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5 Dollars 1941, Malaya and British Borneo

in Krause book Number: 12
Years of issue: 01.07.1941
Signatures: The Chairman for the Currency Board: Mr. H. Weisberg
Serie: 1941 - 1942 (1945) Issue
Specimen of: 01.07.1941
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 135 х 76
Printer: Waterlow and Sons Limited, 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.

5 Dollars 1941




Head of lion.


5 Dollars 1941

HM The King George VI.

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George, 14 December 1895 - 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

Photo by Dorothy Wilding, HM The King George VI after the Coronation Day, 1937

This engraving is done from the portrait by photographer Dorothy Wilding, made ​​in 1937, after the Coronation Day of His Majesty. The original portrait is now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

On the background, in the lower part of banknote, by smaller font, the names of the states in the Federation.

Denomination in words is centered. By big numeral on the left side, by smaller numerals lower right and left.


5 Dollars 1941

The coats of arms of the states in the Federation.

Brunei coat of arms

On the right side, lower - Emblem of Brunei from 1932 to 1950.

The Flag and Payung Ubor-Ubor (in which the latter is featured below the Flag) have been the royal insignia since the creation of the emblem, they symbolize the state. Column is the symbol of a solid and fair government. The wings symbolize protection of justice, tranquility, prosperity and peace.

Straits Settlements coat of arms

In the middle, above - Straits Settlements coat of arms.

The Straits Settlements comprised the four trade centers of Penang, Singapore, Malacca and Labuan. The British settlement at Penang was founded by Capt. Francis Light in 1786 and Singapore by Stamford Raffles in 1819. After Malacca was transferred to the East India Company in 1824, the three territories were established as a crown colony in 1867. Later, Labuan was constituted as the fourth settlement in 1907

The Straits colony was broken up in 1946 when Penang and Malacca were included into the Malayan Union, Singapore became a separate crown colony and Labuan was incorporated into North Borneo.

When Labuan had joined the colony in 1907 a new coat of arms was granted on 25 March 1911. It is composed of the arms of Singapore, Penang, Malacca and Labuan.

The blasoning of the arms reads:

Arms: Quarterly, the first quarter Gules, issuant from the base a tower proper, on the battlements thereof a lion passant guardant Or; the second quarter Argent, on a mount an areca-nut palm tree proper; the third quarter also Argent a sprig of the oil tree pruing proper; the fourth quarter Azure on waves of the sea in front of a representa­tion of the sun rising behind a mountain a sailing yacht in full sail to the sinister, all proper.

Crest: A demi lion rampant guardant supporting in the paws a staff proper, thereon flying to the sinister a banner Azure, charged with three imperial crowns Or.

The arms show the blasons of Singapore: (Gules, a tower Argent on its battlements a lion passant guardant Or), Penang (an Areca palm - Pinang or Betel nut palm), Malacca (a sprig of leaves and fruits of the keruing tree (Dipterocarpus sublamellatus-Dipterocarpaceae), and Labuan (a depiction of a schooner headed towards Mount Kinabalu - or Borneo - at sunrise). The lambrequines are Gules and Or.

Perak coat of arms

Top left - coat of arms of Perak.

As with the other Malay states in the north, Perak was constantly under threat from regional powers. During the 16th century, the Achinese and the Dutch was the main cause of concern due to Perak's monopoly of tin. In the 18th Century, Perak was then threatened by the Bugis and Siamese.

In 1874, an agreement by which Raja Abdullah was elected as the Sultan of Perak, was signed on Pangkor Island. The British also appointed J.W.W Birch as the first British Resident.

Perak became part of the Federated Malay States in 1896 until the Japanese invasion. With the withdrawal of the Japanese forces in 1945, Perak was put under the British Military Administration. Later it became one of the 13 states of Malaysia.

An emblem for Perak occurs in the chief of the arms of the Federated Malay States. A new emblem was probably adopted in 1929 when the arms of the DMS were changed.

The actual emblem of Perak consists of the jewel or sarpech of the royal headdress of Perak and the legend ‘NEGERI PERAK’ in jawi script in base. Around the jewel is a black crescent charged with a yellow garland of rice flowers.

The Royal Jewel dates from the reign of Sultan Abdul Jalil (1916-1918) who was the first to wear it on his headdress. All his successors have worn the jewel after him. In its original form it consists of a sun or multi-pointed star between two ornaments, set with diamonds and crested with a bunch of white ostrich-feathers.

Pahang coat of arms

Left - coat of arms of Pahang.

The weakening of the Johor sultanate and the disputed succession to the sultanate was matched by an increasing independence of the great territorial magnates. In 1853, Tun Muhammad Tahir, renounced his allegiance to the Sultan of Johor and became independent ruler of Pahang. His brother Ahmad assumed the title of Sultan in 1884, seven years after the death of the last Sultan of the old Johor Royal House.

In 1888 he had to accept a British resident and in 1895 Pahang joined the Federated Malay States together with Negeri Sembilan, Perak and Selangor.

Like others, the Pahang State also suffered during the Japanese occupation of Malaya until the year 1945. Then in 1948, it joined the Federation of Malaya, which gained Independence in 1957.

An emblem for Pahang is in the chief of the arms of the FMS. A new emblem was probably adopted in 1929 together with a new coat of arms for the Federation. It is:

Arms: Per fess Argent and Sable, charged with and emblem Or: A spear and two elephants’tusks in saltire, between the words "Ya Latif" in arab lettering, and in base a listel wirh the name of the country: NEGERI PAHANG in latin and arab. The white and black symbolize the sovereign and the state, personalized by the Sultan and his Prime Minister (Bendahara).

The elephant's tusks are for the many elephants living in Pahang.

"Ya Latif" is a name of Allah meaning "The Subtle One". It means that He knows the essence of everything and blesses everybody in most subtle ways.

Invoking Him reflects the desire that the Government may rule with moderation and subtlety to the benefit of everybody.

Negri Sembilan coat of arms

Lower left - Negri Senbilan.

In 1773 the Sultan of Johor granted the title Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan (He Who is Highest Lord of the Nine States) to the Minangkabau prince Melewar. After Raja Melewar's death, a series of disputes arose over the succession.

In 1873, the British intervened militarily in a civil war in Sungai Ujong to preserve British economic interests, and placed the country under the control of a British Resident. Jelebu followed in 1886, and the remaining states in 1895. In 1897, when the Federated Malay States (FMS) was established, Sungai Ujong and Jelebu were reunited to the confederation of small states and the whole, under the old name of the Negeri Sembilan, was placed under a single Resident and became a member of the FMS.

The number of states within Negeri Sembilan has fluctuated over the years, the federation now consists of six states and a number of sub-states under their suzerainty. The former state of Naning was annexed to Malacca, Kelang to Selangor, and Segamat to Johor.

Negeri Sembilan endured Japanese occupation in World War II between 1941 and 1945, and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and became a state of Malaysia in 1963.

The first emblem of Negeri Sembilan consisted of nine sheafs of paddy Or, arranged 3, 2 and 1 on a green field. It is on the coat of arms of the Federated Malay States and occupies the most important place on the shield.

Probably in 1929, when a new coat of arms for the Federation was adopted, a new coat of arms was also adopted for Negeri Sembilan. It is:

Arms: Tierced per bend Gules, Sable and Or, nine stalks of paddy Or, rising from a listel with the name of the country in arab lettering, in base a nine pointed star Or; and a bordure Sable fimbriated Argent.

Crest: A flaming trident changgai putri and a kris and its sheath in saltire proper.

The red symbolizes to the British presence, the black the government and the yellow the sovereign

The stalks of paddy, as are the sheafs of paddy in the earlier arms, symbolize the original nine parts of Negeri Sembilan. They refer to the first Minangkabau ruler of Negeri Sembilan. When he arrived at the upper course of the river Muar he was presented a sheaf of paddy and settled there.

The kris and its sheath symbolize justice and the changgai putri staff between them is the symbol of the sovereignty of the Yang Dipertuan Besar.

Selangor coat of arms

Left, more to the center - Selangor.

Selangor’s history goes back to the XIV century, when rich tin deposits were found in the region. The area's natural wealth, along with its relative freedom from the presence of the Dutch, attracted miners, immigrants and colonizers. One specially important group of settlers were the Bugis, a Malay people from Macassar (now Ujung Padang) in Celebes/Sulawesi. Bugi emigration from this great port city followed the steady encroachment of the Dutch over territory previously dominated by Portuguese traders, with whom the Bugis had allied themselves. Renowned for their capabilities as sea traders and warriors, the Bugis soon rose to prominence in Selangor. By 1700 they dominated the state both politically and economically and had established the present Sultanate of Selangor.

In the XV century, Selangor was ruled by the Sultanate of Malacca. After the fall of Malacca to the Portuguese in 1511, the area became disputed between the Portuguese, Johor, Aceh and Siam. When the Dutch ousted the Portuguese from Malacca in 1641, they brought in Bugi mercenaries from Sulawesi, who eventually established the present sultanate in 1740.

The Royal House of Selangor descends from the Yang di-Pertuans of Riau, Indonesia. They are Bugis, originating from Luwo in the Halmaheira Sea. Raja Lumu, second son of Raja Chelak, the 2nd Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Riau, conquered Selangor and established his legitimacy by being installed by the Sultan of Perak in 1766. Frequently at odds with the Dutch and native Malay rulers, his son Ibrahim, was expelled from Selangor in 1786. Ibrahim eventually reached an accommodation with the Dutch and was allowed to return, two years later.

In many districts, Bugi settlers displaced the Minangkabau settlers from Sumatra, who had established themselves in Selangor in the middle of the 17th century.

In the 19th century, the economy boomed due to the exploitation of huge tin reserves and the growing importance of rubber. As a result the British forced the Sultan of Selangor, ‘Abdu’l Samad, to accept a British Resident in 1874. Under the stability imposed by the British, Selangor again prospered. In 1896, largely through the coordination of the Resident Frank Swettenham, Selangor united with Negri Sembilan, Perak and Pahang to form the Federated Malay States, with its capital in Kuala Lumpur. In 1942 Selangor was occupied by the Japanese and the ruling Sultan Hisham was forced to abdicate. In 1945 he returned and ruled until his death in 1960. During his rule the Federated Malay States evolved into the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. In 1970, Selangor relinquished the city of Kuala Lumpur to the federal government. Putrajaya also became a federal territory in the mid-1990s.

Under the 1959 constitution, Selangor is a constitutional monarchy.

An emblem of Selangor dates from the reign of Sultan Abdul Samad (1857-1898), and so probably from after the appointment of a British Resident (1874). It is in the chief of the arms of the Federated Malay States.

The actual emblem, probably dating from about 1930, shows a spear Gules charged with a crescent-and-star Or between two krisses in their sheats Gules intertwined with the motto DIPELIHARA ALLAH in jawi script Or and Gules, and in base an ancient warrior belt. Below is a golden banner with the name of the state: SELANGOR in black lettering.

In this emblem red (Gules) symbolizes blood and yellow (Or) symbolizes flesh. The red spear in the center, between a short kris on the right and a long kris on the left, are parts of the State regalia. The crescent and star represent Islam, the State religion. The motto Dipelihara Allah in jawi script means "Under the protection of Allah". Below the motto is the broad belt or sash worn by warriors in the past.

Kelantan coat of arms

Right, more to the center - Kelantan.

In the 13th and 14th centuries Kelantan belonged to the Malacca Sultanate. After its fall in the 15th century, Kelantan came under the influence of neighbouring Patani. The Siamese eventually established their sovereignty over Kelantan following a treaty in 1832. Later, Siam dispatched a British adviser with the title of Siamese High Commissioner to Kelantan. W.A. Graham was appointed the first Siamese High Commissioner in 1902.

Then in 1909, the British and Siamese ratified the Bangkok Agreement, handing over Kelantan to the British and J.S. Mascon was dispatched as the first British adviser. The Japanese invasion in 1941 saw Kelantan being handed back to Siam during the Japanese Occupation. In September 1945, Kelantan was placed under the British Military Administration and later became a part of the Malay Unionand its successors.

The achievement of Kelantan dates from the first years of British supremacy. In its oldest form it appeared on the jewel of the Royal Family Order, founded by Sultan Mohammed IV in 1916. This shows:

A spear and two keris in saltire, surrounded by a garland crested with a crescent-and-star and supported by two muntjacs (kijangs = Muntiacus reevesi - Cervidae). A quasi National Emblem consisting of the spears, kerises and crescent-and-star from the achievement appeared on the flag adopted in 1923. It is said to symbolize the sanctity of the sultan.

The actual achievement dates from 1919 when it appeared on the Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Kelantan, founded by Sultan Muhammad IV in 1919. It is:

Emblem: Two krises and two cannon arranged saltire-wise Gules, charged with a crescent and five-pointed star and two spears per pale Or

Crown: The Royal Crown of Kelantan

Supporters: Two muntjacks (Muntiacus reevesi - Cervidae) Or.

Motto: BERSERAH KEPADA TUHAN KERAJAAN KELANTAN (Kelantan is entrusted to God) in jawi script on an escroll Or.

The elements of the achievement symbolize:

The Krises and Spears symbolize the strength of the Kelantanese Malays.

The Cannon symbolize the constant readiness of Kelantan to defend itself.

The Crescent-and star symbolizes Islam.

The Crown is the symbol of the sovereignty of the Sultan of Kelantan. It consists of cap and a diadem set with two crescent-and-stars, with three hoops with pearls and topped by another crescent-and-star.

The Muntjacks are to the memory of the long Kelantanese history. They were adored by Cik Siti Wan Kembang, Queen of Kelantan and printed on her coinage.

Kedah coat of arms

Above Kelantan - Kedah.

Kedah emerged as a major kingdom on the Malay Peninsula in the 5th century. In the 18th century, external pressures from Bugis, Siam and Burma increasingly weakened Kedah. The situation was exacerbated by a power struggle that sparked off a civil war in 1724. Raja Haji, a Bugis leader, took advantage of the internal chaos and invaded Kedah in 1770. To counter the continuous threat from Siam, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Syah appealed to the British for protection but In 1821, the Siamese conquered Kedah and ruled it for the next 20 years. Several attempts were made by the disposed Kedah Sultan to restore the kingdom. Eventually Siam acquiesced, but not before separating Perlis from Kedah to form a separate vassal principality. Kedah itself remained a Siamese vassal state until 1909.

On 9 July 1909, the Bangkok Agreement, which was ratified by the British and Siamese, effectively delivered Kedah to the British. Upon the appointment of Sir George Maxwell as Kedah’s British adviser, Kedah officially became a British colony. This lasted until the Japanese Invasion in 1941. British rule was resumed on 1 September 1946 and Kedah was placed under the British Military Administration.

According to the Malayan Union Scheme of 10 October 1945 Penang, Malacca and nine other Malay states including Kedah, were united under the Malayan Union. On 1 February 1948 the Malay Federation was founded and on 31 August 1957 independence was declared.

The coat of arms was adopted together with the flag on 10 January 1912. It consisted of a yellow shield over a green crescent, surrounded by a yellow garland. In about 1930 a yellow bend sinister was added with the title NEGERI KEDAH (Kedah State) in black arab lettering.

Johore coat of arms

Right, in the middle - Johore.

In the early 16th century, the Sultanate of Johor was founded by the Alauddin Riayat Shah II, the son of Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca who fled from the invading Portuguese in Malacca. Johor sultanate was one of the two successor states of the Melaka empire. Upon Malacca's defeat to the Portuguese in 1511, Alauddin Riayat Shah II established a monarchy in Johor which posed a threat to the Portuguese. The Sultanate of Perak was the other successor state of Malacca and was established by Mahmud Shah's other son, Muzaffar Shah I. During Johor's peak the whole of Pahang and the present day Indonesian territories of the Riau archipelago and part of Sumatra Island was under Johor's rule.

A series of succession struggles were interspersed with strategic alliances struck with regional clans and foreign powers, which maintained Johor's political and economic hold in the Straits. In competition with the Acehnese of northern Sumatra and the port-kingdom of Malacca under Portuguese rule, Johor engaged in prolonged warfare with their rivals, often striking alliances with friendly Malay states and with the Dutch. In 1641, Johor in cooperation with the Dutch succeeded in capturing Malacca. By 1660, Johor had become a flourishing entrepôt, although weakening and splintering of the empire in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century reduced its sovereignty.

In the XVIII century, the Bugis of Sulawesi and the Minangkabau of Sumatra controlled the political powers in the Johor-Riau Empire. However, in the early XIX century, Malay and Bugis rivalry commanded the scene. In 1819, the Johor-Riau Empire was divided up into the mainland Johor, controlled by the Temenggong, and the Sultanate of Riau-Lingga, controlled by the Bugis. In 1855, under the terms of a treaty between the British in Singapore and Sultan Ali of Johor, control of the state was formally ceded to Dato' Temenggong Daing Ibrahim, with the exception of the Kesang area (Muar), which was handed over in 1877. Temenggong Ibrahim opened up Bandar Tanjung Puteri (later to become Johor's present-day capital) in south Johor as a major town.

Temenggong Ibrahim was succeeded by his son, Dato Temenggong Abu Bakar, who later took the title Seri Maharaja Johor by Queen Victoria of England. In 1886, he was formally crowned the Sultan of Johor. Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor (1864-1895) implemented a state constitution, developed a British-style administration and constructed the Istana Besar, the official residence of the Sultan. For his achievements, Sultan Abu Bakar is known by the title "Father of Modern Johor". The increased demand for black pepper and gambier in the nineteenth century lead to the opening up of farmlands to the influx of Chinese immigrants, which created Johor's initial economic base. The Kangchu system was put in place with the first settlement of Kangkar Tebrau established in 1844. The decline of the Kangchu economy at the end of the 19th century coincided with the opening of the railway line connecting Johor Bahru and the Federated Malay States in 1909 and the emergence of rubber plantations throughout the state. Under the British Resident system, Sultan Ibrahim, Sultan Abu Bakar's successor, was forced to accept a British adviser in 1904. D.G. Campbell was dispatched as the first British adviser to Johor. From the 1910s to the 1940s, Johor emerged as Malaya's top rubber producing state, a position it has held until recently.[citation needed] Johor was also until recently the largest oil palm producer in Malaysia.

During World War II, Johor Bahru became the last city on the Malay peninsula to fall to the Japanese. Allied Forces, Australian, Malayan and Indian forces held out for four days in what was known as the Battle of Gemas, the General Yamashita Tomoyuki had his headquarters on top of Bukit Serene and coordinated the downfall of Singapore.

Johor gave birth to the Malay opposition which derailed the Malayan Union plan. Malays under Dato' Onn Jaafar's leadership formed the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in Johor on 11 May 1946. (UMNO is currently the main component party of Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition). In 1948, Johor joined the Federation of Malaya, which gained Independence in 1957.

Johor's coat of arms (Jata Johor) derives its layout heavily from Western heraldry, consisting of a central shield topped by a helm, sided by two supporters, and includes a compartment and motto at the bottom. Details of the arms' elements are as followed:


The helm represents Johor's royalty, and is symbolised by a blue and yellow coronet adorned with motives of a five-pointed star and a crescent.


The arms' escutcheon consists of a white shield of an "English" outline with a central five-pointed star and crescent, and four smaller five-pointed stars at each corner of the shield; both the stars and the crescent are coloured in yellow. The larger star and crescent symbolise the Islamic faith, while the four stars represent the four original territories of modern Johor: Johor Bahru, Muar, Batu Pahat and Endau.


The arms features two supporters depicted by rampant tigers, as a sign of recognition to the ferocious animals that once roamed the state of Johor.

Compartment and motto

The area below the shield include of a group of yellow, mirrored flora (compartment) hanging a blue scroll (motto). The compartment represents gambir and black pepper, crops cultivated by Johor's traditional agricultural industry. The scroll, with text written in Jawi, reads Kepada Allah Berserah (Submit to Allah).

Perlis coat of arms

Top right - Perlis.

Perlis was originally part of the older kingdom of Kedah, which was conquered by Siam in 1821. After the restoration of the Sultan of Kedah to his throne in 1842, the Siamese kept Perlis as a vassal state.

In 1905, Perlis obtained, from Siam, the services of an European advisor to help in the administrative and financial affairs of the state.

The Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 transferred control of Perlis from Siam to Britain, and a British advisor was appointed to administer the state. A formal treaty between Britain and Perlis was only signed in 1930.

In World War II, the Japanese occupation forces handed Perlis back to Siam. After the war, Perlis again came under British protection until Perlis gained independence from Britain with the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1957.

The arms of Perlis probably date from about 1930. It is:

Arms: Vert, the name "Perlis" in jawi script surrounded by a garland, Or.

Garland: Rice stalks Vert.

Trengganu coat of arms

Right - Trengganu.

Trengganu (nowadays spelled ‘Terengganu’) emerged as an independent sultanate in 1724. The first Sultan was Tun Zainal Abidin, the younger brother of a former sultan of Johor, and Johor strongly influenced Trengganu politics through the 18th century. However, in the book Tuhfat al-Nafis written by Raja Ali Haji, in the year 1708, Tun Zainal Abidin was installed as the Sultan of Trengganu by Daeng Menampuk also known as Raja Tua under the rule of Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah. In the XIX century, Trengganu became a vassal state of Siam, and sent tribute every year to the King of Siam called bunga mas. Under Siamese rule, Trengganu prospered, and was largely left alone by the authorities in Bangkok. The terms of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 saw power over Trengganu transferred from Siam to Great Britain. A British advisor was appointed to the sultan in 1919, and Trengganu became one of the Unfederated Malay States. The move was highly unpopular locally, and in 1928 the British used military force to suppress a popular uprising. During World War II, Japan occupied Trengganu and transferred sovereignty over the state back to Siam on 18 October 1943, along with Kelantan, Kedah, and Perlis. After the defeat of Japan, British control over these Malay states was reestablished. Trengganu became a member of the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and a state of independent Malaya in 1957.

A state emblem was approved for official use by the State Ministers Committee in 1932. This closely follows the design of the royal emblem. It consists of a white oval shield charged with the sword, kris, scarf, books and crown surrounded by a dotted oval line flattened at the top. In chief is a crescent-and star and around the dotted line is the legend “Jawatan Kerajaan Terengganu” (Terengganu Government Post) in Jawi script.

The actual version of the Emblem of State follows the changes of the Royal Emblem made after WW II by Sultan Ismael. Two maces are added. The legendwas reduced then to the name of the country: TRENGGANU in jawi script.

In the emblems:

The sword, the long kris, the pair of ceremonial maces and the scarf (wali or selampai) are part of the regalia of Trengganu.

The two books represent the Book of Law and the Quran.

The crown symbolizes the sovereignty of the Sultan.

The Crescent-and-star symbolizes the Islamic State.

On paper money issued in 1941, one year before the Japanes occupation of British Malaya, the emblem of Trengganu is somewhat different from the Royal emblem of Sultan Zain al Ibidin but also from the emblem of State of 1932.

It shows the crown, the sword, the kris, the scarf and the books surrounded by an oval dotted line, which could be the Royal emblem, but it is surrounded by the legend of the emblem of State: Jawatan Kerajaan Trengganu. Also, the crescent-and-star is omitted.

It is not clear what the status of this emblem was.

Denominations in numerals are lower, on the right and left sides.


Images of coats of arms and their description in English is courtesy of Hubert de Vries.

The Malayan dollar was issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya, with a hiatus during the Japanese occupation (1942-1945).

The Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya, came into being in October 1938 following the Blackett Report which recommended that the sole power of issuing currency for the various Malay States, including Brunei, and the Straits Settlements should be entrusted to a pan-Malayan Currency Commission. Sir Basil Blackett was appointed in 1933 by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to lead a commission to consider the participation of the various Malay States, including Brunei, in the profits and liabilities of the Straits Settlements currency. The Blackett Report was adopted by the Government of the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States and Brunei. Legislation was enacted by the Straits Settlements Currency Ordinance (No. 23) of 1938, and ratified by the various states during 1939. The board started to issue currency in 1939.

In 1952 the board was renamed the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya and British Borneo. See Malaya and British Borneo dollar.

Banknotes in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 dollar notes were printed in the U.K. for circulation in Malaya in 1940. However, out of 27,000,000 one dollar notes and 5,600,000 five dollar notes of the same series despatched to Malaya before the Japanese invasion; 25,800,000 one dollar notes and 5,000,000 five dollar notes arrived. Of the remainder, 700,000 one dollar notes and 500,000 five dollar notes were lost when the SS Automedon was captured and then scuttled on 11 November 1940, by the German raider Atlantis in the Indian Ocean approach to the Malacca Straits; and further 500,000 one dollar notes and 100,000 five dollar notes were lost when the carrying ship, the SS Eumanes, was sunk. As such, none of these notes were ever put into circulation by the Straits Settlement Government. Only the 10-dollar notes were issued for use in Malaya in March 1941.