April fool next year, we would have to say permanent goodbye to one-sen coin. It will be replaced with the new one-sen note in rainbow colour. Ok.. just a joke. The replacement is actually a “rounding mechanism” that would be used for all over-the-counter transactions.


The mechanism will round up all payment totals either up or down to the nearest five sen. For example, if the total amount to be paid is RM88.86 or RM88.87, it would be rounded down to RM88.85; if the total is RM88.88 or RM88.89, it would be rounded up to RM88.90.


How it works


It looks like a fair calculation. But actually it is not if you manipulate it. Every time you are going to pay for something, make sure your total is on the lower end, so that it is rounded lower than the exact payment. Although you might only save extra 1 to 2 sen in every payment, the old Malay saying – sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit – will still save you a significant amount in the long term, yet mentioning the compounding interest effect.


How if we do it in an extreme way? When you buy some items, separate them into several payments so that all the payments are rounded down. This could be annoying to the cashier. The payer might feel shameful too. But frugality does come with a price.


The easiest way to get the lower end rounded down is to buy 3 items priced ending with 9 sen. So the total you pay will end with a 7 sen behind it.



For convenience?


Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal announced details of the mechanism, saying that it would benefit both businesses and consumers. It will be more convenient for both parties. Businesses will no longer have to handle the coins or ensure they have a ready supply, while consumers would also not have to worry about carrying them.


But convenience to me is:

  • don’t have to pay by cash – I feel safer without much cash in my wallet.

  • use credit card – swap and sign. Moreover with VISA touch, payment is just a touch away.

  • A charity box in front of the cashier counter – if you feel carrying the extra one-sen coins is troublesome, just drop it in the transparent donation box. It is so convenient to donate it.


Oh !!! I just realized that they are going to remove the charity box!


Reduce Minting Cost


The Government would be able to reduce its minting costs as it was anticipated that the demand for the coin would reduce drastically once the mechanism was implemented. Our government is smart enough to be frugal after all. Keep on the good work! There are many areas we can in fact save a lot more with more efficiency.



No Effect on Good Pricing


The new rounding mechanism will not affect the current price structure. Businesses can continue to charge RM29.99 or other odd numbers they are currently using. I am sure that there won’t be any stupid businessman who will price their good with RM2.01 or RM100.02.



The Main Reason Behind


What do you think is the main reason behind the abolishment of one-sen coins?

It might be just another way of telling you the truth that due to long term inflation, nowadays, one sen is actually worthless.


Personal finance author and trainer

    4 replies to "Goodbye One-Sen Coin! We will be missing you"

    • Keshav kumar

      I have 1 sen 2007 u want to sen u will msg me on whatapp +60178361169

    • […] Tips Linking 18 Nov 2007 Last week, I shared about my view on the one-sen coin being phased-out, and also about the hot topic to include personal finance management in school subjects. I […]

    • debtdieter

      We got rid of our 1 and 2 cent coins here in Australia some time ago now.

      One thing to note is here they don’t round up or down if you pay by credit or debit cards, only for cash payments.

      • KCLau

        Hi Debtdieter,

        I guess it will be similar in Malaysia too. Thanks for your information.

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