19 December 2019

The Lower House of the Malaysian Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat, has passed the Currency Bill 2019 (“Bill”). It must still be passed by the Upper House, the Dewan Negara, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must assent before the law can come into force.

The Bill seeks to provide for the management of currency in Malaysia, regulation of currency processing business and currency processing activities.

The Bill designates Bank Negara Malaysia (“BNM”) as the sole authority to issue currency note and currency coin in Malaysia and for that currency to be printed and minted only under its authority.

The Bill requires any person, other than BNM or a financial institution, who carries on a currency processing business or holds itself out to be a registered currency processor, to be registered. The term “currency processing business” is defined as:

  • the business of (a) sorting currency by authenticity and quality; or (b) packing currency by quality, quantity and denomination; or
  • any other activity declared by the Minister of Finance to be a currency processing business under section 23 of the Bill.

The Bill sets out the duties to be complied with by a registered currency processor, a financial institution that carries on currency processing activities
(i.e. the sorting of currency by authenticity or quality, or the packing of currency by quality, quantity or denomination) and the directors and chief executive officers of such entities.

The Bill confers powers of enforcement on BNM as well as the power to make regulations and to issue guidelines and standards.

Reference materials

The Currency Bill 2019 is available from the Malaysia Parliament website www.parlimen.gov.my or by clicking here.


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