Old China Town KL The Malaya Study Group Selangor SG 87

The Malaya Study Group exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia which until 1963 formed the Federation of Malaya, including the Straits Settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, the Federated Malay States, Negri Sembilan and Sungei Ujong, Pahang, Perak and Selangor and the Unfederated States, Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu. Many MSG members also collect & study all of modern Malaysia, Singapore, and the island of Borneo, comprising additionally  Sabah, Sarawak, Borneo, Labuan, and the states of Brunei & the peninsular state of Singapore. Study of the whole area so often adds to understanding and appreciation of the philately of Malaya. The Society has a JOURNAL, "The Malayan Philatelist" and a NEWSLETTER supplied free to members, EXCHANGE PACKETS, AUCTIONS and has produced a number of significant PUBLICATIONS on the stamps and postal history of the area.

Postcards - Meeting Report Members displays

February 13th 2010

by Dominic Morris CBE, pictures by Nick Hackney

A well-attended meeting, with attendance in the high teens, plus two welcome guests, Huguette Tett and Brenda McClaren. Most who attended had brought material to show so there were, unusually four rounds.

Round One

Malcolm Wade

Opening the round one of the Group’s leading postcard collectors, Malcolm Wade, gave a super 3 frame display, including some of the material that features in his Penang book. Some lovely Kaulfuss (fl 1897-1907) including proof and prototype material; a study of the Federal Rubber Stamp Co Street Vendor series, cards from Malacca and some of the distinctive Bodom cards. Why was Penang so popular? Because it was the first landing point for Europeans in the orient and they rushed ashore to write the equivalent of ‘Mum, I’ve arrived’.

Gordon Peters

Gordon Peters followed with a fascinating set of very early hand-made postcards on the front of the 3c carmine postal stationery cards, initially ink or water-colour drawn, later photographs with over-stuck labels. Gordon showed Carcosa postcards (the FMS Residency) and a (possibly unique?) Carcosa printed envelope used with normal 25c Tiger Airmail. Why? For the GG’s private correspondence? Plus postcards of the Tumpat train, Seremban, early Pahang etc.


Malcolm Clark

The round concluded with two frames from Malcolm Clark (who admitted he had collected them for postal history not post-card reasons) but which included Singapore 1910, SS Chusan, and Floating Dry Dock 3 which had apparently been towed from the UK all the way to Singapore- looking at the entity, some voyage!


Round Two
Consisted of displays from Len Stanway and Susan McEwen.

Len Stanway

Len showed a Singapore miscellany and railways, including a series on the Penang Hill Railway No 2 (No 1 having been perfect in all respects save that at the opening ceremony the carriages had resolutely refused to budge: they were later sold for chicken coops); plus a good range of the SC1-265 Singapore post-independence postcards. There is a research string on the website forum about these. If members have any that are not listed there please let Len or Susan know.

Susan McEwen

Susan surprised us by showing Johore (!) a super study of the two 1906 Cursive Script and 1907 small block script ‘arms’ postcards series. Both complete, which must be a significant rarity and a real treat to see. It showed the ‘corrections’ with one in the 1906 set described as ‘Johore Palace’ being properly re-labelled in 1907 as ‘View from the fort’. Her display finished with a lovely series of the Johore pavilion at the Golden Gate international Expo 1939 (showing the immediate pre-war wealth and swank from rubber exports?)

Round Three

Bill Pain

Was opened by Bill Pain who showed a mixture of ancient and modern. Most interesting were the Lat cartoon card from the 1970s and the views of the Genting Highlands hotel and Bill’s story of his and Brenda Pain’s post-prandial near-escape on the road down in the mist. Bill was reticent about who was at the wheel, when the car got set to plunge several hundred feet downwards but he had to admit that both driver and passenger had nodded off. Thank goodness that the Statute of Limitations applies.

Charles Keel

Charles Keel showed a scholarly and fascinating display of the building and re-building/development of key districts of Singapore from the 1920s to the 1980s with post-card illustrations, maps and descriptions. Frankly, this was worthy of a whole afternoon’s worth of displays in itself. Charles has great first -hand knowledge and may be in line to lead a Members’ Singapore display, if he is not careful!

Round Four

Nick Hackney

Nick Hackney opened round four with a Johore Hotel promo-photo of the young (and well-decorated) Sultan Sir Ibrahim- how did he manage to get so many medals and stars so young? It’s a mystery. Nick showed seven of the 1907 Johore series and numerous cards of Penang & Singapore, 5 from Kaulfuss etc. On to 1924 Exhibition cards, Tin Dredger cards, much beloved of Dai Nippon, temples and aerial cancels on Concordes from Singapore and a 747 where the crew (possibly) couldn’t be bothered to unload at the right point and which, accordingly sported a Tokyo cancellation (Excuse me, these planes did not fly the Polar route).
Nick’s star display (for nostalgics) was a signed MSG 21st gala menu. It includes Howard Selzer’s signature, those of many in the room and those much missed by those in the room.

Peter Cockburn

Peter Cockburn showed North Borneo, mostly Sandakan including St Michael’s Anglican church and the Sanctuary lamp presented by Angela Burdett-Coutts (who was on very friendly terms, in the nicest and most tasteful early-Victorian way, with Rajah Brooke). The card, Peter said also had a major sentimental value to him, since he was married under the lamp.
Peter also showed cards demonstrating the re-development of Sandakan from its almost total destruction post- WWII to its reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s.
Peter concluded his display with a set of beautiful Chinese hand-made collages of stamps and water colours to produce classic scenes from both media. These 1930s examples are probably rare now.

David Tett

David Tett concluded the demonstration by showing around 60 cards of various scenes and poses. As David noted many of these, including famous views of e.g. Keppel Harbour, had been copied in their essentials by other printers. Was this a local phenomenon or was there a study to be done on the near copies and why from different printers. ( Comment: if there is such a study then David’s collection is certainly a worthy source-material source)




The Malaya Study Group website was originally created by the late John Morgan, to whom we are indebted for his pioneering dedication to the Group.

WebMaster: KewSoft Web Director Nick Hackney (malayastudygroup@hotmail.co.uk) Telephone & Fax: (44)-(0)208 876 7567