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2 Dollars 1991, Singapore

in Krause book Number: 28
Years of issue: 16.12.1991
Signatures: Minister for finance: Dr. Richard Hu Tsu Tau
Serie: 3rd Series - Ship Series (1984-1999)
Specimen of: 1990
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 133 x 63
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2 Dollars 1991




Head of the lion.

When it was first unveiled, some sections of the public felt that it should have been facing rightwards to represent a more forward looking nature. However, the original left-facing lion was maintained.


2 Dollars 1991

Tongkang Tongkang

A fully laden “Tongkang”, which used to ply the waters of Singapore until the early 1960s, is featured with two smaller vessels - a Twakow and a Sampan. A rising sun is to the right of the main design.

Tongkang or "Tong'kang" were a type of light wooden boat used commonly in the early 19th century to carry goods along rivers in Maritime Southeast Asia.

The tongkang was an unmotorised open cargo boat, propelled by a variety of methods, including rowing, punt poles and sail.

The early tongkangs were about 20 ton burthen or less; they were propelled by about ten rowers and guided by a steersman. Long punt poles were used to propel them in shallower water. The size of the tongkang increased around 1860.

The tongkang was one of the two traditional Malay ships using Junk Rig with local hulls instead of the Chinese Junk hull. Its hull design was more reminiscent of the dhow type used in South Asia and Western Asia than to the common Chinese or Far-eastern type. Besides the Junk Rig, the ketch rig was also used on the tongkang. The last tongkangs in Singapore were towed by a motorised launch.

There are references to the activity of these boats in Singapore, where a Chinese document, refers to the Southern bank around Read Bridge area, as cha chun tau (柴船头), meaning "jetty for boats carrying firewood". Small tongkangs carrying firewood from the Indonesian archipelago berthed at this jetty. The firewood trade was primarily a Teochew enterprise.

Tongkang LRT Station was named after this boat.

Another boat used on the Singapore River along with the tongkang was the twakow. These traditional vessels began to disappear around the 1930s, following the introduction of motor-powered boats and contemporary-type lighters.

Top left is coat of arms of Singapore.


The National Coat of Arms of Singapore is the heraldic symbol representing the Southeast Asian island nation of Singapore. It was adopted in 1959, the year Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire. The committee that created it, headed by then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye, was also responsible for the national flag and the national anthem of Singapore.

At the center of the emblem is a red shield bearing a white crescent (a new moon, representing a rising young nation) and five white stars (representing various national ideals including multiculturalism), supported by a lion and a tiger (representing Singapore and Malaysia respectively); below them is a blue ribbon inscribed with Majulah Singapura in gold, Malay for "Onward Singapore".

The central emblem of the coat of arms is a red shield with five white stars resting above a white crescent, similar to the crescent and stars used on the Singapore flag and such other national symbols as the national ensign for civilian ships. Red symbolizes "universal brotherhood and equality of man" and white "pervading and everlasting purity and virtue". The crescent represents a new moon, which reflects "a young nation on the ascendant", while the five-pointed stars "stand for the nation's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality".

The supporters of the shield are a lion and a tiger: the tiger symbolizes the nation's historical connections to Malaysia (which Singapore was a state of from 1963 to 1965) while the lion represents Singapore itself. Below the supporters is a blue ribbon on which the national motto, Majulah Singapura, is written in gold. Majulah Singapura is also the title of the national anthem; it means "Onward Singapore" in Malay, the national language of Singapore.

Denomination in numeral is in top right corner, in words - in lower left corner.


2 Dollars 1991

Chingay Parade Chingay Parade Chingay Parade

Different ethnic groups participating in the Chingay procession.

The Chingay Parade is an annual street parade held in Malaysia and Singapore in celebration with the birthdays of the Chinese deities or the procession of the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) as part of the Chinese New Year festivities. The term Chingay itself originated from the Chinese communities of Southeast Asia, which is a phonetic equivalent of both the Chinese words "真艺" (zhēnyì) which means "true art" in the Penang version, and "妆艺," (zhuāngyì) which means "a decorated miniature stage" or float in the Singapore version. PAYM (People's Association Youth Movement) has been an active contributor to chingay in Singapore. Today the parade is celebrated by the Chinese, Malay and Indian communities of both Malaysia and Singapore.

Chingay Parade

Chingay procession was held in celebration with the birthdays of the Chinese deities or the procession of the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin). It was held to worship and enjoy with the deity. During the earliest procession in more than 100 years ago, the earliest English newspapers Echo in Malaysia adopted the word Chingay Procession for this special event.

Chingay originated from China, and the Penang Chinese first performed Chingay during deity processions. It is a street art where the performer balances a giant flag that ranges from 25 to 32 feet (7.6 to 9.8 m.) in height and about 60 pounds (27 kg.) in weight.

Today, in Malaysia and Singapore, Chingay is not only performed by the Chinese, but the art has successfully attracted the Malays and Indians. It has become a unique multiracial performance. The popularity of Chingay in Penang has made it one of the very impressive cultural landmarks as well as an important tourist attraction.

On 4 February 1973, the first Singapore Chingay parade was held partly as a result of the ban on firecrackers a year earlier in 1972 as a result of fire hazards. This ban was viewed unfavourably despite the safety issues involved. Some people felt that the ban would result in a much dampened festival mood for the Chinese New Year period. To address this issue, the People's Association and the Singapore National Pugilistic Association jointly organised a street parade from Jalan Besar to Outram Park featuring the signature floats, acrobatic acts, lion and dragon dances, stilt walkers, and the like, to bring back some cheer to the general public.

The largely Chinese parade became a multi-cultural one from 1977 when Malay and Indian groups started joining in the performances, which was to mark a major precedent in the overall flavour of the parade into one which has become largely multi-cultural in character, despite the continued presence of traditional Chinese acts such as lion dances and stilt walkers to this day.

In 1985, the parade marched down Orchard Road for the first time, a move which was to prevail for much of the parade's subsequent history. Although the change could be attributed to the desire of organisers in bringing it closer to tourists along the major tourist belt and for ease of organisation on a relatively long and straight stretch of road, it also further signified the increasingly desinicized character of the parade. This is further evidenced when in 1987, an international flavour was added to the parade when a group from Japan participated for the first time with their float sponsored by The Straits Times.

The Chingay Parade became an evening-to-night parade in 1990, changing the overall feel of the parade towards one in which lights and pyrotechnics dominate. In 2000, the parade was shifted out of Orchard Road to the Civic District centering at City Hall, an area steeped in Singaporean history and culture. Construction works at the City Hall area resulted in the parade marching through the streets of the Chinatown district for the first time. Faced with limited space for spectator stands and a much more complicated and winding route in these locations, however, the parade moved back to Orchard Road in 2004 along with an effort to introduce audience participation and involvement in the traditionally passive parade. Firecrackers were let off for the first time in the parade that year. Despite the authorities allowing the firecrackers to be let off under some safety procedures, it was decided that the Chingay be preserved. In 2008, the parade was once again held at City Hall, with the route lasting from the City Hall building to The Esplanade. For the 2009 parade, it was centralised around Parliament House with the performers going around the Padang and also featured a magical Grand Finale (MAGICBOX@Chingay 2009). That year was also the first year that the telecast on television was delayed by one day. In 2010, the parade took place on part of the Formula One Marina Bay Street Circuit route.

Post-parade street parties have been held since 2004, with the exception of 2007. An estimated 150,000 spectators attended the 2009 Chingay Parade on February 1. One million Singaporeans watched the parade on television and another 16.3 million homes and hotels across Asia received the television broadcast through Channel NewsAsia.

The 2011 Chingay Parade was held on the 11 and 12 February. It opened with a Fire Party, and included the largest moving multi-ethnic performances, the first travelling dance competition within the parade, a spectacular finale where thousands of performers flooded the parade ground holding candle lights and an inaugural colourful Arts District/ Carnival. It also included activities in which the public could participate, such as the Teresa Teng Look-Alike Photo Contest and the Chingay Paparazzi competition.

The 2013 Chingay parade was held on 22 and 23 February. In 2014, Chingay was held on February 7 and 8 at the F1 Pit Building. Some 70,000 individuals ushered in The Year of the Horse.

The 2015 Chingay will involve some 11,000 performers from 150 organisations, including 760 overseas performers from 15 groups, in the largest celebration yet. Themed "We love Singapore(SG)", the main Chingay 2015 will be held at the F1 Pit Building on February 27 and 28, while a street party along Orchard Road involving youths will be held on March 1.

Vanda Miss Joaquim

In lower left corner is the national flowers of Singapore - Vanda Miss Joaquim.

Naturalized Armenian women constituted a serious competitor to other participants of Singapore flower exhibitions. Most of the 1890 prize for his plant got Maggie Cheyter, Irene and Rips Johannes, but dominated by women of different generations of the family Joachim, received in 1897, 18 of the 104 prizes. In the history of the country has remained an Armenian Agnes Joaquim, that gave orchid variety "Vanda Miss Joaquim". In 1947, this amazingly beautiful flower was chosen as the emblem of the Progressive Party, and in 1981 - the national flower, symbol of Singapore.

The eldest daughter of Parsika and Hurel Joaquim, Agnes, from her youth fond of floriculture, as well as many other women of her family. From 1893 to 1895 years, it has taken over three annual exhibitions in Singapore, a total of twenty-seven first places and fifteen second. But her finest hour came in the 1899th, to the best in many years show, "highlight" which became her "Vanda", obtained by crossing two varieties of orchids - Burmese Vanda teres and Malay Vanda hookeriana. New flower Agnes withdrew in 1893, and at the same time introduced to Henry Ridley, Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. He sent information about the flower in the flower authoritative edition of the "Gardeners' Chronicle", where it was published. In 1897, "Vanda Miss Joaquim" first blossomed on European soil. This orchid has caused delight at the Royal Agricultural Show in London, where a certificate has been awarded the first category. To date, nearly 440 hybrids obtained by crossing varieties of flowers "Vanda Miss Joaquim".

Denomination in numeral is in top left corner.


The Ship Series of currency notes is the third set of notes to be issued for circulation in Singapore. Issued in the years 1984 to 1999, it retains the number of denominations as was in the previous two series of notes, but switches the $20 note for the $2 one.

A maritime theme to reflect Singapore's maritime heritage was adopted, and progressively shows across the various denominations, the different kinds of ships which have plied Singapore's waters as the country developed. These vignettes are located on the front of the note. On the back, various scenes depicting Singapore's achievements are shown, as well as an orchid, to symbolize the country's national flower.