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Historical Background

The Second Series


Satu Dolar
Lima Dolar
Sepuluh Dolar
Dua puluh Dolar
Lima Puluh Dolar
Satu Ratus Dolar
Lima Ratus Dolar
Satu Ribu Dolar

On 1 September 1982, Bank Negara Malaysia issued two currency denominations, $20 and $500, valid for tender, adding to the denominations of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100 and $1,000 that were already in circulation. Being new banknotes, they had a new design that reflected Malaysian culture. The basic design was inspired by decorations, wood engravings and other traditional Malaysian handicraft, as well as from vegetation found in the country.. The tiger’s head watermark of earlier banknotes was replaced with a portrait of His Majesty the first King. Denominations of $10, $50 and $100 were issued on 15 September 1983, and denominations of $1, $5 and $1,000 were issued on 16 January 1984 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the founding of Bank Negara Malaysia on 26 January 1984. Printed on the reverse of these second series banknotes were sketches of buildings and important landmarks in the capital city. Banknotes of this series were smaller than those of the previous series, for ease of handling and storage.

Basic Design for Different Currency Denominations

In January 1986, Bank Negara Malaysia introduced new designs with additional security features for banknotes. These enhanced security features were incorporated to further deter forgery.

Banknotes of this series were signed by Tan Sri Dato’ Jaffar bin Hussein (1985-1994). The additional security features were a more visible security thread, a bigger latent image of the denomination, a bigger transparent mark and the serial number printed vertically in red ink and horizontally in black ink.

From 1 January 1993, the one Ringgit banknote ceased to be produced. Those that were in circulation remained legal tender and were continued along with the one Ringgit coins until they finally exited from circulation.

From 1 May 1994, banknotes for denominations of $5, $10, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 were signed by Tan Sri Dato’ Ahmad Mohd. Don. The features and designs of these banknotes are the same as those of previous issues. The $500 and $1,000 banknotes were demonetised effective 1 July 1999.

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:



     First Series
     Second Series
     Third Series

     First Series
     Second Series