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Melanesia: Papuan Hero Frans Kaisiepo Featured on Rp 10,000 Banknote

BCFOS -- The Rupiah banknotes currently in circulation feature some of the country’s most respected historical heroes like I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Tuanku Imam Bondjol and Kapitan Pattimura. But soon, they will be replaced with a new set of national heroes.

President Joko Widodo recently issued a presidential decree approving the new designs for the Rupiah banknotes and coins. One of the most notable aspects of the re-design is that most of the banknotes (apart from the Rp 100,000 note which will still feature founding fathers Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta), including all coins (which currently do not feature images of national heroes), will feature the images of 12 national heroes whose inclusions were approved by Jokowi.

Interestingly, the heroes featured on the new currency will include political thinkers and fewer military heroes than the last set, with figures such as Indonesia’s final prime minister, Djuanda Kartawidjaya, adorning the Rp 50,000 note, first governor of Sulawesi, Sam Ratulangi, on the Rp 20,000 note, and former Papua governor Frans Kaisiepo on the Rp 10,000 note.

In fact, one of the only two war heroes who is set to appear on the new currency is Acehnese war heroine Tjut Meutiah on the Rp 1,000 note. This would make her the first female national hero to be featured on Indonesian currency since Tjut Njak Dhien was placed on the Rp 10,000 note in the 1998 and 1999 series.

In addition, the new currency will utilize the term “Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia” (NKRI – the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia) on its notes and coins. Other new design aspects are not yet known, but Bank Indonesia is aiming to distribute the new currency by the end of the year.


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