The Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery, or Bank Negara Museum in short, was established in 2011 and it replaced the Bank Negara Money Museum.
It is located in Jalan Dato’ Onn and occupies a wing of the modern glass and steel Sasana Kijang building which also houses the SEACEN Centre and the Islamic Financial Services Board.
The museum’s spacious and airy galleries are spread over four floors.
Here are some of the highlights of the museum:
Visitors enter through a money tunnel lined with over a million Ringgit of various denominations in cash displayed behind an acrylic wall.
The Children’s Gallery contains interactive displays explaining the value of money and the cost of everyday items.
The gallery also reveals what banknotes and coins are made of.
Islamic Finance Gallery
Here you can not only learn how the early Middle Eastern concepts of commerce and finance developed into today’s thriving Islamic finance industry but also how Malaysia became one of the world’s leading financial centres for Islamic banking.
In addition to reviewing Malaysia’s economic growth since independence, this gallery also explains the pocket money book initiative, which encourages children to plan and manage their daily expenditure, thus promoting savings.
There is also a wall chart detailing all World Economic Crises during the period 1588-2010.
It is interesting to note that in the 392 years before 1980 there were 13 crises, approximately one every 30 years.
Whereas in the 30 years following 1980 there have been five financial crises or one every six years.
Bank Negara Gallery
This section explains the history and role of Bank Negara as Malaysia’s central bank.
Exhibits include a mock-up vault with a touch keypad outside the vault door.
Key in the right answer to a question and the frosted glass wall clears to reveal the contents of the vault, namely a mountain of gold ingots and cash (probably not real before any of you would-be bank robbers get excited!).
For coin and banknote collectors, Malaysia has one of the world’s most fascinating collections, ranging from primitive currencies of Borneo, early Chinese and Siamese money, animal-shaped ingots, tin block money, coins issued by the different Malay Sultanates, Portuguese and Dutch-era coins, British colonial-era coins and banknotes, Sabah and Sarawak money, and post-independence currency.
Specimens of all these currencies are held in Bank Negara Museum’s extensive collection and are on display at this gallery.
The top floor is reserved for displaying Bank Negara’s art collection which includes paintings, drawings and sculptures by artists from Malaysia as well as other ASEAN countries.
Gift shop and cafe
For coin and banknote collectors, there is a museum shop that sells an excellent book called Malaysian Numismatic Heritage, published by Bank Negara Malaysia.
There is also a cafe serving hot dishes and snacks.
The Numismatics Gallery is similar in content to that at the Maybank Numismatic Museum but Bank Negara Museum has other displays too besides numismatics.
This is a good museum and well worth visiting even if you are not an avid coin or banknote collector. After all, everyone is interested in money!
It is also a suitable venue for school trips and free guided tours can be arranged.
Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery
2, Jalan Dato’ Onn
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 9179 2784