In 1933 Sir Basil Blackett was given the task of reviewing the Malayan currency for the Secretary of State for the Colonies. In his report he recommended that the power of issuing currency be removed from individual states and passed to a special Pan-Malayan Currency Commission. In 1938 the recommendation was adopted and the Board of Commissioners of Currency Malay was created. The board was given the power to create coins and notes for the Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang, and Malaca), the Federated Malay States (Perak, Selangor, etc), and the Unfederated Malay States (Johore, Kedah, Brunei, etc). In 1939 currency began being issued under the name of the Commissioners of Currency Malaya.
The initial set of coins produced by the Commissioners of Currency included five pieces based on the designs used in the Straits Settlements. The half cent and one cent coins were made from bronze and were square in shape. The five cent, ten cent, and twenty cent pieces were round in shape and were produced from silver until 1948 when cupro-nickel was adopted. The shift from silver also included a very minor alteration in size and type however the overall design of the set remained consistent from creation to discontinuation.
As this set was only issued during the reign of His Majesty King George VI his leftward facing effigy designed by Percy Metcalfe is on the reverse of all pieces. The bronze one and half cent piece have straight edged legends stating 'GEORGE VI - KING - EMPEROR'. The higher denomination pieces have the legend 'GEORGE VI KING AND EMPEROR OF INDIA' until Indian independence in 1947 when the legend changes to simply state 'KING GEORGE THE SIXTH'. The obverse design on all pieces features the denomination in the centre (e.g. '10 CENTS') there is then beaded boarder and the legend which states 'COMMISSIONERS OF CURRENCY MALAYA' followed by the date of issue. When the higher denomination pieces shifted to cupro-nickel in 1948 the coins typeface on both sides became slightly larger.