Brunei issues new $10,000 bank note


By Shareen Han and Khairunnisa Ibrahim

Courtesy of The Brunei Times News

Bandar Seri Begawan



New polymer currency notes with face values of $500 and $10,000 will be circulated from today onwards, revealed the Brunei Currency and Monetary Board yesterday.


The board's chief executive officer, Md Rosh Sabtu, told reporters in a press conference at the Ministry of Finance here that the new notes would be circulated along with the present notes, which were made of paper with a larger size, and all would be considered as legal transaction means within Brunei Darussalam and in countries that accepted the Bruneian currency.


Md Rosli said that the new notes were issued in conjunction with the 60th birthday of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. He added that by command of His Majesty, the new $500 notes depicted the portrait of his father, the late al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien on the obverse or front side.


"They (polymer notes) are more durable, and last longer, said Md Rosli, adding that the reduced size made them more "wallet-friendly" than the earlier prototypes. The process of producing the new notes, from the conceptualisation stage to the design phase and finally to production, took at least one year to complete, said the CEO. The final designs resulted from joint efforts between officials at the ministry and the Australian printers, and were infused with traditional features like the use of Jawi writing and national elements such as the crest of Brunei Darussalam, prominent landmarks and local plants, he said.


The actual printing of the notes took place in Australia, he added. Md Rosli also pointed out that the new notes were equipped with a range of safety features to minimise the risk of counterfeiting. These included the serial numbers printed both vertically and horizontally with fonts of different sizes, and the appearance of the shadow image of His Majesty's portrait and the initial 'HB' when the currency notes were held up towards the light.


The banknotes also featured a clear window, through which the initial HB500 and 10K could be seen when viewed through the window to a light source on the $500 and $10,000 notes respectively.


Another safety feature was the alternate change in colour around the window - between pink and gold on the window pattern for the $500 note and between green and magenta for the $10,000 note - when viewed from different angles.


Md Rosli said currency users could also determine the authenticity of the $500 note through the crest of Brunei, which was printed in vibrant red ink on a gold flower shaped patch of 16 petals. The $10,000 currency, on the other hand, had the gold patch in the shape of a shield.


Polymer notes were first introduced in the country in 1996 with the issuance of $1, $5 and $10 notes, followed by the release of $50 and $100 polymer notes in 2004. The $100 note gained international recognition when it won a gold medal award for its security features in the 22nd National Print Award in Australia in May 2005.


The Brunei Currency and Monetary Board, which was established in 1967, has also disclosed that the amount of issued notes would depend on the demand and economic needs of the country.