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Federated Malay States Postal Stationery. 1887-1935 [ Henry Ong ]







A 12-page display by Henry Ong to the Royal Philatelic Society, London on 15 Oct 2009 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Malaya Study Group. Page 1 of 12.


Forerunner - Postal Stationery items were supplied directly from the Straits Settlements to the 4 states from 1885 prior to their own issues. Perak was the only state to issue a Straits Settlements overprinted 1cent local rate card in 1887, which made it the first of the 4 states to have its own Post Card. Subsequently, Perak (1893), followed by Selangor (1896), Negri Sembilan (1897) and lastly Pahang (1899), issued their own 1-cent local rate Post Card. These cards were sometimes additionally franked with Straits Settlements stamps for overseas destinations.


Post Cards - The unified 'leaping tiger' design was used on all Federated Malay States Post Cards. There were major changes in the postal rates from 1st January 1918 and to meet demand, the existing Post Cards were overprinted with the new rates. The colour of the 2 cents local rate card was changed from green to brown in 1922. The local rate Post Card was also upgraded in 1924 to 5½" x 3½". To conform to the UPU colour scheme, the local rate card reverted back to green and the 4 cents Empire card was changed from carmine to orange in 1927. A new format 2 cents green Post Card was issued in 1934.


Envelope, Letter Card and Newspaper Wrapper - On 16th October 1928, various other types of postal stationery were introduced to meet the increasing demand from the public. Envelopes with embossed value in two denominations, the 4 cents for use within Malaya and 6 cents for the British Empire were issued. At the same time, a 2 cents Newspaper Wrapper for the printed matter rate and a 4 cents Letter Card were also issued.


Registration Fee Paid Envelopes - 5 cents Registration Fee Paid Envelopes in 4 standard sizes (F, G, H and H2) were issued in 1901. They were subsequently re-issued in 1905 with new values of 10 cents when the registration fees were revised on 1st Jan 1904. From 1906, De La Rue produced the 10 cents Registered Envelope in a new format and 5 standard sizes (F, G, H, H2 and K) were recorded as issued between 1907 and 1921. It should be noted that the 'F' size was last issued in 1919 and the 'K' size was introduced in 1920. The 12 cents Registration Fee Paid Envelope in 4 standard sizes (G, H, H2 and K) were subsequently issued from 1923 when the registration fee was increased to 12 cents on 1st Oct 1921. In 1929, the 15 cents Registration Fee Paid Envelopes in 4 standard sizes (G, H, H2 and K) were issued with an embossed design similar to the Prepaid Envelope. From 1934, the 15 cents Registration Fee Paid Envelope in 3 standard sizes (G, H and H2) were issued with the embossed oval on the long tapered flap folded to the back of the envelope. This new design conformed to the International Agreement regarding the sealing of insured letters.