[PHOTOS] How Malaysian Banknotes Have Changed Over The Years

They looked so different!

Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia's central bank, first started issuing Malaysian banknotes in the 60s

Since then, the currency has gone through several changes in its design.

There have been four main series of banknotes released by Bank Negara.

The first series (released in 1967)

The first series of Malaysian banknotes were issued on 6 June 1967. The notes were in denominations of RM1, RM5, RM10, RM50, and RM100.

A RM1,000 note also began to be issued on 2 September 1968.

The front of each note features a portrait of Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, Malaysia's first Yang di-Pertuan Agong while the back featured the Kijang Emas, an official logo of Bank Negara.

The RM1 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The RM5 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The RM10 note

Image via Jack Hoo

Image via Jack Hoo

The RM50 note

Image via Jack Hoo

Image via Jack Hoo

The RM100 note

Image via sharuddin58

Image via sharuddin58

The RM1,000 note

Image via sharuddin58

The note features the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur.

The first issue of Malaysian banknotes all carried the signature of Tun Ismail bin Mohamed Ali, the first Governor of Bank Negara.

In 1972, some changes were made to incorporate new Malay spellings of certain words. For example, SA-PULOH was changed to SE-PULUH on the RM10 notes. The design of the notes remained the same, however.

The second series (released in 1982)

The second series was released in 1982 and were in denominations of RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100, RM500 and RM1,000.

The RM1 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the National Monument in Kuala Lumpur.

The RM5 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the former National Palace which is now known as the Royal Museum.

The RM10 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

The RM20 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features Bank Negara's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

However, in 1986, Bank Negara revised the image on the back of the note. It was still a picture of Bank Negara's headquarters but viewed from the right angle instead of a front view like the old note. The reason for the change was not explained.

RM20 note with a right angle view of Bank Negara's headquarters

Image via Toko Wang Lama

The RM50 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the National Museum which was first built in 1898.

The RM100 note

Image via Nazz Collection

Image via Nazz Collection

The note features the National Mosque which was built in 1965.

The RM500 note

Image via mnfaj

The note features the Sultan Abdul Samad building, which is located in front of Dataran Merdeka.

The RM1,000 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1999, the RM500 and RM1,000 notes were discontinued due to the Asian monetary crisis of 1997. The notes were thus taken out of circulation.

We kinda miss the old designs! They had a nice traditional look to them.

The third series (released in 1996)

The third series was released in 1996 and were in denominations of RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100.

The designs on the third series were inspired by Wawasan 2020.

The RM1 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features Mount Kinabalu from Sabah, Mount Api from Sarawak and the Wau Bulan kite.

By the way, did you know that the first Agong's name can actually be found on Ringgit notes? It's tiny and you probably haven't noticed it before!

Find out how to see it here:

The RM2 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Kuala Lumpur Tower and the MEASAT satellite.

RM2 notes were eventually discontinued and taken out of circulation.

We loved the colour of them!

The RM5 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Multimedia Super Corridor, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Petronas Twin Towers.

In 2004, a new RM5 polymer note was released. It featured the same design but with a distinct transparent window.

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The RM10 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features Putra LRT (now known as the LRT Kelana Jaya Line), a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft and a Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC) ship.

The RM50 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features PETRONAS' oil platform.

The RM100 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Proton car production line and engine.

A commemorative note was also released in 1998 in celebration of the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

Limited editions of RM50 notes were issued on 1 June 1998 to commemorate the Kuala Lumpur '98 XVI Commonwealth Games.

The front of the note, alongside the portrait of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, features the Kuala Lumpur skyline with its most prominent landmarks. To the right of the note, is the Multimedia Super Corridor, connecting Kuala Lumpur City Centre to Putrajaya, Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The note's central backdrop features Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The back of the note features Bukit Jalil Stadium in the centre along with the logo of the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

This was also the first polymer banknote that was released in Malaysia.

The fourth series (released in 2012)

The fourth series of banknotes were released in 2012 and were in denominations of RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50 and RM100. The RM1 and RM5 notes were made of polymer.

The front of each note features the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the hibiscus and traditional patterns of the songket.

The RM1 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Wau Bulan kite.

The RM5 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Rhinoceros Hornbill, the country's national bird.

The RM10 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Rafflesia, found in Malaysia's tropical jungles.

The RM20 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features the Hawksbill and Leatherback turtle, two of the most well-known species of sea turtles native to Malaysian waters.

The RM50 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features Malaysia's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, on the right and oil palm trees on the left.

The RM100 note

Image via Banknote World

Image via Banknote World

The note features two of Malaysia's most prominent national wonders, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah and Mount Api in Sarawak.

Which banknote series is your favourite? Tell us in the comment section below!

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