The ringgit is the official currency of the South East Asian country of Malaysia. Malaysia is a nation whose territory is split into two: one part on the Malaysian peninsular (which also contains Singapore), with the other covering the northern section of the island of Borneo, which is situated on the opposite side of the South China Sea. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is the home many skyscrapers, including the iconic twin towered Petronas building. Its tropical climate and long coastline with many sandy beaches should make it a tourist hotspot, but in reality it is overshadowed by its photogenic near geographical neighbour, Thailand.
The current currency is relatively modern, dating from 1993. The name “ringgit” is an obsolete word which originally meant “jagged” in Malay. This referred to the serrated edge of the Spanish silver dollars, which were in common circulation in early colonial times. Spanish and Portuguese traders were first to reach the region in the 16th and 17th Centuries, before the British later superseded them. As a result of independence, the old colonial Malaya and British Borneo dollar was initially replaced by the Malaysian dollar in 1967. The name “ringgit” was introduced in 1993, but the actual currency remained much the same. The ringgit has floated freely on international monetary exchanges since that time, apart from a short period around the turn of the century, when its value was pegged to that of the US dollar. The ringgit has not been generally tradeable outside Malaysia since it was originally linked in value to the US dollar in 1998. At the time of writing, the value of the Malaysian ringgit is approximately 5 RM to the British pound, and around 4 RM to the US dollar.
Given its lack of international tradability, it is unlikely that there are too many ringgits in circulation in UK registered online bingo sites’ bank accounts. There seems little doubt however, that the good old British game of bingo has left its mark on the country, the online version of which lives on long after the colonials left, shortly after the advent of independence.
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