The Third Series of Malaysian Coins – Distinctively Malaysia

Bank Negara Malaysia has released the latest new coins and banknotes today. The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib and the Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz have launched the release of the third series of Malaysian Coins & Banknotes carrying with the title of “Distinctively Malaysia”.

The designs of the third series of Malaysian coins draw its inspiration from distinctive elements that define Malaysian culture and heritage. The theme, ‘Distinctively Malaysia’, features motifs from traditional crafts and our flora and fauna. The coins reflect the diversity and richness of Malaysia’s national identity.

Common Features

On the obverse, each denomination features a different motif, 14 dots representing the 13 states and the Federal Territory and (with exception in the case of the 50 sen coin) five horizontal lines representing the five principles of the ‘Rukun Negara’ (national pillars).

On the reverse, the new series of coins feature the national flower Rosa-sinensis hibiscus (known as the ‘Bunga Raya’), numerals indicating the year of minting, the face value of the coin and the words ‘BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA’.

Technical Specifications

Face Value 50 sen 20 sen 10 sen 5 sen
Alloy Nickel Brass Clad Copper Nickel Brass Stainless Steel Stainless Steel
Diameter (mm) 22.65 20.60 18.80 17.78
Weight (gram) 5.66 4.18 2.98 1.72
Shape Round with 9 indents Round Round Round
Edge Plain Coarse Milled Plain
Colour Yellow Yellow Silver Silver

Image of the 50 sen coin obverse and reverse

50 sen

Sulur Kacang

The ‘sulur kacang’ (pea tendrils) motif featured on the new 50 sen coin is popular among traditional woodcarvers and silversmiths. The motif is drawn from the graceful twists and curls of long bean vines, and can be seen embellishing fine jewellery pieces and boxes, in addition to decorating doorways, window frames and wood paneling in traditional wooden homes. Fine lines in the motif background are part of the security features.

Security Feature

Latent Image of the denomination 50 sen can be seen when the coin is tilted slightly.

Image of 50 sen security features called Latent Image

Image of the 20 sen coin obverse and reverse

20 sen
Bunga Melur

The ‘bunga melur’ or jasmine flower is culturally significant among the three major races in Malaysia. Its aromatic scent makes it an important part of traditional ceremonies like weddings and prayers. It is also a popular motif in traditional arts and crafts like embroidery and silverwork. On the new 20 sen coin, the jasmine flower is featured with a ‘destar siga’ cloth motif in the background.

Image of the 10 sen coin obverse and reverse

10 sen
Orang Asli Motif

The ‘orang asli’ (aboriginal tribes) of Malaysia are talented in weaving indigenous leaves and plants into decorative items such as headbands, sashes and skirts for traditional rituals and ceremonies. Each tribe have their own weave pattern that is often inspired by their belief system and surrounding environment. On the new 10 sen coin, this heritage is represented by the unique weave pattern of the Mah Meri tribe in Peninsular Malaysia.

Image of the 5 sen coin obverse and reverse

5 sen
Destar Siga

The ‘destar siga’ cloth is an indigenous form of fabric weaving that originates from the Kadazan Dusun tribe in Sabah. Used as a headdress during traditional ceremonies, it is woven mainly from yarns of black thread and accented by multi-coloured threads into various geometric patterns and flora and fauna inspired motifs. On the new 5 sen coin, the ‘destar siga’ pattern is prominently featured, accompanied by the ‘sulur kacang’ as a background motif.

Source: Bank Negara Malaysia (


Our previous article: New banknotes and coins in Malaysia by 2012