Saturday, August 21, 2010

Two of Malaya's Fractional Banknotes

These fractional banknotes were originally approved by the Board of Comissioners of Currency, printed in 1941 with further printings in 1943/44, held by the War Office and subsequently issued at the time of re-occupation.

                                                  Common Variety

Scarce Variety

They were also very unpopular with the Malayan people and prompted statement from the CCO, and a publication of this article from The Straits Times dated 3rd December 1949:                                

The 1 cent note was not the only unpopular one, the other low fractional was also the 10 cents note.
After reading this Straits Times article dated 10th December 1947, I wonder whether some of people still practise the water treament process? I shiver at such a thought that we as collectors sometimes smell old banknote. (Shiok lah! Wangi betul lah!)

                                                      Common Variety

                                   Common Variety but with rich inking of the central ornamental.

                             Common Variety but with light inking of the central ornamental.

                                                  Scarce Variety type II

Scarce Variety type III

By the way, only the Malayan low fractional banknotes 1cent, 5 cents & 10 cents are UNIFACE.


  1. Hi Clement.
    I believe that paper notes was issued instead of coins due to a shortage of metals during WW2.

    Not sure why they were UNIFACE maybe it is to save up printing cost as these notes were issued just to last for a short time?

  2. Hi Wilson,
    You are correct, 'cause the then Straits government issued coins high in Silver content and between WW1 & WW2,bullion Silver prices shot up.Thus making all melted SS coins more valuable than their face value.So people hoard the coins hoping for even higher value, thereby creating shortages of fractional denominations.Hence paper fractional notes were printed.


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