Dr M floats plan to replace currency notes to fight corruptionJune 29, 2018
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian government is mulling replacing its currency notes or embracing cashless transactions as a ‘s p to fight corruption and address counterfeit notes, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in his interview with Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday.
Describing corruption as one of the “biggest legacies of the old administration” and changing currency could be a way to address the issue, he admitted that it is not an easy thing “because when you want to replace currency, you must know how much currency is in circulation…because we have to replace what is in circulation and that is a very big amount.”
“We are studying how best to reduce corruption and how best to keep track of money that is being spent, especially by the government,” he told Channel NewsAsia.
AmBank group chief executive and head of research Dr Anthony Dass, however, viewed Mahathir’s plan differently, saying: “Sometimes, because people have too much money in hand, the government issues new notes to address and distribute them slowly to prevent overspending.”
This, he said, could be a costly exercise, involving complex procedures.
“New notes will be printed, though these would likely be based on the old notes, he told Ne Straits Times on Tuesday, adding “they will need special papers, millions of metres of security thread, watermarks, ultr-violet features and other anti-counterfeiting devices.”
Cautioning that changing currency notes could send a negative message and the government could lose trust of stakeholders, he recommended other options, saying Malaysia can have a parallel currency where the new currency would be circulated alongside the old notes or going for digital currency which is much easier to design and distribute.