Coin makeover

By Qishin Tariq, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: New user-friendly Malaysian coins that are smaller and lighter will be available for circulation from early next year.

The coins, third in a series minted thus far, will replace the current series which is 20 years old.

They will be issued in the denominations of five sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen.

  Sparkling new: The newly-minted coin series that will be circulated starting next year.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the yellow- and silver-coloured coins with designs along their edges would make it easier for the public and especially the visually impaired to differentiate between the different denominations.

The new coins also have more security features like latent images and indentations to make counterfeiting more difficult, she said.

Bank Negara yesterday launched commemorative coin sets to mark the new series of coins.

A total of 500,000 sets of the commemorative coins comprising all the denominations in special packaging are available for RM10.

“The new coins are legal tender and will co-circulate with the existing series.

“The existing series will be gradually phased out,” Dr Zeti said when launching the commemorative coins.

  Dr Zeti holding the commemorative coin set.

She said although the new coins would only go into general circulation from next year, the bank would start selling the commemorative coins from today at its headquarters here and at all its branches in Penang, Johor Baru, Kuala Terengganu, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

The bank is also working with financial institutions, businesses and cash-handling vendors to ensure a smooth transition, she said.

The six-month notice would also enable coin-machine operators to recalibrate their machines to accept both new and old coins.

“To raise awareness about the new coins, we will also run nationwide education programmes together with the release of the commemorative coins,” she said.

She added that phasing out the old coins would start next year.

She said the coins were designed by a Malaysian and wholly minted by Bank Negara’s mint in Malaysia.

“The coin’s design draws inspiration from the distinct elements that define Malaysian heritage and culture.

“The theme Distinctly Malaysia’ features motifs like the jasmine and hibiscus flowers and weaving patterns of the indigenous people,” Dr Zeti said.

The motif for the five-sen, 10-sen and 20-sen denominations feature 14 dots representing the 13 states and the Federal Territory, while the motif for the 50-sen coin has five horizontal lines representing the five principles of the Rukun Negara.