Museum and Art Gallery of Bank Negara

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Entry Fee : Free
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Situated off Jalan Kuching, inside the Sasana Kijang building, is the Museum and Art Gallery of Bank Negara. It is also known as the Money Museum. Bank Negara is the central bank of Malaysia while the Sasana Kijang building that is located about 1km away from the bank's main office is mainly used by the bank to host regional and international events, among other things. The Museum and Art Gallery comprises of four floors and is located on the west wing of Sasana Kijang.

The western wing of Sasana Kijang

As I entered the building after taking the pictures of the exterior, I was told by the guard that photography is not allowed inside the premise. However, visitors are allowed to take photos in the museum galleries. The museum's entrance was on the left of the main entrance. The entrance was free of charge and I was also given a guide booklet.

Galleries description in the guide booklet

The first 'gallery' was for the kids. It was right in front of the reception. The entrance was a tunnel and its wall was decorated with ringgit notes from the denominations of RM1 to RM1000. It was called the 'Million Ringgit Tunnel'. Whether the sum of ringgits actually reaches one million I am not sure. On the other side of the tunnel were various playing zones for kids. Most games were intended to teach kids on how to thriftily use money. There was also a section that detailed out the security features of currency notes. So if you are visiting the gallery without kids, it is a good idea to skip the games area.

Million Ringgit Tunnel

Upon exiting the kids gallery, I walked up the spiral staircase nearby and walked up to the first floor. There were three galleries to visit here, and I started with the Economics gallery. It had stories of Malaysia's economic progression since independence. Unlike many other museums, there were many exhibitions that required action from the visitors to understand its content. For example, in the Economics Gallery, there was a stack of miniature shipping containers which the visitors have to open to see the trade items between Malaysia and other countries. The timeline of global financial crisis was also detailed out in this gallery. Other than that, there were a few comic sketches about basic economics.

Interactive shipping containers

Adjacent was the Islamic Finance Gallery, where Malaysia's achievements in expanding Islamic Financial System were exhibited. Exiting this, I walked to the other side of the floor, into the Bank Negara Gallery. Here, the functions of the central bank was described. There were kiosks that allow visitors to play the role of the governor and make decisions based on situations described.

Coin minting machine
Next, I walked up to the second floor, into the Numismatic Gallery. This was by far the most interesting gallery in this museum. There was a section called 'Denai Duit Syiling' or Coins River. It is basically a long-ish, slighly curvy display of coins dating back to the 15th century, all the way to the 20th century. I was told by curator the coins in the display are a mixture of replica and real ones. Opposite the denai, there was a collection of old currency notes and colonial era coupons. At end of this gallery, there were sample currency note designs from many different countries, displayed in a nice, rotating showcase.

Denai Duit Syiling

A petrol coupon

Colonial era currency note

World currency notes

At the third floor was Bank Negara's collection of artwork produced by ASEAN artists.

Overall, the exhibitions, especially those in the Numismatic Gallery makes it worth to visit this museum.


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