Saturday, 28 August 2010

Watermark Varieties of Malaysia Stamps 2010

The Malaysia recent stamps are full of watermark (SPM) variety. Some of these watermark varieties occur almost in equal number, and some of them happen to be less common. Looking for those less common watermark varieties is definately challenging but fun. One has to spend time to look for them, and of course, one has to have luck to bump into them. Do you collect watermark varieties of the Malaysia recent stamps? If you are not familiar with the terminologies of SPM watermark, you may visit to this entry for information.

I'm listing down here those varieties found/recorded for stamps issued in 2010. I may not own all these watermark varieties. The rarity of the watermark varieties stated here is just a guide, and their rarity status needs thorough study to verify. This list is by no mean exhaustive. Your help is sought to make this list more comprehensive.

Malaysia-Korea Joint Issue (Tigers) - 23 Feb 2010
- both the 50s stamps (Malayan and Korean tiger stamps) have sideway up and sideway down watermark. The sideway down watermark is less common.

Local Markets - 23 Mar 2010
- the 50s setenant pair stamps have upright and inverted watermarks. The upright watermark is rare.

Medical Excellence - 26 Apr 2010
- the 30s stamp has sideway up and sideway down watermarks. The sideway up watermark is less common.
- the 50s stamp has sideway up and sideway down watermarks. The sideway up watermark is less common.

Fireflies - 10 May 2010
- the 30s (Pteroptyx beami) stamp has sideway up and sideway down watermarks. The sideway down watermark is less common.
- the 30s (Pteroptyx valida) stamp has sideway up and sideway down watermarks. The sideway down watermark is rare.

Malayan Railway - 22 Jun 2010
- setenant pair 30s stamps have sideway down and inverted watermarks. It looks like the inverted watermark is rare.
- the RM3 miniature sheet has upright and inverted watermarks. the upright watermark is less common.

National Definitive Series (Garden Flowers) - 1 Jul 2010
- all the eight denominations (30s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, RM1 and RM2) have both upright and interverted watermarks with roughly equal number.

Threatened Habitats - 15 Jul 2010
- the 60s stamp has sideway up and sideway down watermarks. The sideway up watermark is less common.

Brave Warriors - 31 Jul 2010
- the 60s stamp has upright and inverted watermarks. The inverted watermark is less common.

Traditional Festival Food - 10 Aug 2010
- the booklet stamps (10 different stamp altogether) have sideway up and sideway down watermarks with roughly equal number.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A Tax Cover

All these while Pos Malaysia had turned a blind eye on underpaid mail by just stamping the underpaid mail with "T" mark without collecting the tax (apply postage due stamps). However, thing is changing now, and I have the feeling that Pos Malaysia is enforcing the tax collecting for underpaid mail. Below is a letter sent from Sg Petani, Kedah to an address in Kuala Lumpur on July 27, 2010. The correct postage rate for this letter should be 80s. However, the sender put only 30s postage stamp on the letter. So, the letter is underpaid for 50s. This is depicted in the blue T mark on the letter indicating the 80s and 50s differences. The payable tax is two times the underpaid value - 2x 50s. The postal staff put a hand writing (in red colour) 2x at the back of 50s indicating total payable value RM1. The blue T mark was stamped/cancelled by the GPO Kuala Lumpur. You may also see a black triangle T mark on the letter. The black triangle T mark was stamped/cancelled at Sg Petani PO. What happened was that GPO Kuala Lumpur sent a note to the receiver informing the underpaid letter and the need to collect the letter at GPO Kuala Lumpur. The letter was then collected by the receiver on August 16, 2010 at GPO Kuala Lumpur. The receiver had to pay RM1 to obtain the letter, and the postal staff at the GPO Kuala Lumpur counter stuck two pieces of 50s postage due stamps on the letter. The postage due stamps were cancelled at the GPO Kuala Lumpur dated on August 16, 2010.

This tax cover is said a fully serviced tax cover - tax marks and postage due stamps!

A Cover from Singapore

Below is a nice cover from Singapore. Two 1st class stamps (commemorate the Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore) are used to send this cover. I am not sure if the postage rate is correct. I would be highly delighted if the correct postage rate is employed on the letter/cover. Anyway, this cover is cancelled with a beautiful slogan postmark commemorating the Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore on August 14-26, 2010. The postmark was dated on August 16, 2010.

Non-Definitive Stamps - Period of Use

Many of us feel highly delighted when we receive letters/covers (not first day covers) franked with beautiful non-definitive stamps (commemorative or special stamps). However, there are too many instances that these nice letters/covers are franked with "old" stamps - for example letters/covers sent/postmarked in August 2010 franked with commemorative/special stamps issued in 1990s or even older. Honestly, the covers/letters with this type of situation look "odd" in my eyes. I don't know if you also have similar feeling when you receive these type of letters/covers. In philatelic words, this situation is known as out of period of use.

Now, you may ask what is the exactly the definition for within period of use. Well, it is very subjective, and it very much depends on individuals. I supposed the commemorative/special stamps used with two weeks after their date of release will definately be superb. Use within two months after the release date is also good; use within six months after the release date is not too bad; use within one year after the release date is acceptable........ well, the covers/letters would definately become more and more unpalatable when the date drags on.....

Are you on the same boat as I on the issue of period of use? hehehehehehehe...........

Saturday, 21 August 2010

18 Years Old Again.............

On August the 16th, the owner of this blog was celebrating his birthday. Someone asked the owner of this blog his age, and the owner of this blog told that person that he was 18 years old last August, and he is 18 years old again this August, and he will be 18 years also next August...... hehehehehehehehe

The postmarks below dated on August 16, 2010 to cheer up the owner of this blog for his birthday..... :)

Happy Family.........

I have been looking for serial number of garden flower stamps for all the eight denominations. Finally, I've obtained the last two mising denominations in my collection - 50s and RM1. Now, I have serial number for all the eight denomintions of the garden flower definitives - happy family!

Below are the serial numbers for the denominations 50s and RM1. Click here to see serial numbers for 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s; click here to see serial number for 30s; click here to see serial number RM2.

Friday, 20 August 2010

It Is Fading Away.........

Bandar Baru Bangi Mail Centre is still using 1-Malaysia slogan machine cancellation for most of the mail. The 1-Malaysia slogan cancellation in Bandar Baru Bangi Mail Centre was first introduced some time in August 2009. It has been a year since the introduction of 1-Malaysia slogan cancellation in the mail centre, and I believe that the cancellation cast has never been changed or replaced. Therefore, the 1-Malaysia slogan postmark could not be seen clearly (blur......) on the covers cancelled lately.... Sometimes, I was just wondering if the vision of 1-Malaysia is just fading away by time...... hehehehehe

this 1-Malaysia slogan postmark dated on August 28, 2009 - very clear slogan postmark

this 1-Malaysia slogan postmark dated on July 9, 2010 - very blur slogan postmark

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sunday, 15 August 2010

2005 Bird Definitive 30 sen - 2010/2

The serial number for 30 sen bird defintive is now 2010/2. So, this is most likely the last serial number for 30s bird definitive, and 30s garden flower definitive will replace this 30s bird definitive.

2005 Bird Definitive 20 sen - 2009/2

The serial number for 20 sen bird defintive is now 2009/2. The 20s bird stamp from this serial number is a new variety because for the first time the 20s bird stamp is in brown gum.

Fruit Definitive (Starfruit) - Serial Number 2010/01

The appearence of serial number 2010/01 for RM2 fruit definitive (starfruit) was a bit of surprise for many definitive collectors. Many thought that the RM2 starfruit definitive would just end by serial number 2007/1 (click here to see the other serial numbers for RM2 starfruit definitive), and the denomination RM2 definitive will be replaced straight away by RM2 garden flower definitive. So, the appearence of RM2 fruit definitive serial number 2010/01 is most likely due to the printing of this serial number (badge of reprint) early of year 2010 before the emergence of the proposal of new garden flower definitives (in fact the garden flower definitives only came to light in May 2010 though the release date was on July 1, 2010).

There are a few things worth to note on this RM2 starfruit definitive serial number 2010/01. Fisrtly, the RM2 starfruit definitive from this serial number has brown gum. So, this is a new variety for RM2 starfruit definitive (previous one has creamy/green gum). Secondly, the new logo of Pos Malaysia is employed for the printing of logo on stamp sheet (see second image below). Thirdly, the numbering system of the serial number is reversed back to the early day ones - "01" (2010/01) is used rather than "1" (2010/1).

Garden Flower RM2 - 2010/1

I just acquired the serial number block for RM2 garden flower definitive stamp. The serial number is 2010/1 (click here to see serial numbers for denominations 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and click here to see serial number for denomination 30s). So, now I'm still hunting serial numbers for 50s and RM1 denominations.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Some Simple Covers

Lately, I have received these covers from various Europe countries. These covers are just simply elegant in their undisputed beauty. I just love them for their simplicity and clear cancellation.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

A Registered Cover from Taiwan

I received this nice cover from Paul. I noticed that Paul had sent covers to a few collectors using lighthouse stamps (the stamps were released on July 28, 2010). Most of the lighthouse covers sent by Paul were cancelled with special pictorial first day postmark. The one that I received is different - normal post office cancellation. Paul knows that I "hate" special pictorial first day postmark, therefore, he sent me this registered cover on July 28, 2010 by normal cancellation from Pingtung Post Office. If he sent me cover with special pictorial first day postmark, I would "scold" him until the cow comes home..... hehehehehehe

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

To Collect, To Study, To Write

I supposed there are plentiful of stamp collectors around to collect all kinds of philatelic materials (stamps, covers, first day covers, postal cards, postal orders etc.). Some collectors collect everything (covers/stamps and what-so-ever from any what-so-ever countries) under the sun, some make their scope of collecting smaller, and some even go to highly specific niches/areas. So, which category or categories are you in?

It is fun to collect, and to look at your collection for pleasure and enjoyment. When a collector changes from a general collector to a specific collector, his scope of collecting would become smaller and more specific, and at the same time the involvement of study/reseach on area/scope of collecting would intensify. This is the joyful moment in collecting as one feels more "knowledgable" on the scope/area of his collection (he has professed on stamp collecting..... hehehehehe). Of course, one needs enough materials (or to be more precise the accessibility and availability of materials) for his collection to study and research. Accessibility and availability is the key here for specific collecting. For many specific collectors, therefore, collecting the stamps from the country where the collectors residing would be the choice. Well, there are also some specific collectors residing in a country different from the countries he collects. Most of these specific collectors would have to put in extra effort to obtain specific materials for collection and study.

What I just implied above is mainly for country collectors. Thematic collecting may have different prespectives though. Well, I will grumble on thematic collecting some other time.

For stamp collectors in Malaysia, we are generally blessed with nice issues of stamps, and the number of issue per year is around 15 - I think this is reasonable. Apart from that, the denomination or the price per issue of stamps is relatively low. Collectors of modern/recent Malaysia stamps should be happy in pursuing their collecting. Malaysia modern/recent stamps (particularly the stamps issued for the past 20 years) are full of varieties - watermark, perforation and gum. This creates a nich for serious and specific collecting. Well, those residing in Malaysia would have the advantage to hunt and search for these varieties from post offices at face value. The fun part in collecting Malaysia stamp varieties in Malaysia for those new issues is that you do not know what varieties (perforation, watermark and gum) will come out in the new issues, and you do not know which varieties are less common! One has to survey a good number of copies from different post offices to have an idea which ones are less common.

Well, this is only about varieties on perforation, watermark and gum. Some really serious collectors even have gone into the format of stamp sheets. The recent commemorative stamps of Malaysia are normally printed in format of sheet-of-20. There are a good number of collectors to collect stamp sheet (they look beautiful on display). The format of perforation on sheet margins may be different for some issues, and some perforation combination may also be different on different stamp sheets, and all these render a good excuse for serious collectors to collect them.

The story has not stopped yet. The recent definitive stamps of Malaysia are printed in sheet-of-100 with imprint of plate number or serial number. The badge of reprints on these definitive stamps could be traced/indicated by a specific system of plate number and serial number. So, collecting plate and serial numbers is real fun but very challenging!

Having said that, I don't see why those (collect modern/recent stamps) residing in Malaysia do not focus on Malaysia modern/recent stamps. Malaysia modern/recent stamps are waiting for you to be explored!

Collecting stamps is fun. Searching specific stamps is fun. Successfully acquiring a variety is fun. In order to acheive the highest level of pleasure in stamp collecting, one has to study and do research on the scope/area of collecting. However, the varieties and other aspects of the modern/recent stamps of Malaysia need a lot of research and study. This information from the study and research needs to be recorded and shared. Then, this comes to another aspect of stamp collecting - writing up. It would definitely be fun to share your knowledge/findings in a write-up published in philatelic journals/periodicals. Are you ready for this? Some may take part in displaying collection in stamp exhibitions. Some may resort to stamp blogging/interneting. All these actually have one same purpose - sharing. Honestly, I find that a good philatelic research write-up on journal/periodical is more meaningful, as the good article would be referred for many years to come.

Logos of Postal Authority of Malaysia

Throughout the history of postal service of Malaysia, three logos have been used including the current one. After the formation of Malaysia, the postal service of Malaysia was named as Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pos. I am not sure when the logo of Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pos (Fig. 1) was introduced. Perhaps some could help me to find out the answer. This very first logo of postal authority of Malaysia had been used until December 31, 1991.

On January 1, 1992, the postal service of Malaysia was privatized, and it has been named as Pos Malaysia Berhad, or convinently known as Pos Malaysia. Of course, a new logo was introduced on the occassion of privatisation (Fig. 2). This logo was being used until the middle of 2009.

In the middle of 2009, Pos Malaysia introduced a new logo (Fig. 3). This logo has since been in use until today.

Fig. 1: The logo of Jabatan Perkhidmatan Pos. This logo had been used until December 31, 1991.

Fig. 2: Logo of postal authority of Malaysia during the period 1992-2009.

Fig. 3: A new logo of Pos Malaysia introduced in the middle of 2009.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Traditional Festive Food - Secret Code

Pos Malaysia released traditional festive food on August 10, 2010. There are 10 different stamps (80s each stamp) from stamp sheet and 10 different stamps (60s each stamp) from stamp booklet. These stamps are in format of "mirror" image. One visitor to my blog (ohmcs110) alerted me about the secret code of these "mirror" stamps. It happens that the stamps depicting Malay, Sarawakian and Sabah food contain secret code! Merging the 80s and 60 stamps of Malay and Sarawakian food give a wonderful view of full plate! However, the stamps of Sabahan food may need a little bit of turning to view the full plate. This is absolutely fabulous! However, the stamps of Chinese and Indian food do not have this secret code.

merging 80s and 60s stamps of Malay food

merging 60s and 80s stamps of Malay food

merging 80s and 60s stamps of Sarawakian food

merging 60s and 80s stamps of Sarawakian food

merging 80s and 60s stamps of Sabahan food

merging 60s and 80s stamps of Sabahan food

2010 - Traditional Festive Food

Pos Malaysia released a stamp issue on August 10, 2010. The stamp issue on topic of traditional festive food consists of a block of 10 stamps (80s each stamp) from stamp sheet, a block of 10 stamps (60s each stamp) from stamp booklet and a miniature sheet (RM3). The design of stamps is in a format of mirror image - only for the drawing of food but the wordings are not mirror image. To get a set of stamps from stamp sheet, a set of stamps from booklet and a miniature sheet, one has to dig up RM17. So, it is one of the expensive commemorative stamp issues in Malaysia philately. Of course, many collectors grumbled on the price of this commemorative stamp issue.

As usual, the stamps from the booklet come in two types of watermark - sideway up and sideway down - due to the format/layout of the booklet stamps in the printing sheet. Nevertheless, the watermark on the miniature sheet is a bit weird. It is neither uprigth, inverted, sideway up nor sideway down. The watermark on the miniature sheet is 45 degrees inverted to the right or 45 degree sideway down!

block of 10 stamps from stamp sheet

block of 10 stamps from stamp booklet

miniature sheet

the front cover of stamp booklet

Monday, 9 August 2010

50 Years of UN - Plate Number

Recently, I acquired these blocks of stamps (50 Years of United Nations; issued in 1995) with plate number. These plate numbers are printed in black colour - different from the normal four-colour plate number in most of the stamp issues by Pos Malaysia.

Maxicards from Australia Post

I went through my collection of covers and cards, and I found these two elegant maxicards. I think I bought these two flora maxicards from Australia Post in 2002 through online ordering. Australia Post is one of the few postal authorities to produce official maxicards on regular basis. Sometimes, how much I wish Pos Malaysia aslo produces official maxicards from time to time (Pos Malaysia did produce official maxicards in one occassion - Mountains of Malaysia). This will definitely save us time from chasing and looking for concordant postcards for making maxicards. Well, I think many serious maxicard collectors will disagree with me on this point :)

The two maxicards below portray waterlily and lotus flowers. The stamps were issued on August 6, 2002, joint issued with Thai Post. Recently, Pos Malaysia issued a lotus flower stamp, and a few maxicard collectors in Malaysia have created beautiful maxicards on lotus.

waterlily (Nymphaea immutabilis)

lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Postal Rates - Domestic vs Overseas

With the latest postal tariff revision (started on July 1, 2010), something is not quite right when one tries to compare the domestic and overseas rates.

Pos Malaysia divides overseas mail into five categories (zones) as below:
Zone B: Developing countries of Asia Pacific
Zone C: Developed (industrial) countries of Asia Pacific such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Zone D: Europe and Middle East (including Egypt)
Zone E: North and South America and Africa

The rates for the basic airmail letter (less than 20g) to the five zones are as follow:
Zone A: 90s (35s for each additional 10g)
Zone B: 95s (35s for each additional 10g)
Zone C: RM1.40 (35s for each additional 10g)
Zone D: RM1.50 (50s for each additional 10g)
Zone E: RM1.80 (70s for each additional 10g)
postcard: 50s flat rate to everywhere overseas

The problem with the latest tariff revision is that the overseas rates unrevised (unchanged), and the revision only affects the domestic rates (click here to see the revised domestic rates). This makes the postal rates distorted when one to compare the domestic and overseas rates. For example, a letter (brown colour envelop; which is designated as non-standard) of 15g sent to Vietnam is only cost 90s, but if the same letter is sent within Malaysia (domestic) it will be 80s! The different is just 10s - very much unrealistic! Furthermore, the same letter sent to Korea/China will only cost 95s - a 15s difference when compared to domestic rate!

Another very much distorted situation is the comparison of overseas postcard rate and domestic standard (less than 20s with white envelop) letter rate. The standard domestic letter rate is 60s but the overseas postcard rate (even for destinations Haiwai, Ethiopia, South Africa etc.) is 50s. The domestic rate is 10s more expensive than the overseas postcard rate!

It looks like there is something very wrong on the postal rates of Malaysian mail. Pos Malaysia may need to revise the postal rate again, and the next round of revision would most likely focus on the overseas rates. I believe the revision would be done "soon".