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20 Dollars 2019. Bicentennial of Singapore (1819-2019), Singapore

in Krause book Number: 50
Years of issue: 05.06.2019
Edition: 2 000 000
Signatures: Chairman Monetary authority of Singapore: Mr. Goh Chok Tong
Serie: Commemorative issue
Specimen of: 05.06.2019
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 162 х 77
Printer: Oberthur Fiduciare, Chantepie

* 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.

20 Dollars 2019. Bicentennial of Singapore (1819-2019)




The note features a multi-coloured lattice-work that reflects Singapore’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry. Denomination «20», coat of arms of Singapore, Singapore Bicentennial logo, and the years ‘1819’ and ‘2019’ are depicted in gold with dynamic optical effects in a security stripe.


20 Dollars 2019. Bicentennial of Singapore (1819-2019)


Tun Yusof bin Ishak (12 August 1910 - 23 November 1970) was the first President of Singapore, serving from 1965 to 1970.

Yusof was well known both as a journalist and the founder of the Malay newspaper Utusan Melayu prior to becoming head of state of Singapore. He was married to Noor Aishah.

He first served as Yang di-Pertuan Negara (head of state) between 1959 and 1965, remaining in office during the time that Singapore was part of the Federation of Malaysia between 1963 and 1965. Following Singapore's departure from Malaysia in 1965, he served as the first President of the Republic until his death in 1970.

Buried at Kranji State Cemetery.

city hall

Centered, on banknote is The City Hall, in Singapore. Address: 3 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178958.

The City Hall (Malay: Dewan Bandaraya; Chinese: 政府大厦; Tamil: நகர மண்டபம்) in Singapore is a national monument, gazetted on 14 February 1992. It can be found in front of historical Padang and adjacent to the Supreme Court of Singapore, it was designed and built by the architects of the municipal government, A. Gordans and F. D. Meadows from 1926 to 1929. A flight of stairs takes visitors from the Corinthian colonnade to the main building. The building was constructed to replace several houses designed by architect G.D. Coleman. It was first known as Municipal Building until 1951 when Singapore was granted city status by King George VI.

City Hall was built from 1926 to 1929 and was known as Principal Building. The building was built by G.D. Coleman in the 1830s. During the World War II, when the Japanese occupied Singapore, they managed the civic issues from the Municipal Building but political affairs were already being conducted in the building. In 1943, leader of the Indian National Army, Subhas Chandra Bose, rallied for the Japanese support to let India to be independent from the British rule at the Municipal Building. British prisoners-of-war were rounded up in front of the building for a march to POW camps at Changi Prison and Selarang. On 12 September 1945, the Japanese General Itagaki surrendered to Lord Mountbatten in 1945 to end World War II in Singapore. In 1951, it was renamed to its present name as it was to mark Singapore as a city, after being granted city status.

During self-government, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew declared self-governance in Singapore in 1959, the playing of the new national anthem and the first time the people of Singapore saw the national flag as well as Singapore's independence from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965. In 1959, Lee and his eight cabinet minister were sworn into political office in the chamber of the City Hall before the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara, Yusof bin Ishak, whose oath was taken at the City Hall as well. Lee Kuan Yew read out the Malaysia Proclamation at the City Hall in 1963, and declared that Singapore was no longer under British rule. The people celebrated the first Malaysia Day at the Padang which is outside the City Hall. The first National Day Parade was held there in 1966 and subsequent years. The steps of the City Hall is use as a VIP seating area at National Day Parades held there.

Singapore has a unitary system of government. It has not had a mayor or a city council since the end of British rule. The ruling People's Action Party abolished the City Council and the Rural Board in 1959, and the role of the mayor disappeared. In place are the five Community Development Councils (namely Central Singapore, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest), established in 1997. The CDCs are not elected bodies, rather each of them consists of 12 to 80 members appointed by the People's Association Chairman or Deputy Chairman. Each of the five CDCs is headed by a mayor.

In 1987, the building underwent a massive upgrade to allow the building to house governmental offices. In 1988, twelve courtrooms of the City Hall were transferred to the Supreme Court. This restoration work earned it a Good Effort Award in 1994 by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The City Hall was later the place where Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had his inauguration ceremony and the swearing-in of the cabinet. The building was used for many government events over the years, it was used as a venue for the Singapore Biennale, and also for the IMF and World Bank Meetings when it was held in Singapore as a registration center.

In 2015, The City Hall, together with the adjacent Old Supreme Court Building, has been converted into the National Gallery Singapore.

Old Supreme Court building Old Supreme Court building

The Old Supreme Court Building (left of the city hall on banknote) (Malay: Bangunan Mahkamah Agung Lama, Chinese: 最高法院大厦) is the former courthouse of the Supreme Court of Singapore, before it moved out of the building and commenced operations in the new building on 20 June 2005. The building was the last structure in the style of classical architecture to be built in the former British colony. The building, together with the City Hall, has been converted into National Art Gallery of Singapore which was opened in 2015.

Many colonial-built houses were built before the courthouse was constructed in the 1930s, in addition to the Grand Hotel de l'Europe, which was demolished to make way for the new building. Raffles initially designated the site for public use, but his administrator in Singapore, Willam Farquhar, allowed private residences to be constructed there. By the 1830s, houses built in Madras chunam lined the streets that faced the sea. The residence of Edward Boustead designed by George Drumgoole Coleman stood there.

The house was remodeled to become hotels of several names, namely London Hotel, Hotel de l'Esperance and later Hotel de l'Europe. However, these houses made way for the Grand Hotel de l'Europe in 1900, the only other hotel in Singapore that could be comparable with the landmark Raffles Hotel. The Grand Hotel boasted a lounge, reading room, a bar, shops and a roof garden, a novelty at that time. In 1932, the hotel's business declined and filed for bankruptcy. It made way in 1936 for the present building, the former building had good views of the Padang from its verandah.

On 1 April 1937, the original foundation stone of the Old Supreme Court Building, (then the biggest foundation stone in the whole of Malaya) was laid by the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas. Buried beneath the stone, is a time capsule containing six Singaporean newspapers dated 31 March 1937, and a handful of coins of the Straits Settlements. The capsule is not due to be retrieved until the year 3000.

The building was declared open on 3 August 1939 by Sir Shenton Thomas and handed over to the Chief Justice, Sir Percy McElwaine, on the same day.

The courthouse had 11 courtrooms and adjoining judges' chambers. In 1988, a further 12 courtrooms from the City Hall were transferred to the Supreme Court to accommodate the needs of the main courthouse, as it needed more courtrooms.

The building used to have many premises[clarification needed]before moving to the premises at City Hall. Engineer Frank Dorrington Ward's plan was to demolish the Singapore Cricket Club, Old Parliament House and the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall to make way for a grand government scheme designed by his department. However, this plan was interrupted by the onset of World War II.

The building was the site of war crime trials of members of the Japanese Imperial Army in 1946 after the World War II.

The Old Supreme Court Building, together with the adjacent City Hall, was converted into the National Gallery Singapore opened in 2015.

Built in front of the historical Padang grounds between 1937 and 1939, the Old Singapore Supreme Court building was designed by Frank Dorrington Ward, an engineer of the Public Works Department of Singapore, and was his last and most significant piece of work.

The former courthouse features Corinthian columns, classical design, and spacious interiors with murals by the Italian artists. The four-storey steel structure was erected by United Engineers. The building consists of four blocks surrounding a central courtyard which houses the circular law library with its significant dome and Travertine columns supporting two balconies on two levels. Behind the main dome, there is a smaller dome.

Old Supreme Court building

The Corinthian columns and The pediment sculpture are works by Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli. Nolli also carried works for the general building, pre-cast works, imitation stone sculptures, artistic decorations, special plastering and bush-hammered facing works.

In the tympanum sculpture, the central figure represents Justice; to the left is a person begging for mercy (or protection), and next to him are the legislators with books in hand, representing the Law. On the other side of Justice is a figure showing gratitude, then a man and a bull, and two children holding a sheaf of wheat, all representing Wealth, Prosperity and Abundance where Law and Justice prevails. (

Lower left are three Braille points for the visually impaired.


20 Dollars 2019. Bicentennial of Singapore (1819-2019)

The back of the note showcases eight pioneering individuals who were part of a broad cast who arrived from different lands and made significant contributions to nation building in diverse areas ranging from education, culture and community service to sports and defending Singapore. Please refer to Annex A for the profiles of the eight individuals.

1. Munshi Abdullah (1797-1854).

Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir, also known as Munshi Abdullah, arrived in Singapore from Melaka in 1819. He was an influential teacher and writer, who was widely recognised as the “Father of Modern Malay Literature”. Abdullah was the first writer to depart from the traditional Malay literary style by writing in simple, colloquial Malay. He wrote realistic accounts of events based on his own experiences and those of others. His autobiography Hikayat Abdullah (The Story of Abdullah)was written between 1840 and 1843, and first published in Jawi script in 1849. It contains one of the most detailed records of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore and provides an invaluable account of other important pioneering figures, as well as, Singapore’s development in trade and commerce, infrastructure, population and culture. In the late 1830s, Abdullah taught at the Singapore Institution Free School (renamed Raffles Institution in 1868).

2. Henry Nicholas Ridley (1855-1956).

Henry Nicholas Ridley arrived in Singapore from England in 1888. He was the first Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens from 1888 to 1911, and laid the foundation for the rubber industry in Malaya. Ridley researched extensively on the commercial possibilities of rubber trees and refined the latex extraction method from the “herring-bone” rubber-tapping technique which existed in Ceylon. His method allowed latex to be harvested from rubber trees at regular intervals without damaging them, and allowed the extraction of latex for over 20 years without the need for replanting. He also developed good agricultural practices that shortened the time to maturity from 10 to five years. He promoted rubber to all planters tirelessly, published articles on rubber, and presented displays on rubber at horticultural shows. Through his efforts, Singapore was among the first to establish rubber plantations in 1898 and benefitedfrom the rubber boom in the early 1900s.

3. Tan Kah Kee (1874-1961).

Tan Kah Kee came to Singapore from China in 1890 and rose to prominence as an outstanding community leader and philanthropist, who set up schools and donated generously to education.

Tan was a strong advocate of education. He helped to set up schools like Tao Nan (in 1907), Ai Tong (in 1912), Chock Hock Girls’ School (in 1915), Nanyang Girls’ School (in 1918) and Nan Chiao Girls’ High School (in 1947). Tan led the movement to establish Nanyang Chinese High School in 1919, the first Chinese secondary school in Singapore and the first institution of higher learning in Southeast Asia to be set up by the Chinese community. The school was one of the first to accept Chinese students regardless oftheir dialect affiliation and background. He also donated generously to two English-medium institutions, Anglo-Chinese School and Raffles College (which became the National University of Singapore).

4. P. Govindasamy Pillai (1887-1980).

P. Govindasamy Pillai, popularly known as PGP, came to Singapore from India in 1905. He was a devoted volunteer and philanthropist, who contributed significantly to temple-building and community welfare. Pillai is most remembered for his philanthropy in Singapore. He donated a large sum to the Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple’s redevelopment works in the early 1960s. He also contributed generously to the construction of a new home for the Ramakrishna Mission. The Mission, which was part of the Ramakrishna Movement, aimed to alleviate the sufferings of people, and Pillai often volunteered his time at the Mission. Pillai also donated to other institutions like the Gandhi Memorial HallandIndian Association.

5. Teresa Hsu Chih (1898-2011).

Teresa Hsu Chih came to Singapore in 1963. She was an inspiringsocial worker and humanitarian who devoted her life to caring for the destituteand aged sick, and is remembered not only for her contributions to society but also for her positive attitude towards life. Born in China and trained as a nurse in London, Hsu arrived in Singapore in 1963 and became the matron of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital. Two years later, she founded the Home for the Aged Sick, one of the first homes for the elderly sick in Singapore. After retiring as matron of the Home in 1983, Hsu continued to care for the poor and needy in her own capacity and through Heart-to-Heart Service, a non-profit, informal direct-help service that she established. Through the programme, she visited those under hercharge, usually the single elderly and needy families, and provided them with cash allowances and food. She remained tireless in her humanitarian work even after turning 100 years old. She lived to a ripe old age of 113 years.

6. Alice Pennefather (1903-1983).

Alice Edith Wilhelmina Pennefather, better known as Alice Pennefather, was a pioneering sportswoman, who won numerous honours in badminton, tennis and hockey. She participated in the Singapore National Badminton Championships and emerged as the women’s singles champion in 1931, 1932, 1934 and 1937, women’s doubles champion in 1931 and mixed doubles champion in 1947 and 1951. Pennefather also won the Singapore Ladies Tennis Championship in 1936, 1937 and 1938 and was the first non-Europeanwoman champion since the women’s singles event was started in 1933. Pennefather was an advocate for sports. She was active in the Girls’ Sports Club (GSC), formed in 1930 to encourage young women to participate in sports. Pennefather also excelled at hockey. From 1931 to 1958 (except during the Japanese Occupation from 1941 to 1945), she was the club’s hockey team captain. Under her exemplary leadership, the hockey team became one of the top teams in Singapore.

7. Adnan Saidi (1915-1942).

Adnan Saidi, a lieutenant of the Malay Regiment’s 1st Battalion, is best remembered as a war herowho fought with utmost valour in the Battle of Pasir Panjang in World War II. He was entrusted with the defence of Pasir Panjang Ridge, which was the last British bastion before Alexandra, where their main ammunition and supplies, military hospital and other key installations were located. In the Battle for Pasir Panjang (13-14 February 1942), though grossly outnumbered and undersupplied, Adnan motivated his troops tofend off the Japanese. As Adnan and his troops retreated to Bukit Chandu (Malay for Opium Hill), they showed utmost courage and determination, taking up hand-to-hand combat when their ammunition ran out. Even after Adnan and his men were overpowered, he resisted heroically and refused to surrender. Adnan was posthumously awarded with medals for his courage and a memorial plaque was erected at Kent Ridge to commemorate the valour of Adnan and his men. The memory of Adnan lives on at Kranji War Memorial where his name is etched on the main memorial column wall of the Kranji War Cemetery.

8. Ruth Wong Hie King (1918–1982).

Ruth Wong Hie King was widely regarded as a leading educationistwho transformed teacher training and raised the professionalismof teachers. In 1969, Ruth Wong joined the Ministry of Education as the Director of Research. She was concurrently the first female principal of the Teachers’ Training College (TTC), whose programmes she upgraded. The TTC eventually became the Institute of Education (IE) (now known as the National Institute of Education) in 1973 and she was appointed its inaugural director. A visionary educationist, Wong restructured the teacher training curriculum and introduced a multi-disciplinary approach to teacher training in Singapore. She was also a strong advocate for collaborative learning, the use of objectives and research-based assignments to replace examinations. Her reforms had a dual focus of building the teacher’s professional competence as well as the student’s personal growth. For her contributions to education Wong received many honours and awards during her 44-year career, including the Isabella Todd Memorial Prize and the Sir John Porter Scholarship at Queen’s University. (

The eight individuals are portrayed against a backdrop of the old Singapore River, flowing into present-day Singapore. The river was at the heart of Singapore’s development as a trading port, and later our transformation into a business and financial hub.

You can read about the buildings of new Singapore here.

You can read about old Singapore here.

Singapore Singapore

In new city, on foreground, lower left is The Parliament hall of Singapore.

In October 1999, the Parliament Building was officially opened. It occupies 2.2 hectares of land with a built-up area of ​​19,765 square meters. It consists of three blocks and a restored colonial building.

The building was designed by architects from the former Department of Public Works. It has a gray façade with solid columns. Thanks to this design, the house is in harmony with the surrounding buildings in the Civic District.

In addition to its stately appearance, the building is equipped to meet the growing needs of parliamentary business and information technology.

The highlight of the house is the grand entrance hall. The parliamentary coat of arms is set on a curved granite wall and flanked by two wide grandiose staircases leading to the Chamber.

The current office block of the Parliamentary Secretariat was first built as an extension to the courthouse, which opened in 1839. It was later expanded in the 1880s to house a government printing house. Then, from the late 1960s to 1971, the building was occupied by the Public Works Administration. Subsequently, the building housed the General Prosecutor's Office until 1991.

In the courtyard formerly called Hallpike Street, old meets new. The public block (center) links the restored Secretariat office to the front block.

A chamber block with a characteristic colonial design offers panoramic views of the Singapore River. The surroundings of the house are beautifully landscaped. The block overlooks a 2,700 square meter garden where parliamentary receptions take place.

A picturesque view of the Parliamentary Gardens with a landscaped pond with a fountain, a gazebo and lots of flora. There are many other comfortable places in the Parliament building. (


Singapore, June 5, 2019 ... President Halima Jakob issued a $ 20 note today to commemorate Singapore's bicentennial. The note, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), describes Singapore's path to statehood and pays tribute to our ancestors who laid the foundations of modern Singapore. In connection with its 200th anniversary, MAS Gallery presents for the first time a rare collection of banknotes and coins that trace the evolution of the Singapore currency over the past 200 years.

Designers: Mr. Eng Siak Loy and Mr. Weng Ziyan.

Singapore Singapore Singapore

Booklet with a banknote in my collection.