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.

Worthing Meeting Sat 24th September 2016


Report by Mike Padmore

Peter Cockburn, Rob Holley, Mike Kingsland, Dominic Morris, Andrew Norris, Susan McEwen, John ?Newton?, Mike Padmore, Joe Robertson, Martin Roper, Len Stanway.

The meeting opened with Andrew Norris displaying three frames, which were, as he described “all at Robertson Stage 1”, being sifted from recent, or not so recent, purchases. The first frame featured maritime material with some paquebot material, including a very worn cover, undeliverable at the time of the fall of Singapore, the ship being torpedoed on the way back to the U.K. A KPM ship cachet on a postcard which was a forerunner to all KPM ships being floating Post Offices.
Frame two featured WWII and hotel covers. The former included an item posted in Singapore dated 2 SE 1939 (the day before declaration of war), being a Pahang 2c postal stationery carrying a Straits 2c and a censor mark; a cover with triple censorship (Dutch, British, Italian); a cover with ‘Thailand implores the world for peace’ cachet and some Behn Meyer reused envelopes. The hotel covers included one with and all-over illustration on reverse.
Andrew’s third frame dealt with philatelic dealers’ communications. Four Australian covers to KL carried No Service/Service Suspended cachets applied in either Singapore or Australia, one with a dead letter office marking. A 6.10.1945 Coronation cover from Penang, from the freepost era, bore a Singapore ‘Delay Your Spending’ cancel on being returned to sender cancel.

Susan McEwen followed with three frames of the Japanese Occupation of Penang. The first frame featured three covers, one with the Itchiburi seal and two with Okugawa seals, several Penang overprints and a very travelled Penang to Lumut cover with ‘Retour/Gone Away’ cachets, 9 cancels in total.
Frame two featured four upgraded 2c postal stationery items. Three different types of black square (Japanese) overprints, including one on an orange 2c card (shipped 1941, few known pre occ) and one with a red circle (British) upgrade.
Susan’s final frame featured four examples of 2cs with Okugawa seals. These stamps were supposedly intended for revenue use, but showed one on cover put to postal use. Others had been used on a Summons and an Affadavit of Service. The frame concluded with a page of photographs, including a July 1954 parade and, a philatelic curiosity; a cancelled Stampex pc she had experimentally sent to herself, which was subsequently delivered without bearing and due marks!

Peter Cockburn opened Round 2 by displaying two frames, predominantly of revenues, although the first did feature a pair of BMA covers; a free from Kajang, with a CDS dated by hand (25 Sept?) and a Registered/Express cover of 18 AP 1946. He noted that the 1920s Express label was rarely used post Occupation. The frame continued with two receipts showing Sitiawan & Teluk Anson boxed straight line chops on money orders, provoking a discussion about whether these chops were ever used postally. These were followed by five Malayan Postal Orders (from Perak, Johore and Selangor) on Script CA paper, one used vertically. Two Malaysian POs followed, a first day of use (19 OCT 1989) and another without any serial number.
His second frame continued with the Postal Order theme, featuring reimbursement forms for lost POs including a Sarawak form incorporating the reimbursement PO made out to original payer and two Z note (replacement) POs. These were followed by nine recent Malaysian and three recent Singapore POs and several MPU counterfoils.

Mike Kingsland then showed modern Malaysia. Frame one covered the twelve months to the end of March 2016. Miles suggested less material had been issued in that period than normal. There were certainly less premium products (the Perak coronation being the only one).
His second frame featured watermark varieties. Miles commented on the desire of Malaysian collectors for watermarked paper, which increased the possibility of varieties being created. He ruminated on the “fiasco” of sheetlets culminating in an imperforate sheet. A 3 MR Stamp booklets followed (with an inverted wmk) which include a 5 MR voucher for the zoo – exceptional value if a visit was planned! Finally, there was a discussion about the application of PST to internal postal rates, which might ultimately result in different (non-PST) stamps for overseas post.

Dominic Morris then showed a pot pourri of recent acquisitions, opening with tribal postcards of the Orang Asli of Perak & Selangor. Subsequent frames included a 26 OC 41 cover from HK carried on an experimental clipper flight with a boxed Unreclaimed/Non reclame cachet not in Proud, a pair of commercially used uprated Chef’s Hat 15c Reg letters to Germany and GB and a Straits $25 postally used on piece, with a total franking of $36.
Having been regaled by lunch in the local hostelry, the meeting continued with Dominic displaying some eight further frames. The first part covered the Yang Di Pertuan Agongs/ Monarchy from 1957 to present. Highlights included a Private Secretary Cover for YDPA III; the 'missing gold' error and major perforation shifts from YDPA V; a perforation shift on the 30c YDPA X (with the lowest in the block having no values displayed on the stamps); the unissued 1959 Silver Jubilee of Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negri Sembilan; and the black-printing shift of SG128 of Selangor (the 1961 Coronation of Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah); the 1965 photo-essay for the Orchids stamps for Sultan Abdul Halim Shah II of Kedah; and the famous postcard of ‘the Sultan of Selangor’ holding court at the 1910 Conference of Rulers.
Part two covered the 1957 Pictorial issues. Highlights included the postmarks of all the offices from Trengganu of the period; several off-set stamps (mainly of the 10c and 50c values) and a lovely Revenue Bill of Exchange document (ex-Peter Cockburn) from Penang in 1960.

Len Stanway opened Round 4 with eight frames of material from late 1971 to mid 1975, all issues being represented. The first frame opened with new acquisitions that had arrived that morning; Singapore MyStamps sheets featuring the Olympics and Singapore’s first Gold Medal.
The frame included the 8th reprint of the 8 RP booklet and some SOCSO (the social security organisation) interpanneau blocks from 1971-3.
Frame two continued with SOCSO, featuring different printings from Dublin and London. Subsequent material included covers; a SE Asia Peninsular Games FDC; a 21st Pacific Air Travel Assoc. Conference special postmark on cover and two with the skeleton postmark used for ordinary mail at the Conference, one also showing the KL Philatelic Bureau postmark; Silver Jubilee Stampex covers and PC; a private special cover for the 75th Anniversary of the Methodist Boys Secondary School; then some commemorative stamps for the anniversary of formation of SOCSO, the designs of which were based on the original NI stamps.
Len’s fourth frame featured invitations to PO openings (Pudu, Petaling Jaya, Pulau Langkawi); a WHO cover with Ipoh and Timor CDSs; some 10th Anniversary of Malayasia covers and an example of the bound book given to delegates at the 17th UPU Conference, featuring as election of Malaysian stamps.
Frame five covered 1973-4 including; the Golden Jubilee of Interpol; the 1st Anniversary of Malaysian Airlines; FDCs of the establishment of KL as a Federal Territory (one, ironically, still cancelled with a Selangor CDS!). The next two frames displayed 1974; a Scout Jamboree proof; some Kelantan to Kuching internal Post Office correspondence; UPU imperforate proofs; the 1st Conference of the Inter-Asian ???? Federation; another PO opening invitation (Jenjaram). The final frame of Len’s display covered 1975 revenue issue usage for a passport renewal fee and on a Form of Praecipe, his display concluding with the
installation of Sultan of Pahang.

Joe Roberton then showed two frames of early airmail postage dues beginning with a 1930 GB cover via KLM addressed c/o the Singapore GPO. Joe pondered whether this might actually be the first Malayan air postage due. Three KLM covers followed where the air fee was 30c, but where senders had not included the post fee in the franking or realised that Dutch cheap rate only applied to the to N.E.I. and not Malaya. He also showed an early French air mail cover, though he did not know when the service to Saigon had begun.
Frame two include a pair of Imperial Airways first service covers, posted from Egypt and a Warne Bros internal service FDC with insufficient franking for air postage, where the Post Office must have presumed the intention was to send on this service, and so had applied postage dues.

Rob Holley closed the meeting with some old favourites, starting with his 'Perak War Cover', posted Singapore 20 Jan 1876. It was sent by a crew member of H.M.S. Thistle, the vessel which carried Resident Birch on his fateful visit to Perak before he was murdered, and which took an active part in the Larut War which followed. The 8 pages included an extract from the Straits Times which proves that the ship docked in Singapore the day before Rob's cover was posted there.
Then followed 11 sheets on Pangkor & The Dindings starting with a p/s card sent from Pangkor in 1892, and followed by covers, pieces, and stamps showing most of the postmarks used in the four offices (Pangkor, Lumut, Pengkalen Bharu and Sitiawan) from 1892 up to WW2. He talked about the curious history of Sitiawan P.O. which began using Perak stamps in 1890s although it was in The Dindings, then Straits stamps and finally those of the FMS when the settlement moved from its old site by the sea to a new one inland straddling the road from Ipoh to Lumut, which meant it was no longer under Straits administration.
Two pages came next bearing the three ppcs showing the aftermath of the collision between a charging bull elephant and the train from Tapah Road to Teluk Anson on 17.9.1894, illustrating the derailed engine, the rear of the train and the gajah mati (the dead elephant).
The next five sheets illustrated the Muslim troop mutiny of 15.2.15 in Singapore when the Tanglin Barracks housing WWI German internees were attacked. It included a cover from Berlin to an internee, a Straits p/s card from an internee to Denmark dated four days before the mutiny, a much redirected internal cover sent to the camp around the time of the mutiny, and another cover to an internee from a firm of Singapore solicitors on 30.3.15 which had had its stamp removed – possibly, Rob thought, by the Singapore censors looking for a concealed message.
Finally, Rob concluded by displaying a photograph of the famous occasion when members of the MSG visited Dr Wood in North Wales in October 1963 together with other material associated with 'the Major' (as the Doctor liked to be known.). The final item was a photograph of Dr Wood's former home, 'Coedfa', now a bed and breakfast where Rob stayed in 1992, and whose landlady could remember the Major well - a fitting conclusion to a very full and enjoyable day at the seaside.

Mike Padmore

Report by Mike Padmore


Go to the Members Only Area for the full report, with pictures of each display, and MSG members can join there!


That's All Folks





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