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Malaya

British Malaya refers to a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and Singapore under British control between the late 18th and mid-20th century. It includes Straits Settlements, Federated, and the Unfederated Malay States, and was a profitable territory due to tin and rubber production. 

It was not a unified administration before the Malayan Union in 1946, comprising different states and territories. The Malayan Union was dissolved in 1948 and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which gained independence in 1957. It later formed the larger federation of Malaysia. Malaya was affected by the global depression in the 1930s due to its integration into the global supply chain. 

Malay sultans retained symbolic status under British rule but lost political authority. Economic growth was promoted through plantations, railways, and roads, and rubber became Malaya's major export. Public health facilities improved, but separate schools perpetuated a pluralistic society. Opium and alcohol were government-sanctioned sources of revenue. 

The Malayan dollar was the currency of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, North Borneo, Brunei, and the Riau archipelago from 1953 to 1967. It was introduced in 1939 and replaced the Straits dollar, which was previously used in the British colonies and protectorates in Malaya and Brunei. 

The currency union ended on 12 June 1967. Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei began issuing their own currencies. 

In 1940, 27 million 1 dollar notes and 5.6 million 5 dollar notes were printed in the UK for circulation in Malaya. However, only a portion arrived due to wartime losses, and none were put into circulation by the Straits Settlements Government except for the 10-dollar notes issued in March 1941. During the Japanese invasion, the government-issue dollar replaced the Malayan dollar.  

British forces reoccupied Malaya on September 1945 and took control of the country's finances until April 1946. The Japanese-issued banana money was deemed worthless, and new currency notes ranging from 1 cent to 10,000 dollars were put into circulation. The notes were printed in London and signed by H. Weisberg, the chairman of the Currency Board. Emergency issues of 10 and 25 cents were also printed by the Survey Department. Most of these notes featured the portrait of King George VI.

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