The Planters' Plan.


Under the plan, coupons stipulating a weight of rubber were to be issued. A planter could  not export more rubber than the total "face weight" of coupons held by him. The earliest Malanyan rubber coupons issued by rubber control offices, especially Johore, were so sketchily filled out that the owner could declare the amount to be almost anything he wanted.
There earliest and rarely seen rubber coupons are undated, unsigned, mostly hand-stamped and would command high prices if collectors could obtain them.

Coupons created their own market and dealers made fortunes in coupons as well as rubber.
Coupon values, rubber prices and black prices for rubber without coupons bore little similarity to each other. In desperation the Government in Kuala Lumpur commissioned Thomas De La Rue, the London firm of security printers, to urgently design, print and deliver the coupons hoping to stop the fraudulent activities.
However , coupons were forged before he first official consignment from London reached Malaya, and chaos reigned when both varieties appeared in circulation on the same day.
Coupons printed by Thomas De La Rue are undated but can be placed approximately by signature as being 1928. The background is cream/fawn in  colour and has a continuous pattern of the words "British Malaya" in a fan design. The denominations are:

5 Katis (3 kilos)            Green
10 Katis (6 kilos)          Light Brown
25 Katis (15.15 kilos)  Dark Brown
1 Picul (60.6 kilos)       Blue
10 Picul (606 kilos)      Red

These coupons are signed by the Controller of Rubber, different signatures known are Nathan, Tullayton, Jessircom and Shelley. M. B. Shelly went on to become a member of the Board of Currency Commissioners and signed Straits Settlements bank notes between 1929 and 1932. The coupons were hand-stamped with the names of particular areas, of which the following have been observed: Kinta, Pusing, Kinta-Pusing and Batu Gajah in the State of Perak; Kuala Lumpur, Kajang, Ulu-Selangor and Sepang in Selangor; Muar in Johore and  Kuala Pilah in Negeri Sembilan. These are the earliest coupons that survive in any quantity and command three figure sums.

The Stevenson Plan was abolished in November 1928 and rubber coupons passed into obscurity as free trade was reestablished. Then other events held the attention of those in Malaya and Singapore. The Great Depression, heralded by the Stock Market crash in October 1929 caused rubber prices to fall:
1928-29 Straits cents per half kilo, 1929-26 Straits cents per half kilo, 1930-10 Straits cents per half kilo, and in 1932, 4 Straits cents per half kilo was the lowest price ever recorded.
Restrictions, a dirty word among the promoters of free enterprise, was grudgingly realized as becoming a necessity.
This time the Dutch were also caught up in the world economic situation. The Hague Convention, signed by the British, French, Dutch, Siamese and non sovereign states of Ceylon, Sarawak, India and North Borneo, came into operation on 1st June 1934. The International Rubber Regulation Scheme raised the market price to ensure a fair profit to producers. Rubber in Singapore averaged 20 cents in 1934, 22 cents in 1935 and reaching 38 cents by 1936.

The coupons needed for the new regulation were mostly printed in Kuala Lumpur by the Survey Department of the Federated Malay Sates from 1934 to 1942. The Photo Litho section although primarily engaged in map production, was well equipped with VanDyke and Helio flat bed and offset machines, and so could cope with production of the necessary coupons. For the large plantations there was a "Bank" system established crediting producers with estimated output, so they could draw against it for export - small-holders used coupons which had the additional advantage of preventing family arguments of right of inheritance and shares in export allowances.
The rubber coupons issued in 1934 and 1935 by Johore, Kedah and Kelantan were signed, dated and had serial numbers. Their design was an improvement on the earlier ones but still plain compared to the De La Rue coupons, Those from the 1940's showed possible hurried design and manufacture.
From 1936 to 1940 a more standard design was adopted showing more ornate borders, standardized numbering and positioning of names of states and districts. Guilloches were more ornate and coupons were also printer on the reverse. More and more districts had coupons printed whereas in the earlier period they were hand-stamped.
Coupons were issued for the following states and years:
Federated Malay States       1935-42
Stairs Settlements Mainland  1938-42
Johore                        1934-42
Kedah                         1934-42
Kelantan                      1934-42
Terengganu                    1941-42
Singapore & Penang Island       1936
Penang Island                 1941-42
Singapore Island                 1941
Sarawak                       1940-42
B L & P                          1941
Coupons dated from 1934 to 1940 are rarer than those dated from 1940 to 1942.

To Be Contimued....


  1. Very interesting articles on these unique coupons.
    Thanks a lot, Dickson :)

  2. Dear Whycollect,
    These articles were contributed by Guru Saran Singh and Tony James,published in Australian Coin Review. July,1990.

  3. Hi Mr Dickson,
    Menarik pasal sejarah kupon ini,nampaknya kerajaan kena guna semula sistem kupon ni utk mengelakkan berbagai kerenah sejak getah mahal..Orang2 tua bercerita zaman kupon ini tauke2 ladang bawa kereta hanya utk keliling ladang sebab jalanraya belum ada,zaman sekarang penoreh getah bawa MPV pergi menoreh sebab harga getah mahal..hehe
    Terima kasih banyak2 Mr Niew...

  4. Sekarang penoreh getah (biasa pendatang asing yg bertauliah)bawa kereta national pergi menoreh getah,tauke ladang getah yg ada dalam MPV atau BMWX5
    ronda ladang ! Haha!

  5. saya ada 2 keping nak jual..10 kati dan 25 013 530 5113 atau layari