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.


Members Displays of Kedah & Perlis at Spink, London, January 18th 2014

Photographs by Nick Hackney & Report by Dominic Morris


15 Members gathered at Spink for the display, producing three rounds of displays.

Round one was a medley. Peter Cockburn opened with two frames of Kedah Revenues (which will form part of his larger Revenues Display at the Royal shortly). These included a number of rare and spectacular pieces. Your Correspondent’s favourite was a pre-War and Japanese Occupation Power of Attorney, much travelled, bearing pre-War Johore stamps, some from Malacca, Jap Occ overprints on Selangor, and similar with revenue overprint from Kedah: the document had to be attested and paid for in each State in which it was presented.




Carl Stott showed two frames of stamps and postal stationery from Kedah, including specimens (including the 8c perforated KGVI specimen- a hard to find stamp), a half sheet of Printing 6 of Plate 1 of the 1c, Kedah used in Perlis (including the ‘difficult’ 21c) and Perlis 1951 set forged cancels.




Susan McEwen showed JapOcc of Kedah postal history, including the 4 Duitt pre-printed card (which Kedah used earlier than any other State- before even the fall of Singapore), the ‘Kearney Watercolour’ cover and the $2 and $5 black overprint on cover (Philatelic, but wonderful. Your Correspondent yearns for this cover!), some Ingold covers and a Printed Matter rate cover addressed to Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister; in 1942 he was the DO at Kulim).






The round concluded with two frames from Joe Robertson. Postage dues (what else!) to and from Kedah including an interesting 1906 pre-printed letter cover from India to Kedah which attracted the blue ‘16c’ pencil mark; 16c because it was sent via Penang rather than via Siam (which at that time held suzerainty over Kedah) which would have cost 40 Atts (c20c); and an interesting ‘large 8’ mark which experts present believed to be genuine.





Round Two was shared between Rob Holley and Dominic Morris. Rob Holley took us through the oddity of the Kedah ‘ploughman’ stamp, where the plough was pulled by an ox rather than a bullock and over parched ground- the design being due to the British Adviser, Maxwell’s, high-handedness. The bulk of Rob’s display was the Perlis 1951 small heads issue, much acquired from Dr FE Wood and re-mounted in the approved Wood style (plate block mint, cover, and used examples, all used in Perlis); Kedah used in Perlis in the 1949-1951 shortage period and Perlis postal stationery.







Dominic Morris showed Japanese Occupation of Kedah, mint and used including all the black overprints; a study on Sultan Abdul Halim Shah II, the current Yang di-Pertuan Agong (and the only Ruler to have had that honour twice); the Perlis small heads series mint and used in Perlis; and a similar study on Raja Syed Putra of Perlis, including plate blocks of the 1957 series and City of London Corporation souvenir brochures of the Guildhall dinners given in honour of the respective State Visits by the Raja and Sultan Abdul Halim Shah II.







Round Three was shared between Gordon Peters and Andrew Norris, both on Perlis.

Gordon Peters displayed his usual classy mix of stamps and covers (and an interesting postcard showing the aerial view of Kangar, probably taken in the 1960s); including Siam, FMS and Straits used in Perlis; then Kedah used in Perlis, both the 1912 and 1919 series; a cover from the then British Adviser in Perlis; a JapOcc cancel used on a BMA cover; a selection from the 1951 set including the 3c ‘flap’ variety; and a UPU first day cover with a manually drawn Registration cachet; 1957 series Perlis MPO covers; and a range of pre-printed cards.







Andrew Norris concluded the day with a, possibly unparalleled, collection of ‘used in Perlis’, including a wide range of Siam, FMS, Straits and BMA; the Kedah 1912 set used in Perlis, including the $3 and $5 values- the only known copies used in Perlis; Kedah 1919; an AR mark, one of only two known; a wide range of covers; the 2c pre-printed Kedah postcard used in Perlis; aerogrammes and (on the spillover table) a lovely selection of postmarks for the various Perlis sub-offices, including Kwala Perlis, Arau, Padang Besar etc.; and some returned to the Dead Letter Office in Alor Star.
In all a very fulfilling display with much scarce or rare material and a considerable strength in Perlis, probably the most difficult of States to collect.








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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.

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