MALAYA – JIM $100 MA in Black (1944) Rubber Plantation
                                     by Saran  Singh AMN, AMP, PNM
The Japanese army under General Tomoyuki Yamashita attacked Northern Malaya on 8th December 1941. By 15th February 1942, Singapore had been captured from the British forces. Thus began 4 ½ years of bitter Japanese occupation of Malaya and Singapore.

The Japanese Military Administration of Malaya immediately issued their “Banana Money” notes, which had been printed earlier by them in Japan, and brought into Malaya by the invading forces. They declared the currency of the Straits Settlements and Malaya non-legal tender. The Japanese Invasion Money ( JIM ) became the sole legal tender in circulation. The initial issues were 1 Cent, 5 Cents, 10 Cents and 50 Cents which were later followed by the $1, $5 and $10. By 1944, inflation has increased to a great extent. To overcome the problem, the $100 and $1,000 notes were printed by the Japanese for Malaya. All Japanese notes for Malaya begin with the prefix letter M (for Malaya).

Japan finally surrendered on 15th August 1945 after atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On 12th September 1945, the Japanese Commander, General Itagaki, officially surrendered to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Allied Supreme Commander, in Singapore. Malaya was placed under the British Military Administration.

Some of the new collectors are used to buying a representative set of one piece each of the Malaya – Japanese Invasion Money ( JIM ) notes, 1 Cent - $1,000, including the $100 Rubber Plantation, for around RM200/-. They may like to take note that what they have purchased is merely a skim of the ice berg. It is much more challenging and interesting to try and form a complete type set of these notes, which is not easy. The more difficult Malaya – JIM notes which are necessary to form a type set collection are:

        10 Cents      - Two Block Letters
         50 Cents     - MA and MB (without a watermark)
                               (The subsequent 50 Cents Block Letters all have a watermark)
         $1               - MA and MB with Serial Number
         $100           - MA in Black (Rubber Plantation)
         $1,000        - MA in Black

Out of the above listing, the $100 MA in Black (Rubber Plantation), is the most exclusive. Most of the earlier books on Japanese Invasion Money did not list this piece. However, this note is now well known to some of the specialised collectors.

For the benefit of all serious collectors of Malaya – Japanese Invasion Money, a photograph of both the Malaya – JIM $100 MA in Black (1944) and $100 MA in Red (Rubber Plantation) is reproduced below for comparison purposes.
MALAYA – JIM  $100 MA in Black (1944) Rubber Plantation. Very Rare

MALAYA – JIM $100 MA in Red (1944 – 1945) Rubber Plantation. Common


(a) “World War II Military Currency” by Frederick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling
       ( Published by BNR Press, South Carolina, U.S.A. – 1980 )

(b) “World War II Remembered history in your hands – a numismatic study” by C. Frederick Schwan and   Joseph E. Boling  ( Published by BNR Press, Ohio, U.S.A. – 1995 )

(c) “The Japanese Occupation of Malaya (Singapore) and its Currency” by Wong Hon Sum
       (  Published by Wong’s Collections, Singapore – 1996 ) 

(d) “The Encyclopaedia of the Coins of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei 1400 – 1986”
        by Saran Singh. First Edition (Published by the Malaysia Numismatic Society – 1986)   


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