A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Malaya & States

1904-10 Scott 28 4c rose & black "Tiger" 
Federated Malay States
Quick History
The Malay Peninsula has been under British colonial and protectorate influence since Singapore became a crown colony in 1824. The Straits Settlements colony, consisting of Singapore, Malacca, and Penang, was formed in 1826. The rest of the Peninsula consisted of the sultanate led Malay States, under the administration and protection of the British. This blog post will examine the stamps issued by the Malay States from 1876-1955.
The Malay (now Malaysian) Peninsula
The Malay States consisted of:
The Federated Malay States ( as of 1895)...
Negri Sembilan/ Capital Seremban
Pahang/ Capital Kuala Lipis
Perak/ Capital Taiping
Selangor/ Capital Kuala Lumpur
Sungei Ujong, an unfederated Malay State, joined Negri Sembilan in 1895

The early stamps of these Malay states consisted of overprinted stamps of the Straits Settlements, and were issued between 1878-1891. Then, stamps were printed for the individual states between 1891-1900. And between 1900-1934, these Federated Malay States all had the same issues. After 1925, they again resumed their own stamp production.

...And the Unfederated Malay States
Johore/ Capital Johore Bahru
Kedah/ Capital Alor Star
Kelantan/ Capital Kota Bharu
Perlis/ Capital Kangar
Terengganu/ Capital Kuala Trengganu

Johore has overprinted stamps from the Straits Settlements (1876-1891), and then issued their own stamps. Kedah, Kelantin, and Terengganu began stamp production between 1910-12. Perlis didn't have a stamp issue until 1949.

Malacca (Melaka)/ Capital Malacca
Penang/ Capital Georgetown
...formally of the Straits Settlements colony, joined the Malayan Union in 1946.

The Malayan Union didn't last long, as independence was in the air, and was soon followed by the Federation of Malaya in 1948, which gave authority back to the Sultans.

Since Malacca and Penang were part of the Straits Settlements colony until 1946, one will only find their stamps after 1948.

Well, where are the various Malay States? How about if we examine a map? ;-)

British Malaya 1908
What is interesting about the 1908 map is how it reflects "philatelic development". All of the "color shaded" states have had stamp issues since at least 1889. The "white" states have not yet had stamp production. Note that the Federated Malay States, a British protectorate, consists of Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, and Selangor. The capital of the Federated Malay States is Kuala Lumpur in Selangor.

British Malaya 1922
The 1922 map has the Federated Malay States in gold, the unfederated Malay States in blue, and the Straits Settlements colonies in red.

I hope the geographical location of these Sultanates is now better understood. :-)

One other historical aspect needs to be addressed.....
Japanese occupations 1937-1942
Malaya and  Singapore was occupied by Japan from 1942-45. Japan gave its ally Thailand (Siam) control of the States of Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu. As the Scott Classic catalogue covers the British Commonwealth era to 1952, I will briefly include this period and the Japanese Occupation stamps.

After WW II, the British led Malayan Union of 1946 was changed quickly to the Sultan led Federation of Malaya in 1948. Independence was achieved in 1957. Then, with the addition of Singapore, Sarawak, and North Borneo (State of Sabah), Malaysia was born in 1963. Finally, Singapore exited in 1965.

1940 Scott 127 8c blue & black "Sultan Ibrahim"
Into the Deep Blue
The 2011 Scott classic Specialized catalogue has, for the Malaya section...
•Federated Malay States 1900-1934 regular, 1924-1962 postage due, 1943-44 occupation:
has 80 regular, 27 postage due, 20 (Japan) and 6 (Thai) occupation major stamp descriptions. Total = 133
•Johore 1876-1955: 169 major stamp descriptions
•Kedah 1912-1955: 96 descriptions
•Kelantan 1911-1955: 100 descriptions
•Malacca 1948-1952: 46 descriptions
•Negri Sembilan 1891-1900; 1935-55: 93 descriptions
•Pahang 1889-1899; 1935-55: 94 descriptions
•Penang 1948-1952: 52 descriptions
•Perak 1878-1900; 1935-1950: 176 descriptions
•Perlis 1948-55: 27 descriptions
•Selangor 1878-1900; 1935-55: 147 descriptions
•Sungei Ujong 1878-1895: 36 descriptions
•Trengganu 1910-55: 145 descriptions
Total = 1,314 !

That's a lot of stamps!

Affordability for the WW classical collector? One may need to eliminate two groups that are rather expensive.
•The occupation issues- some 354 stamps. (Not all are expensive, and one may want to collect some. But if one is drawn to these issues, well, then one is a specialist ;-)
• The early 1876-1891 overprinted Straits Settlements stamps are rather expensive - some 121 stamps.

That leaves 839 stamps. Of those, 377 are CV <$1-$1+, or 45%. The percentage is padded somewhat by the large 1950 era issues in the Scott Classic catalogue.

So, how will I approach covering so many Malay States? The reality is I am not flush with these stamps. ;-) By necessity than, this post will only lightly touch on the many stamps and issues found for the Malay States.

A closer look at the stamps and issues
100 Cents = 1 Dollar
1900 Scott 3 3c lilac & black 
Stamps of Negri Semblian overprinted in Black
Federated Malay States
The Federated Malay States, which consisted of the states of Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, and Selangor,  produced in 1900 an eight stamp issue overprinted as shown on the stamps of Negri Sembilan. A similar overprint was applied to six Perak stamps in 1900 also. Two of the Negri Sembilan stamps are a modest CV $3+-$4+, but the others are CV $10+-$300+. The Perak stamps are CV $20+-$700+. !

1901 Scott 18a 1c gray & green "Tiger", wmk 2
Federated Malay States
An eight stamp set was issued in 1901 with the famous "Running Tiger" design. Nice! The stamps had a colored frame with the vignette in black generally. Shown above is a minor number with the vignette in gray. CV for the stamps in the set ranges from <$1-$150+. The 1901 issue is found with Crown agent watermark 2, the "Crown and C A".
1904-10 Scott 29 5c scarlet & green/yellow, wmk 3 sideways
 Scott 29c 5c carmine & deep green/orange buff "Tiger"
Federated Malay States
A similar bi-color issue was produced in 1904-10, but this time with the Crown agent watermark 3 sideways "Multiple Crown and C A". The WW classical collector should be quite familiar with these British Colonial and Crown Agent watermarks: but, if not, one can find a refresher image with wmk 1,2,3,4, at my Hong Kong blog post*. This twelve stamp issue has a CV of $1+-$10 for six stamps.

This issue can be found with minor number color combinations as shown above.

(*Note: As all four British colonial watermarks can be found on Malay States, so consult the Hong Kong post as needed for a watermark review ;-)

1919 Scott 44b 4c scarlet, Die I
1906-22 Scott 44 4c scarlet Die II
Federated Malay States
Another issue was produced in 1906-22 with wmk 3, but just in one color. The eleven stamp issue has a CV  of <$1-$9.

Of interest, several stamps (1c & 4c) can be found with two Dies. Die I has a thick line under "Malay", while Die II has a thin line.
1931 Scott 64 10c violet/yellow, wmk 4
Federated Malay States
Between 1922-32, another one color issue was forthcoming, this time with watermark 4 "Multiple Crown and Script C A". This large issue had 24 stamps with the "Running Tiger" motif. CV ranges from <$1-$10+.

1922-32 Scott 73a $1 green & blue green 
"Elephants And Howdah"
Federated Malay States
The 1922-32 issue also had the large format "Elephants and Howdah" pictorial on four stamps (CV $10+-$800+!). Here the stamp is shown with a fiscal cancellation. This design for the higher denomination stamps, can be seen also on previous issues.

By the way, a "Howdah" is the ornate carriage on the elephant's back.

 Postage Due 1936-38 Scott J9 8c scarlet
Federated Malay States
Postage Due stamps with "Federated Malay States" script was issued in 1924-26. The rather plain design was again used for the 1936-38 six stamp issue, but this time with "Malayan Postal Union" script.

1943 Scott N32 8c dull blue 
"Monument to Japanese War Dead"
Issued under Japanese Occupation
One advantage of using the Scott Classic Specialized catalogue is it covers the British Commonwealth 1940-52 era, as does the classic Steiner album. So here we will be able to see some inexpensive (for a change) Japanese occupation stamps. A three stamp issue was produced in 1943, and has a modest CV <$1.

1943 Scott N38 15c violet
"Japanese Shrine, Singapore"
Issued under Japanese Occupation
An additional seven stamp issue (CV <$1-$4) was released in 1943. These striking peaceful stamps belie the horrors of war.
1890-91 Scott 12 2c rose
Stamps of Straits Settlements overprinted in Black
Some 18 Straits Settlements stamps were overprinted for use in Johore between 1876-1891. Other Malay States that did likewise include Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor, and Sungei Ujong. For Johore, the CV for these stamps range from $10+-$100+ for 12 stamps. The rest range up to the thousands. This is specialist territory, and I am just happy to show this one specimen. ;-)

1894 Scott 20 3c lilac & carmine rose "Sultan Abubakar"
1894 Scott 27 3c on 5c lilac & green
A seven stamp issue was released 1892-94 with a "Sultan Abubakar" portrait. Further, a four stamp surcharged issue was produced in 1894. CV for all these stamps is <$1-$90.

Abu Bakar was well known and respected for his diplomatic skulls, and he was a friend of Queen Victoria. Consequently, Johore ,through Abu Bakar's relationship with Britain, managed to keep its own autonomy in internal affairs.
1896-99 Scott 38 2c green & blue "Sultan Ibrahim"
1903 Scott 52 3c on 4c yellow & red, surcharged in black
With the coronation of Sultan Ibrahim in 1896, a new 15 stamp set was produced (CV <$1-$4+ for 7 stamps). In addition, two stamps from the set were surcharged as shown in 1903.

Sultan Ibrahim of Johore continued the friendly relations with Britain, to the point where he became unpopular eventually, because he opposed independence. He also became quite rich during his tenure

1904-08 Scott 60 2c violet & brown orange "Sultan Ibrahim"
1910-18 Scott 79 4c violet & red
Watermarked Rosette & Multiple Rosettes respectively
Another "Sultan Ibrahim" issue was produced, some 17 stamps, from 1904-08. CV is <$1-$8 for seven stamps. This issue has watermark 71, "Rosette".

Then, between 1910-18, a similar 10 stamp issue was produced with watermark 47, "Multiple Rosettes".

This might  be a good time to show off these watermarks. ;-)
Wmk. 71 "Rosette"; Wmk. 47 "Multiple Rosettes"
The watermarks are fairly obvious, and can often be spotted without using watermark fluid by examining the back of the stamp on a dark background.

1919 Scott 88 2c violet & green "Sultan Ibrahim", wmk 3
1922 Scott 110 10c violet & yellow, wmk 4
But we are not done with watermark varieties for these stamps. ;-) In 1918-19, a 14 stamp issue was developed with watermark 3, "Multiple Crown and C A". CV is <$1-$5+ for six stamps.

Then, between 1921-40, another 26 stamp set was produced; this time with watermark 4, "Multiple Crown and Script C A". CV is <$1-$3+ for 16 stamps.

1949-55 Scott 143 25c orange & rose lilac "Sultan Ibrahim"
In his older age, Sultan Ibrahim had this portrait for the 21 stamp 1949-55 issue. CV is <$1-$10+.

1912-21 Scott 1 1c green & black "Sheaf of Rice", wmk 3
Kedah's first stamp issue occurred between 1912-21 with this striking design, among others. The 20 stamp issue had watermark 3, "Multiple Crown and C A". CV is <$1-$6+ for 15 stamps.

1936 Scott 32 8c gray "Sheaf of Rice", wmk 4
In 1921-26, another similar issue was produced with the "Multiple Crown and Script C A" watermark. The 23 stamps in the issue has a CV of <$1-$6 for 17 stamps.

1950-55 Scott 69 10c plum "Sheaf of Rice"
The 1950-55 issue has a similar design for the lower denominations, and has 21 stamps. CV is <$1-$2+ for 19 stamps.
1911-15 Scott 3 4c black & red , wmk 3 "Symbols of Government"
1921-28 Scott 20 5c green & red/yellow, wmk 4
This scan shows the 4c black & red of the initial 1911-15 issue for Kelantan. The issue had 13 stamps, 11 of which have a CV of <$1-$4+.

The scan also has an example of the 1921-28 issue, which consisted of 13 stamps. The CV ranges from <$1-$3 for 8 stamps. Other than color differences, the major determination is wmk 3 vs wmk 4.

1937-40 Scott 29 1c yellow & olive green "Sultan Ismail"
Sultan Ismail had a lovely bi-colored 15 stamp set between 1937-40. Eleven stamps have a CV of <$1-$7+.

Sultan Ismail ibni Sultan Muhammad IV reigned from 1920-1943, and died of tuberculosis.

1951 Scott 50 1c black "Sultan Ibrahim"
The 22 stamp set of 1951-55 had a "Sultan Ibrahim" portrait. CV is <$1-$6+ for 20 stamps.

Ibrahim IV of Kelantan reigned from 1944-1960. He had three wives, 11 sons, and 12 daughters.

1949 Scott 4 2c orange "George VI" 
Type of Straits Settlements 1937-41
Malacca was part of the Straits Settlements colony until 1946 when it joined the Malayan Union. Therefore the first stamp issue, shown above, was not until 1949. The 1949 "George VI" issue, some 15 stamps, has a CV of <$1-$1+ for 12 stamps.
1935-41 Scott 24 5c chocolate 
"Arms of Negri Sembilan"
Negri Sembilan
 Negri Sembilan was a member of the Federated Malay States, but issued its own stamps between 1891-1900, and 1935-55. The first issue, after resumption of stamp production in 1935, is shown above. The issue had 19 stamps and the CV is <$1-$4 for 15 stamps.

1949-55 Scott 46 10c plum
"Arms of Negri Sembilan"
Negri Sembilan
The 1949-55 issue had 21 stamps, and has a CV of <$1-$3+ for 190 stamps. 

 1935-41 Scott 31 4c brown orange "Sultan Abu Bakar"
Pahang was another member of the Federated Malay States. But its own 1935-41 issue is shown here. The set had 18 stamps, 11 of which are CV <$1-$2+.

Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang reigned between 1932-1974. He was popular with the people but his inclination to marry actresses and commoners made him less so with the other Malay Sultans.

1950 Scott 50 1c black "Sultan Abu Bakar"
The 1950 issue had 15 stamps, with a CV of <$1-$1+ for 12 stamps.

1949-52 Scott 21 $2 rose red & emerald "George VI"
Penang was the other state (Besides Malacca) that left the Straits Settlements colony to join the Malayan Union in 1946. Here is a portrait of the familiar George VI on the 1949-52 issue. This 20 stamp issue has a CV of <$1-$2+ for 16 stamps.
1892-95 Scott 43 2c rose "Tiger"
Perak, one of the Federated Malay States, of course had their own stamp production before joining. Here is the four stamp issue for 1892-95 featuring the "Attacking Tiger". CV is <$1-$5.

1895-99 Scott 49 3c lilac & carmine rose "Tiger"
The 1895-99 issue had 15 stamps, and the lower denominations had this stunning design. CV is <$1 for six stamps.
1935-37 Scott 72 5c chocolate "Sultan Iskandar"
After stamp resumption in 1935, a 15 stamp issue with "Sultan Iskandar" was produced.  I like it! The CV is <$1-$1+ for eight stamps.
1939 Scott 86 4c brown orange "Sultan Iskandar"
Then, between 1938-41, another 19 set was produced of the Sultan. CV is <$1 for eleven stamps.

Iskandar of Perak reigned from 1918-1938, so he passed away at the onset of this stamp set.

1950 Scott 111 10c plum
"Sultan Yussuf Izuddin Shah"
In 1950, a 15 stamp set was issued with a portrait of Sultan Yussuf Izuddin Shah. CV is <$1-$1+ for 17 stamps.

Sultan Yussuf Izuddin Shah reigned between 1948-1963.

1951 Scott 7 1c black "Raja Syed Putra"
Perlis, a small unfederated Malay State, did not issue stamps until 1948. The above shows the first definitive issue, some 15 stamps, produced in 1951. CV is <$1-$1+ for 8 stamps.

Putra of Perlis reigned a long time, from 1945-2000.

1891-95 Scott 24 1c green "Tiger"
Selangor, one of the Federated Malay States, issued stamps prior to joining the Federation. Here is an example of the four stamp 1891-95 issue. CV is <$1-$5+.

1895-99 Scott 30 5c lilac & olive "Tiger"
The 1895-99 issue had 13 stamps, and had the "Tiger" design on the lower denominations. CV is <$1-$8+ for four stamps. Actually the rest have a very high CV, up to $4000. !

1935-41 Scott 50 8c gray "Mosque at Klang"
Kuala Lumpur is an exotic (to me) place indeed, and it is a special pleasure to have a nice postmark of that place. The 1935-41 issue has "Mosque at Klang" as a pictorial on the lower denominations. The 18 stamp set has a CV of <$1-$1+ for 15 stamps.

1949 Scott 87 15c ultramarine 
"Sultan Hisam-ud-Din Alam Shah"
The 1949 fifteen stamp issue has the portrait of Sultan hisam-ud-Din Alam Shah. The CV is <$1-$1+ for 12 stamps.

Sultan hisam-ud-Din Alam Shah reigned from 1938-1960, although he was removed by the Japanese during WW II as he declined to work for them.

1943 Scott N33 6c on 5c chocolate
Stamps of Selangor 1935-41, osverprinted or surcharged
Issued under Japanese Occupation
In 1943, the Japanese occupation forces released a 16 stamp surcharged set as illustrated. This particular set is not that costly, and the CV is <$1-$1+ for eleven stamps.

1894 Scott 32 2c orange "Tiger"
Sungei Ujong
Sungei Ujong is relatively obscure, as it was absorbed into Negri Sembilan in 1895. But it did issue stamps between 1878-1895. Here is an example of the three stamp 1894 set. CV is <$2+-$30+.

1894 Scott 35 3c on 5c rose
Sungei Ujong
Two surcharged stamps were also issued in 1894. The CV is <$1-$3+.

1925 Scott 26 5c violet/yellow
"Sultan Badaru'lalam"
Trengganu, an unfederated Malay State, issued stamp beginning in 1910. I don't have those. ;-) But the 1921-38 issue, with 22 stamps, has Sultan Badaru'lalam's portrait on them. CV is <$1-$3+ for 10 stamps.

Sultan Badaru'lalam reigned from 1920-1942.

1949 Scott 54 2c orange
"Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah"
The 15 stamp 1949 issue has a portrait of Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah. The CV is <$1-$1+ for eight stamps.

Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah reigned from 1945-1979. He was known as an excellent amateur photographer.

Deep Blue
Sungei Ujong in Deep Blue
Deep Blue (Classic Steiner) has 72 pages for Malaya & States, and follows the Scott Classic Specialized catalogue layout. That means some 1,314 spaces, and room for the all the expensive Japanese occupation issues, and general coverage often to 1955. I appreciate the later era coverage, as the weaning from British protectorate to independence is of much historical importance for the eventual State of Malaysia. But the many spaces for the Japanese occupations, as well as the early overprinted Straits Settlements spaces, will sadly remain empty for most general WW classic collectors.

1895 Scott 36 3c lilac & carmine rose "Tiger"
Sungei Ujong
Big Blue
Big Blue '69, on eight pages, has ...
Federated Malay States- 44 spaces
Johore- 41 spaces
Kedah- 24 spaces
Negri Sembilan- 15 spaces
Kelantan- 31 spaces
Pahang- 13 spaces
Perak- 37 spaces
Selangor- 21 spaces
Sungei Ujong- 6 spaces
Trengganu- 25 spaces
Total = 257 spaces

There are a few spaces for the early Straits Settlements overprinted stamps ( one Negri Sembilan, two Perak), and none, naturally, for the occupation issues.

There is no coverage for Perlis, Malacca, and Penang. The stamp issues from these States did not begin until 1948-49.

If one eliminates from consideration the early Straits settlements stamps, the stamps of Perlis, Malacca, and Penang (79 stamps), and the stamps in the Scott Classic catalogue after 1941 (225 stamps), one is left with 535 stamp possibilities. Coverage  for Big Blue is 48%, which is really not too bad. ;-)

By the way, the Malaya section is after Madagascar in the '69 edition. However, earlier in the Scott catalogue history, the Malay States were lumped with the Strait Settlements. Therefore, the '41/'43/'47 editions have the Malay States with the Strait Settlements section.

• 21 stamps are over CV $10, and 9 are on the "Most expensive" list with CV ranging from $35-$92+!
Of those on the most expensive list, three are forced by a blank space choice. But the worst offenders of high cost are the postage dues....

Johore 1938 Scott J2 4c green ($40)
Johore 1938 Scott J3 8c dull yellow ($42+)
Johore 1938 Scott J4 10c bister brown ($42+)
Johore 1938 Scott J5 12c rose violet ($62+)

Trengganu 1937 Scott J3 8c lemon ($47+)
Trengganu 1937 Scott J4 10c light brown ($92+) !

Kedah  in Big Blue 
• Big Blue has a tricky situation in the Kedah section- as BB usually ignores watermarks. There is an illustration for the 1912 Scott 10 10c black brown & blue "Native Plowing". ( The red stick pin upper right) This would have watermark 3 "Multiple Crown and C A". Then, under the 1921-36 issues, there is a space for the 1921 Scott 33- described as the "10c black brown and blue"- yes, the same stamp, but with watermark 4 "Multiple Crown and script C A". !!  ( The red stick pin lower left)  A word to the wise. ;-)

• As usual for BB, there are spaces where stamps with different watermarks are eligible. The comment section below the checklist gives specifics.


Federated Malay States

18 or 26, 19 or 27, 20 or 28, 21 or 29, 22 or 30, 23 or 31,

38*, 39 or 49, 41,42,43,44*,
45 or 60,46,47,


Next Page

(Federated Malay States)
Postage Due

Next Page

1893-94 (Actually 1891-94)






59 or 76, 77, 61 or 78, 62 or 79, 63 or 80,64 or 81, 65 or 82,

101,88,89 or 106,91 or 109,






Postage Due

Next Page


1921-36* (Actually 1919-36)
2 or 23, 24*,3 or 25, 5 or 26, 27,28,29,30,


Negri Sembilan





Next Page




Next Page




1886-90 (Actually '91)






Next Page

1938-40 (actually '41)



Next Page

Sungei Ujong







Postage Due


A) Expensive stamps ($10 threshold):
Federated Malay States 1900 Scott 2 2c lilac & brown ($35 mint)
Federated Malay States 1900 Scott 5 10c lilac & orange ($10+)
Federated Malay States 1900 Scott (9) 5c lilac & olive ($20+
Federated Malay States 1931 Scott 70 35c dark violet & carmine ($10+)
Federated Malay States 1924-26 Scott J5 10c orange ($10)
Federated Malay States 1924-26 Scott J6 12c ultramarine ($10+)
Johore 1938 Scott J1 1c rose red ($10+)
Johore 1938 Scott J2 4c green ($40)
Johore 1938 Scott J3 8c dull yellow ($42+)
Johore 1938 Scott J4 10c bister brown ($42+)
Johore 1938 Scott J5 12c rose violet ($62+)
Kedah 1937 Scott 47 12c gray violet & black ($10+)
Kedah 1937 Scott 49 30c deep carmine & yellow green ($10)
Kelantan 1911-15 Scott (9) $1 green & emerald ($55)
Kelantan 1937-40 Scott 38 30c scarlet & dark violet ($20+)
Pahang 1899 Scott 14A 4c lilac & carmine rose ($10+)
Pahang 1895-99 Scott 15 5c lilac & olive ($20+)
Selangor 1895-99 Scott (33) 25c green & carmine rose ($60)
Selangor 1895-99 Scott (34) 50c lilac & black ($20+)
Trengganu 1937 Scott J3 8c lemon ($47+)
Trengganu 1937 Scott J4 10c light brown ($92+) !

B)  ( ) around a number indicates a blank space choice.
C) *1901-05- often two choices-wmk 2 vs wmk 3
D) *1906-22- occasionally two choices-wmk 3 vs wmk 4. Also BB's dates eliminate some 1923 issues-Scott 56 & 62.
E) *38,*44- two Die choices
F) *1904-18- two choices-wmk 71 vs wmk 47
G) *1919-24- two choices wmk 3 vs wmk 4
H) *1938 Postage Due Johore -expensive! Four stamps @ $40-$60+!
I) *1921-36 (Actually 1919-36) Kedah- there are three 1919 stamps that can be included as choices- Scott 2,3,5.
J) *24 Kedah- two Types
H) *10 and *33 Kedah- same stamp, but one is wmk 3, the other wmk 4!
I) *22 Negri Sembilan- green in BB is deep green in Scott
J) *27 Negri Sembilan- dark violet in BB is dull violet in Scott
K) *1 and *(14) Kelantan is same 1c green, wmk 3 and 4 respectively

1943 Scott N35 1c gray green "Rubber Tapping"
Issued under Japanese Occupation
Out of the Blue
Malaya & States remind me of a cross between the India Native Feudatory States and the India Convention States stamps in terms of complexity. And, like the India stamps, they offer a philatelic world of their own. I am pleased that I now have at least an introductory understanding.

Note: Maps appear to be in the public domain.

Malaya - Bud's Big Blue



  1. Hello Jim,
    Your site is very interesting. I just got an old stamp collection from my grandmother. Its amazing the history you can learn about through these stamps. I have a couple that I can't find anything about. One is from 1873 Don Carlos from espana. The other stamp was in the French colony section but has no name but Post on top value is 3 and has very small horns on each corner it is tan and dark brown. Any ideas where I can look?


  2. Hello Dan

    The descriptions are not enough to tell for sure.

    One way would be to join a forum group, such as Stamp Community Family (SCF), and scan and upload the stamps, and ask for help.

    Otherwise, a visit to the local Stamp Club with your album would find people who might be able to identify these stamps.

    Finally, a visit to the library, and find them in the Scott catalogue.

    Good Luck!

  3. Wonderful summary. My father collected Malaya and I spent many a long winter evening helping him write up his collection. This is one area of the world where 20 years ago the stamps were still quite inexpensive but with the rise of the Asian tigers saw a dramatic rise in value. Combine with the beauty many of the designs (the Kedah first issue defins, those lovely tall Kelantan Ibrahims, the Tigers and the Elephant & Howdah high values from the FMS) and it makes for one of the more fascinating areas of the philatelic world. DJCMHOH

  4. DJCMHOH- thanks for the recollection with your Father,sharing stamp collecting, and the lucid comments about Malaya.

  5. Many years ago I found a Malaya specialized album at a local auction. It was fairly complete up through the late 1930s and, on one of the higher value stamps (I don't remember which), the sultan was upside down. I ended up the underbidder, it having achieved $1200. I'm sad I didn't keep going and, had I been more knowledgeable, I likely would have. I agree with D...H. These are fine stamps to collect indeed.

  6. Jim, this is a great write up. I find the Malaysian states so fascinating, and have often been tempted to move my collecting cut-off date to 1957, just so I could include them in my realm of collecting. Thanks for tempting me again.



  7. Thanks Michael
    It was fun to put together. ;-)

    BTW, I've referenced your Mozambique transition map for my Mozambique post that is in the queue- Thanks!


  8. Jim - you are most welcome to use anything. Also, I have recently put up two new transition charts - Crete and Rhodesia/Nyasaland Area. Over the winter will move to the Russia area. As always, many thanks for your support.


  9. Well, I might reference your Rhodesia/Nyasaland transition map also, :-) Thanks Michael!

  10. I had no idea Malaya and its states was so interesting, and it is somewhat like the Indian states. But these Malay stamps seem generally better designed in some ways. This area always seemed too complex to get into philatelically for my taste, but perhaps a "representative collection," to use the Scott phrase, would be fun. Or not, depending on how much these stamps have been bid up by the great Asian interest in stamps recently. They did like Sultans and Tigers, didn't they? Odd that the Japanese occupation stamps are actually nicely designed and not merely thrown together like the old German occupation stamps in Europe were in WW I.
    Another very good write-up. Thanks.

  11. Drew- appreciate your take on Malaya and States- good analysis.

  12. thank u,

    there are more thn information. your blog helpful to me....

  13. Ray McIntire, Springfield, TNApril 8, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Hey Jim,
    BTW, I bought my 4th '43 Big Blue a couple of weeks ago, and I haven't even opened it yet! But I'm almost done tearing down the first 3..

    Got to the Straits Settlements and then the States. Just wanted to let you know that I've found several surprises in the collections, and one was a beautiful unused #31 Sungei Ujong which goes in the first spot..nice CV and always great to put one in the first spot, whether it's a #1 or not. Really nice surprise with this one, and wanted to gloat a bit! Take care and have a great weekend.

    Not much stamping this week, but I was able to take in my first trip ever, to a practice round at the Masters on Tuesday-- a real bucket list check off!


    1. Congrats on the Sungei Ujong and glad you are having fun. That is what it is about!

      I don't play golf, but enjoy watching the skill (and rising tension) with with players during major golf tournaments. Augusta is particularly beautiful.

  14. Dear Jim,
    I'm Prof Faridah Abdul Rashid from Malaysia (old name Malaya). I am retired from teaching at my university in Kelantan. I found your site on Malayan stamps useful and highly informative. Your information is accurate. However, the information on the Perlis stamp has some typos. It should read Raja Syed Putra of Perlis. The other line should also read Putra. Thanks.

    1. Dear Prof Faridah Abdul Rashid

      Thanks you for the complements, and an glad you found this site useful. Thanks you for alerting me to the typos - they have been corrected.