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Thursday, July 9, 2009

When Future Governor Write

RM 1000

RM1 Circulation Coin (1st Series), -

Ismail Mad Ali Signature

Duit Ayam Kedah, 1710; Cockerel-shaped.

Early Money in the Country

In the early days, people exchanged goods by 'bartering' for what they needed. Under this arrangement, goods were exchanged for goods. But this is not always convenient. The carpenter must look for a person who can provide him with the right mix of foodstuffs in exchange for the table, which he will make for him. The indivisibility of large items posed a real problem. So did the selection of the right person to barter with. With time, it soon became apparent that a form of medium of exchange would solve the problems. A unit of measure based on something that was valuable, durable, easy to store, homogeneous and portable was required for this purpose. Gold and silver fitted the bill. Thus the use of primitive money in the form of metallic (usually gold or silver) tokens or coins was introduced.

Through the ages, money has become not only a medium of exchange and a unit and store of value, but also a historical document on the culture, religion and traditions of the society. Coins have been used to record historical events, such as the reign of kings, or the art and design motifs of the time when the coins were issued. The inscriptions, the designs and motifs used on coins reflected the important events, traditions and social and political changes of nations. With time, money in the form of paper currency or notes were introduced, as these were convenient to issue, use and store, as the economic life of society became more complex.

Early Money in the Malay States

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-221AD), the merchants of China and India discovered that the best alternative to the overland caravan trade route between East and West Asia was by way of the Isthmus of Kra, the narrow neck of land that separates the South China Sea from the Indian Ocean. The Chinese traders would land their goods in the region of Patani on the east Coast of the Isthmus of Kra, while the Indian merchants and later, the Arab from the Middle East, established their trading centres in the region of present day Kedah in the West Coast.

During this period, the local people used cowrie shells imported from the Maldive Islands or Borneo as currency for minor market purchases. For a long time, these shells were valued as amulets to ensure safe childbirth and as fertility charms. They could be strung together to facilitate easy transportation, or to form higher denominations when necessary.

From the eighth century onwards, merchants from China introduced copper cash in bulk into the Malay States and there formed the chief, and at times the sole, currency of the majority of the States of the Eastern Archipelago.

The first native coinage of the Malay States developed from this copper cash. Owing to the monsoons and the shortage of ships to carry out trading, the shortage of the copper cash led local chiefs and merchants to cast imitations of the cash for their own needs. In the east coast states, this copper cash in due course developed into a truly native coinage.

Come on Malaysians !! Keep moving of numismatics and economics..buy local product..peace!!