes in spelling were as follows:-

Currency Denomination Old Spelling New Spelling
$1 hingga $1,000 GABENUR GABENOR (Governor)
$100 SA-RATUS SERATUS (one hundred)
$1000 SA-RIBU SERIBU (one thousand)

In early 1982, banknotes in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 and $1000 were issued with the signatures of the second Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz bin Haji Taha. The other characteristics and patterns were the same as those of banknotes issued between 1967 and 1982.

The currency images featured in this website are not necessarily printed in actual size. Separate measurements are given according to the importance of items shown.
Further information on the history of Malaysian currency is available in a book titled “Malaysian Numismatic Heritage” (ISBN-983-9586-36-X).

See also:



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     Third Series

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