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Monday May 22, 2006

Kelantan plans new currencies

KOTA BARU: The Kelantan government plans to introduce the gold dinar and silver dirham as currencies in three months, saying that it also hopes to pay state public servants with the currency. 

However, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shot the idea down. 

State governments were not allowed to issue their own currency, he told reporters covering the World Economic Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt when asked to comment on the statement by Kelantan Public Administration, Economic Planning, Finance and Community Development committee chairman Datuk Husam Musa. 

Earlier, Husam had said the dinar and dirham currencies would first be implemented in the Islamic system of pawn broking, the ArRahnu. 

“If there is no problem with the ArRahnu, then it can be implemented in other sectors,” he told reporters after a seminar on Financial Economy and Islamic Banking here yesterday. 

Husam said when implemented, the public could buy the dinar and then exchange it for cash at the ArRahnu pawnshops. 

He said the dinar and dirham would not be threatened by any currency including the ringgit or the US dollar, as gold is a stable commodity. 

He said the introduction of gold and silver currencies would not affect the ringgit as it can still be used in official transactions.  


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