Sandafayre
Welcome to our site! Advanced Search

Malaysia



CURRENCY

1867, 100 cents = 1 Straits dollar (conversion rate at its inception was R1 = 45½c or 1 anna = 3 cents).



Peninsular Malaya has attracted European attention since 1511 when the Portuguese took Malacca. The Dutch East India Company became dominant in South-east Asia from 1623 to 1785. The British acquired Penang in 1785 to prevent it falling to the French, Singapore in 1819 from the Sultan of Johore, and Malacca by cession from the Dutch in 1824. Province Wellesley on the mainland was administered by Penang. Penang superseded Malacca in importance between 1800 and 1820, being made a presidency of the East India Company in 1805, and when all three were incorporated in 1826 as the Straits settlements, Penang became the seat of government. In 1836 this was transferred to Singapore. The Straits Settlements were ruled from India until made a Crown Colony in 1867. To them were added the Dindings in 1874 (part of Perak since 1935), Christmas Island in 1900, the Cocos Islands in 1903, and Labuan in 1906.


The British pursued a policy of non-intervention in the independent sultantates of Malaya until 1873, after which the sultanates gradually accepted British Residents and protection. In 1896 Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang and Perak became the Federated Malay States with the centre of administration at Kuala Lumpur. Johore accepted a British advisor but remained outside the Federation. In 1909 Siam ceded the disputed northern states (Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Trengganu) to British control. In 1941 the whole region was attacked and occupied by Japan.


Postal History Early mail connections with British traders in Malaya and the East Indies were made by casual ship as an extension of the services to India; Dutch mails were routed through Batavia. These exist from at least 1688 but letters are rare outside Duch archives before 1799. The earliest postal markings date from c. 1806 when a PO existed at Prince of Wales Island (Penang). For later development, see below.


Terms in Malay:


PERSEKUTUAN TANAH MELAYU - Federation of Malaya.
MEL UDARA - By Airmail.
PEJABAT POS BERGERAK - Mobile PO.
WAKIL POS BERGERAK - River PO.
KEMBALIKAN KAPADA PENGIRIM - Return to Sender.
DI-TOLAK - Refused.


Straits Settlements


FIRST STAMPS India 22 October 1854-31 March 1867.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 April 1867.


CURRENCY

1867, 96 cents = 1 silver dollar.
1880, 100 cents = 1 Straits dollar.



The Indian Post Office Act of 1837 was applied to the Straits Settlements as part of the Bengal circle (1854-61) or the Burma circle (1861-7). The Settlements joined the UPU on 1 April 1877, and until 1899 operated a local postal union with other Malayan territories under British influence. This was renewed in 1946.


When stamps were first issued, the cancellations of the main offices were B109 Malacca, B147 Penang and B172 Singapore. Stamps were also available in Manila until 1862 and were cancelled in transit at Singapore.


Successive issues remained valid in the three main settlements until the Japanese occupation of 1942, also in Province Wellesley, the Dindings (from 1874), Christmas Island (from 1900), Cocos Islands (from 1903), and Labuan (from 1906).


Perak


FIRST STAMPS Straits Settlements 1874-8.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1878.


CURRENCY

1878, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



A Malay state, later one of the Federated Malay States. Initially stamps were for local postage only and these were used in combination with those of Straits Settlements for overseas mail until 1892. Used stamps of Federated Malay States from 1900-35.


Separate stamps resumed 2 December 1935 (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although commemoratives were issued in 1948 and 1949, the definitive issue was not released again until 17 August 1950. From 1957, stamps for the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Perak.


In September 1963, Perak became part of the new Federation of Malaysia, since when only low values have been issued by Perak itself.


Dindings

Small enclave on the coast of Perak which was administered by the Straits Settlements from the Treaty of Pangchor in 1874 until it was returned to Perak in February 1935.


Used the stamps of Straits Settlements at the offices of Lumut, Pangchor Islands, Peng Kalur Bharu.


Sungei Ujong


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1878.


CURRENCY

1878, 100 cents = 1 dollar (Malay).



A Malay state later incorporated with other smaller states in Negri Sembilan; separate issues ceased in 1895.


Selangor


FIRST STAMPS Straits Settlements 1874-81.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1881.


CURRENCY

1881, 100 cents = 1 Malay dollar.



A Malay state, later one of the Federated Malay States. Initially stamps were for local postage only and these were used in combination with those of Straits Settlements for overseas mail until 1891. Used stamps of the Federated Malay States from 1900-35.


Separate stamps resumed 2 December 1935.


In 1941, owing to shortages of local values, some stamps of Selangor were used in other states (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although a commemorative issue was released in 1948, the definitive issue was not released again until 12 September 1949. From 1957, stamps for the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Selangor.


In September 1963, Selangor became part of the new Federation of Malaysia, since when only low values have been or itself.


Pahang


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED January 1889.


CURRENCY

1889, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



A Malay state, later one of the Federated Malay States. Used stamps of the Federated Malay states from 1900-35.


Separate stamps resumed on 2 December 1935 (for period 1942-8 see below). Although commemoratives were issued in 1948 and 1949, the definitive issue was not released again until 1 June 1950. From 1957, stamps of the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Pahang.


In September 1963, Pahang became part of the new Federation of Malaysia, since when only low values have been issued by Pahang itself.


Negri Sembilan


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1891.


CURRENCY

1891, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



A Malay state, later one of the Federated Malay States. Used stamps of the Federated Malay states from 1900-35.


Separate stamps resumed on 2 December 1935 (for period 1942-8 see below). Although a commemorative issue was released in 1948, the definitive issue was not released again until 1 April 1949. From 1957, the stamps of the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Negri Sembilan.


In September 1963, Negri Sembilan became part of the new Federation of Malaysia, since when only low values have been issued by Negri Sembilan itself.


Federated Malay States


FIRST STAMPS individual states from 1878.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1900


CURRENCY

1900, 100 cents = 1 Malay dollar.



Consisted of the protected states of Negri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang and Selangor which federated on 1 July 1896. Owing to shortages before the introduction of the new stamps, certain values were interchanged between states. In 1935, the Malayan Postal Union was formed and the states reverted to separate issues.


Johore


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED July 1876.


CURRENCY

1876, 100 cents = 1 Malay dollar.



An unfederated Malay state. Used stamps of Straits Settlements on overseas mail either alone or in combination 1884-1916 (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although a commemorative issue was released in 1948, the definitive issue was not released again until 2 May 1949. From 1957 the stamps of the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Johore.


In September 1963, Johore became part of the new Federation of Malayasia, since when only low values have been issued by Johore itself.


Kedah


FIRST STAMPS Siam to 1909, Federated Malay States 1909-12.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 July 1912


CURRENCY

1912, 100 cents = 1 Malay dollar.



An unfederated Malay state which was ceded to British protection by Siam in 1909. At that time there were four POs; Alor Star (postmarked KEDAH), Kuala Muda, Kulim and Langkawi which can be found with their Siamese postmark on Federated Malay State stamps. Alor Star was an airmail transfer point for both Imperial Airways and KLM (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although commemoratives were issued in 1948 and 1949, the definitive issued was not released again until 1 June 1950. From 1957 stamps for the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Kedah.


In September 1963, Kedah became part of the new Federation of Malayasia, since when only low values have been issued by Kedah itself.


Kelantan


CURRENCY

1911, 100 cents 1 = Malay dollar.


FIRST STAMPS Siam to 1909, Federated Malay States 1909-11.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED January 1911.



An unfederated Malay state which was ceded to British protection by Siam in 1909. At that time, there were two POs; Kota Bharu and Batu Mengkebang. The latter was transferred to Kuala Krai in 1913 (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although commemoratives were issued in 1948 and 1949, the definitive issued was not released again until 11 July 1951. From 1957, stamps for the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Kelantan.


In September 1963, Kelantan became part of the new Federation of Malayasia, since when only low values have been issued by Kelantan itself.


Perlis


FIRST STAMPS Siam to 1909, then as Kedah to 1948.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 December 1948.


CURRENCY

1948, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



An unfederated Malay state which was ceded to British protection by Siam in1909. At that time there was one P0 at Kangar which used a postmark PERLIS. Used the same stamps as Kedah until 1948 (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although the first commemorative was issued in 1948 and another in 1949, the first definitive issue was not released until 26 March 1951. From 1957, stamps of the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Perlis.


In September 1963, Perlis became part of the new Federation of Malayasia, since when only low values have been issued by Perlis itself.


Trengganu


FIRST STAMPS Straits Settlements 1910.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1910.


CURRENCY

1910, 100 cents = 1 Straits or Malay dollar.



An unfederated Malay state which was ceded to British protection by Siam in 1909. There was no postal service prior to 1910 because the Sultan refused to allow stamps to be used without his head on them. The new PO at Kuala Trengganu (postmarked TRENGGANU) was opened in 1910 (for period 1942-8 see below).


Although commemoratives were issued in 1948 and 1949, the definitive issue was not released again until 27 December 1949. From 1957, stamps of the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Trengganu.


In September 1963, Trengganu became part of the new Federation of Malayasia, since when only low values have been issued by Trengganu itself.


Japanese occupation of Malaya


FIRST STAMPS Stamps of all states and Straits Settlements overprinted 1942-3.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1943.


CURRENCY

1942, as Straits Settlements.



Invaded in December 1941, the Malayan pensinsula was quickly overrun and Singapore fell in February 1942. All the stocks of stamps captured were handstamped with seals (chops) in Japanese or overprinted DAI NIPPON 2602 (the Japanese Year equivalent to 1942).


Many of these were made and sold locally, but they could be used throughout Malaya. The four northern states were ceded to Thailand in 1943. Definitive stamps for the rest of Malaya were issued in the same year.


Malaya (British Military Administration)


FIRST STAMPS See above.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 19 October 1945.


CURRENCY

1946, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



In 1945-8 while under British Military Administration the whole of Malaya used stamps of Straits Settlements overprinted BMA MALAYA. Some of the values were issued in different colours and were specially printed to be overprinted. Gradually from 1948 the states reissued their own stamps, but the BMA stamps continued to be used until 1951 (Kelantan).


Singapore


FIRST STAMPS See Strait Settlements above.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 September 1948.


CURRENCY

1948, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.
1965, 100 cents = 1 Singapore dollar.



One of the Straits Settlements until 1946, then a separate British Crown Colony until 1957. When the Federation of Malaya became independent on 1 August 1958, Singapore became the State of Singapore, and used the stamps of the Federation which were used concurrently with those of Singapore.


On 16 September 1963 it joined the Federation of Malaysia but seceded on 9 August 1965 to become an independent republic within the British Commonwealth.


Melaka (Malacca)


FIRST STAMPS See Straits Settlements above.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 December 1948.


CURRENCY

1948, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



One of the Straits Settlements until 1946. Issued commemorative in December 1948 but the first definitive issued appeared on 1 March 1949. From 1957 stamps for the Malayan Federation were used concurrently with those of Malacca.


In September 1963, Malacca became part of the new Federation of Malayasia. The first issue after the formation was on 15 November 1965 and the wording was changed to 'Melaka'. Since that date, only low values have been issued.


Pulau Pinang (Penang)


CURRENCY

1948, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.


FIRST STAMPS See Straits Settlements above.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 1 December 1948.



One of the Straits Settlements, an island which also administered Province Wellesley on the mainland. Issued commemoratives in December 1948, but the first definitives were released on 21 February 1949. From 1957 stamps for the Malayan Federation were used with those of Penang.


In September 1963, Penang became part of the new Federation of Malayasia. The first issue after the formation was on 18 November 1965 and the wording was changed to 'Pulau Pinang'. Since that date, only low values have been issued.


Malayan Postal Union


FIRST STAMPS ISSUED Postage Due only 1936.


CURRENCY

1936, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



The formation of the Union in 1935 led to the reissue of individual stamps for the four Federated Malay States. The Postage Due stamps were in use as follows:


1936 - 42 Straits Settlements, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak and Selangor.
1945 - 63 Singapore and the Federation of Malaya.
1963 - 15 August 1966 Singapore and the Federation of Malaysia (incl. The territories in Borneo).
15 August 1966 - 31 January 1968, Singapore only.


In 1946, Victory stamps of the Colonial omnibus design were prepared but were never issued. A few of these were, however, released on the market.


Federation of Malaya


FIRST STAMPS See individual territories.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 5 May 1957.


CURRENCY

1957, 100 cents = 1 Malayan dollar.



In 1946, Penang, Malacca and the nine Malay States formed the Malay Union and, in 1948, the Federation of Malaya. This achieved independence on 31 August 1957. From 1948-63 each of the 11 territories issued their own stamps (see above) which were valid in each other's territories. In 1957, general issues for the Federation were introduced which could be used throughout the Federation and were used concurrently with the stamps of the states. All stamps were superseded on 15 November 1965 by the stamps of Malaysia.


Federation of Malaysia


FIRST STAMPS See individual territories.

FIRST STAMPS ISSUED 16 September 1963.


CURRENCY

1963, 100 cents = 1 Malaysian dollar.



A Federation comprising the 11 peninsular Malayan territories with the addition of Sarawak and Sabab (formerly North Borneo).


Each constituent territory has its own 'omnibus' issue up to 25 cent value. For values above that, the stamps of the Federation are used. 1963-5 Singapore was also a member.



Malay States to 1943
Click map for larger view


Malaysia from 1942
Click map for larger view


Next Page >>


Current Stamp Auctions

Highlights


    We offer thousands of items for sale, here are just a few of our favourites...

  • BAHAMAS - 1863-77 4d bright rose

    BAHAMAS - 1863-77 4d bright rose "INVERTED WATERMARK" variety, SG 35w, fine used

    Go to item details...

  • NYASALAND - 1891 £1 deep blue Arms ovprinted

    NYASALAND - 1891 £1 deep blue Arms ovprinted "B.C.A", SG 14, superb marginal NEVER HINGED MINT. Rare and lovely stamp, well centered with full perfs and rich original colour.

    Go to item details...