Postage stamps and postal history of Malaysia
Malaysia started issuing stamps after independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August 1957. These stamps bore the title of Malayan Federation until 9 August 1963 when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore merged with Malaya to form Malaysia. Singapore became independent from Malaysia in 1965.
Malaysian Definitive Stamps
Orchid and Bird Definitives
There were seven values for each state and eight high values inscribed 'Malaysia'. The states were: Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor and Trengganu. The original state issues were printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Sons in the United Kingdom, in sheets of 200 in two panes of 100, 10 x 10, for the values of 1c, 2c, 5c, 6c, 10c, 15c and 20c. The printing process was lithography.
Colour separation proofs for each individual colour were printed for each value, and the colours combined in a process that eventually produced a full colour proof. These proofs were produced, initially, in small units, four or so and later as full sheets. This printing took place to ensure that all colours printed correctly when combined and also registered correctly. The more common sheet proofs can be easily identified from the smaller units as the latter have white borders. The stamps printed as sheets had a design that allowed for 'bleeding' between each stamp, printing over the perforations. Each value had two separate black colours, the first was applied as detail for the butterfly and the stamp value, being common for all States. and the second for the State name, Rulers portrait and/or State coat of arms, this being the 'customising' colour for the base stamps.
In addition to sheet stamps, two values, 10 cents and 15 cents, were produced as coil stamps for use in vending machines in several locations throughout Malaysia. The designs were similar to the state values, but produced with 'Malaysia' in place of a state name as they were for use in any state. These coils were printed by Harrison & Sons in photogravure. From the start, the coil stamp machines proved to be inefficient at dispensing the correct values for the money tendered, possibly due to humidity affecting the stamps. Due to these problems, the machines were dispensed with quite soon after they commenced their duty. As a result, commercially used examples of both values are scarce. During 2006 a variant of the gum was identified. It is brown, with a clear 'ribbing' effect. This may have been a trial to overcome some of the problems with the machines, the ribbing possibly helping to prevent curling of the individual stamps. Harrison Proof Cards exist for both values with an imperforate stamp in full colour on each.
During 1978, unannounced reprints for some state values were issued printed in photogravure by Harrison & Sons, also in the United Kingdom. Some of these reprints are quite scarce, particularly the Perlis 10 cents and Sabah 20 cents values, as they were replaced by the new issue of Flowers and Animals the same year. Once again, the stamps were printed in sheets of 200 in two panes of 100, 10 x 10. Unlike the Bradbury Wilkinson printings, these sheets had cylinder numbers in the bottom right margins, one for each colour and numbered 1A for the left pane and 1B for the right.
The only proofs that have appeared to date are single full colour proofs on Harrison & Sons presentation cards, all values existing. It is considered that only two each of these cards would have been produced, one for the printers record and one for the Malaysian Post Office in Malaysia.
Malaysian Commemorative Stamps
In 1982, Malaysia created its first miniature sheet to commemorate its 25th anniversary as an independent nation. This has proven a success and Malaysia has started to create more new miniature sheets.
Malayan Federation Stamps
- General Issue
- Independence Day
- U.N. Economic Commission for Asia and Far East Conference, Kuala Lumpur
- 1st Anniversary of Independence
- 10th Anniversary of Declaration of Human Rights
- Inauguration of Parliament
- World Refugee Year
- Natural Rubber Research Conference
- Installation of Yang Di-Pertuan Agong (Tuanku Syed Putra)
- Colombo Plan Conference, Kuala Lumpur
- Malaria Eradication
- National Language Month
- Introduction of Free Primary Education
- Freedom from Hunger
- Cameron Highlands Hydro-Electric Scheme.
- Stanley Gibbons Ltd: various catalogues
- Encyclopaedia of Postal History
- Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986. ISBN 0356108627
- Stamp Collecting
- List of people on stamps
- Singapore Philatelic Museum
- List of Malaysian stamps
- Malaya Study Group
- Pos Malaysia Homepage
- Filatelic.com Homepage
- Collect Stamps From Malaysia
- Fatin's Malaysian Stamps Album Homepage
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