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MYR - Malaysian Ringgit



Back in the early years when Malaysia was still largely undiscovered land, the early civilizations exchanged goods by bartering for what they needed. This came to be known as the “barter system” whereby a person traded for goods or services with another person when there is no money involved. However, this system proved to be fraught with problems due to the indivisibility of larger items and one needing to find the right people who could give you the best goods/services in return for your own goods/services. Gold, silver and tin ingots (which later on became the first indigenous coins) were used later on; it was a unit of measure that was valuable, durable, easy to store, homogeneous and portable.

From the years 1946 to 1952, the nation used currencies that were issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya. These notes and coins bore the portrait of the British monarch, King George VI. From 1952, the notes and coins took on the portrait of yet another monarch, which is Queen Elizabeth II, and were issued in place of the older ones. When Malaya gained independence in 1957, there were changes to the design of the currency issued in the year 1959 and 1961, with a “fishing boat for the $1? and a “farmer with buffalo ploughing field for the $10? respectively.

Finally, in the year 1967, the Malaysian dollar that was issued by the new central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, replaced the Malaya and British Borneo dollar at par. It was not until the year 1975 that Malaysia officially adopted the ringgit. The same can be said about the Malaysian coins, which are a part of the national currency. In the beginning, there were coins issued in the denominations of 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen in the year 1967.

Currency Profile

Ringgit is the word taken from the Malay language that means, "jagged" or "anything that has rough or uneven surface" and is the name given to the currency of Malaysia. Previously, the word used to refer to the sharp edges of Spanish silver coins that were widely exchanged in the country in the past. The Malaysian ringgit, as it is called, was introduced in 1967 with the name "Malaysian dollar" and "cent" in English language and "ringgit" and "sen" in Malay language as the official monetary units. The currency is still known as Malaysian dollar unofficially and is usually denoted with the expression "RM" which stands for "Ringgit Malaysia”. The currency symbol for the Malaysian Ringgit is RM, while the currency code is MYR.

ISO 4217 regulation describes the currency code i.e. MYR and numeric code i.e. 458 for Malaysian dollar. The subdivision of the currency is "sen" that divide it into 100 equal parts.

Malaysian ringgit has been one of the few strong currencies in the Asian continent. The country is one of the rapidly developing countries in the world that is experiencing the phase of industrialisation.

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