People are now selling the coveted new $20 Singapore Bicentennial note on Carousell for over $300

The S$20 note to commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial. Photo: Screengrab from video
The S$20 note to commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial. Photo: Screengrab from video

When something’s in huge demand, you can bet it’ll show up on Carousell or some other resale platform soon after it’s sold out, thanks to our detestable culture of scalping in Singapore. It’s happened with concert gigs so often, no one’s really surprised by it anymore.

But for a special S$20 note? Perhaps we should’ve seen it coming, too.

Newly launched on June 5 by President Halimah Yacob, the S$20 note issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) commemorates Singapore’s Bicentennial. It’s a portrayal of our country’s “journey to nationhood” and “pays tribute to our forebears who laid the foundations for modern Singapore,” said a media release from MAS.

Yusof Ishak, our first president, graces the front of the note, alongside the former Supreme Court and City Hall, now the National Gallery Singapore. At the back, eight “pioneering individuals” who “made significant contributions to nation building” are featured against a backdrop of the old Singapore River flowing into modern Singapore.

The eight are Munshi Abdullah, Sir Stamford Raffles’ secretary and interpreter; Henry Nicholas Ridley, the first director of the Botanic Gardens; philantrophists Tan Kah Kee and P Govindasamy Pillai; social worker Teresa Hsu Chih; sportswoman Alice Pennefather; WWII war hero Adnan Saidi, and educator Ruth Wong Hie King.

All that to say, it’s a pretty unique piece of paper that’s apparently much sought-after, seeing as how people have been queueing at the branches of nine banks, including OCBC, HSBC, DBS, POSB, and UOB, since the notes were released yesterday. It appears some outlets ran out of stock soon after the debut, courtesy of the snaking lines that started forming early in the morning. Y’know, in typical Singaporean style.

Two million pieces of this note are available for exchange at face value, and each person is only allowed to exchange up to 20 pieces per transaction. But hey, if you haven’t got the time or the patience to get in line, just hop on Carousell and do a quick search for the S$20 note. Plenty of listings have already popped up, most of ’em going for a couple bucks above the actual value.

Except for this sly seller, that is. Offering a set of five for a whopping S$1,688, the individual hiked up the price to more than S$300 for each S$20 note, and even claimed he/she would sell them to the highest bidder.

Who knew S$20 could be worth so much?

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