One in a million: Finance Ministry cites low rate of counterfeit currency in Malaysia


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Aug 2020

PETALING JAYA: Only one out of every millionth banknote in the country is counterfeit, says the Finance Ministry.

Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah said while there were isolated cases of counterfeit notes in the country, the rate was still quite low.

He said counterfeits are counted in pieces per million (PPM), meaning the number of fake notes detected for every million banknotes in circulation.

"In 2016, the ratio was 1.4 PPM and in 2019, it was only 1.2 PPM and up until the middle of 2020, the rate is 1.0 PPM.

"Genuine banknotes have between 10 and 15 safety features," he said when answering a supplementary question by Datuk Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Aug 6).

Earlier, Mohd Shahar said that the total value of banknotes issued and distributed by Bank Negara Malaysia was RM120.7bil compared to RM113.2bil deposited by financial institutions in the same period.

"At the end of 2019, the cumulative value of currency in circulation was RM114.1bil comprising RM110.5bil banknotes, RM3.5bil coins and RM82.6mil in commemorative notes.

"The increase of currency in circulation was in line with economic growth, but since 2015, the rate of increase slowed down due to the use of e-payments.

"However, the growth of currency in circulation increased during the half-year mark in 2019," he said in reply to a question by Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis).

Pang had wanted the Ministry to state the total value of the banknotes that had been issued and distributed by Bank Negara last year or in its record.

He had also asked the total value of the banknotes in circulation and in savings in the country.

Mohd Shahar said that with only a rate of 6.6%, the use of currency in Malaysia was less intensive compared to developed countries such as Japan (21.1%), Switzerland (12.4%) and Singapore (10%).

He said countries with a lower rate than Malaysia include South Korea (6.1%), United Kingdom (3.4%) and Sweden (1.3%).

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