Sunday, 29 November 2009

Handstamps of PR China

I received from a correspondent of PR China many postal cards with nice handstamp postmarks of various towns/cities of PR China. The postmarks are just incredible clear and nice. Of course, one has to read Chinese in order to appreciate the nice postmarks. I can't resist not to show you some of the postmarks I received......

Inner Mongolia; date: November 16, 2006

Shanghai; date: September 28, 2007

Hui Pei; date: March 10, 2003

Hei Long Zhiang; date: April 14, 2008

Kuai Zhoa; date: February 21, 2008

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Garden Flower State Definitives - Lotus

This entry is still on the topic of the latest stamp issue of Malaysia - Garden Flower State Definitives (Re-issue). The 5 sen stamp depicts lotus flower. The more correct scientific name for lotus is Nelumbo nucifera. However, the inscription of the scientific name in the re-issued stamp is Nelumbium nelumbo. I talked about it some time ago (click here to see what I discussed about the lotus).

I personally have brought up (in September 2009) the issue of the scientific name of lotus to the Philately Unit of Pos Malaysia. I also brought up the issue in the Philatelic Society Malaysia (PSM) forum last year in hope that PSM could bring up this matter to the attention of Pos Malaysia. However, the re-issue of the stamp still retains the same scientific name for lotus as that of the original issue.

By the way, lotus and waterlily are two quite different plants. They are belonged to different plant families. Click here to know more about the lotus and waterlily.

Change of Portrait of Ruler - Negeri Sembilan Definitives

The garden flower state definitives were re-issued on November 24, 2009 from the original ones issued on December 31, 2007. The major change between the original ones and the re-issued ones is the change of portrait of ruler for Negeri Sembilan, though the design of the other states remain similar. The orignal Negeri Sembilan garden flower state definitives employed the portrait of Tuanku Jaafar while the re-issued ones used the portrait of Tuanku Muhriz. Actually, there was a stamp issue to commemorate the installation of Tuanku Muhriz as the 11th Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan on October 26, 2009.

5s garden flower state definitive for Negeri Sembilan
left: original one; right: re-issued one

portraits of the rulers of Negeri Sembilan
left: Tuanku Jaafar; right: Tuanku Muhriz

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Malaysia 2009 - State Definitive (Re-issued)

Pos Malaysia released state definitive stamps on November 24, 2009 for all the 13 states (Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah dan Sawarark) and federal territory (Wilayah Persekutaan). The stamps are issued in format of mini sheetlet containing six stamps (5s, 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s). This stamp issue is a re-issue of the stamps released on December 31, 2007. Actually, all the stamps in this re-issue are the same as those issued on December 31, 2007 except the stamps for Negeri Sembilan. In the original issue, the portrait of Tuanku Jaafar was on the stamps, but for this issue the portrait of Tuanku Muhriz appears on the stamps. Apart from this, the gum used in this mini sheetlet is brown colour compared to those original ones in creamy green colour. Basically, the Negeri Sembilan stamps are considered as "new" stamps in strict sense. These mini sheetlets were sold in package. One package is priced at RM25 containing 14 mini sheetlets (one mini sheetlet one state) and a blank first day cover. The 14 mini sheetlets are presented in a small cute envelop.

portrait of Tuanku Muhriz is on the stamps for Negeri Sembilan set

the small cute envelop containing 14 mini sheetlets

Sunday, 22 November 2009

On Topic of Genetics

Genetics is an important knowledge in many fields - medicine, agriculture, biotechnology, evolution etc. I particularly have immense interest in genetics because my first degree was in Genetics. Well, there is one set of stamps from Sweden which has impressed me very much. The stamp set containing four stamps was issued on November 24, 1989 to commemorate the Nobel Prize winners in the category Physiology or Medicine (Genetics). Four important discoveries on genetics were depicted in the stamps.

The first stamp shows the discovery of the role of chromosomes in heredity. Thomas Hunt Morgan used the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to demonstrate how the chromosome crossing over gives raise to the ratios 3:1 and 9:3:3:1 in phenotypes. He received Nobel Prize in 1933.

The second stamp depict the discovery of DNA structure - the double helix - by James Dewey Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins in 1953. The breakthrough was actually based on the X-ray image of the nucleic acids and chemical composition of the four bases in a nucleic acid solution. The discovery of the double helix had indeed shocked the world in 1950s. Three of them received Nobel Prize in 1962.

The third stamp on the discovery of restriction enzymes by three microbiologists namely Werner Arber, Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Othanel Smith. Restriction enzymes are only found in bacteria. The bacteria use restriction enzymes for self defense from invasion of viruses by cutting the DNA of viruses into pieces. The restriction enzymes are then used by molecular biologists to cut (as a pair biological scissor) DNA into desired fragments for DNA manipulation (biotechnology). Three of them received Nobel Prize in 1978.

Finally, the forth stamp is on the discovery of jumping gene by a cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock. Barbara McClintock studied maize/corn, and she discovery certain genes could be moved around the genome of maize/corn. These movable element is called as transposable element or jumping gene. She received Nobel Prize in 1983.

These stamps are beautifully printed by recess printing. I just love them.

Nepenthes Stamp - Singapore

Singapore Post issued a set of four stamps on October 31, 2006. One of the stamps has an image of pitcher plant and frog. The pitcher plant species depicted in the stamp is Nepenthes ampullaria. Postal authority of Indonesia has also issued stamps on this pitcher plant species (click here to see the stamps). Nepenthes ampullaria is also recorded in Malaysia but Malaysia postal authority has not yet issued this pitcher plant species on stamp (click here to see pitcher plant stamps of Malaysia).

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Dragonflies of Taiwan

The postal authority of Republic of China (Taiwan) issued beautiful dragonfly stamps and souvenir sheets in three series. Series I was issued on October 11, 2000 depicting dragonflies found at forest stream; series II was issued on July 25, 2003 depicting dragonflies found at pond; and series III was issued on August 16, 2006 depicting dragonflies found at paddy field. Different aquatic habitats have different dragonfly species. Altogether 12 species of dragonflies are shown on the stamps and souvenir sheets. Taiwan has more than 120 dragonfly species. These dragonfly stamps are unique because different behaviours of the dragonflies are displayed on the stamps - perching (resting), hovering (hanging on the air), egg laying, courting (the female is guarded by male particularly during egg laying) and mating.

Dragonflies of forest stream
October 11, 2000

Anatogaster sieboldii, Trithemis festiva
Lamelligomphus formosanus; Neurothemis ramburii

The behaviours shown on the stamps are egg laying and perching. Anatogaster sieboldii is laying egg by inserting its tail into water. On the other hand, Trithemis festiva, Lamelligomphus formosanus and Neurothemis ramburii are just doing normal perching.

Dragonflies of pond
July 25, 2003

Sympetrum eroticum, Rhyothemis variegata
Acisoma panorpoides, Anax parthenope

The behaviour shown on the stamps are mating, hovering, egg laying and perching. A pair of Sympetrum eroticum is shown in the first stamp. This pair of Sympetrum eroticum is in the middle of mating. The male is red and the female is yellowish brown. Rhyothemis variegata likes to hover on the air, they just look like very small kite flying high in the air. Acisoma panorpoides is perching on a leaf. Anax parthenope is laying eggs by inserting its tail into plant tissue beneath the water.

Dragonflies of paddy field
August 16, 2006

Orthetrum pruinosum, Dipacodes trivalis
Crocothemis servilia, Orthetrum sabina

A pair of Orthetrum pruinosum is depicted in the first stamp. The male is red and the female is yellowish brown. The female is laying eggs by touching its tail on the surface of water, and the eggs will drop into the bottom of water. At the same time, the male (red) is guarding/courting the female so that other males could not approach and grab the female. On the other hand, Dipacodes trivalis, Crocothemis servilia and Orthetrum sabina are perching on stick, log and plant. The style of perching (the style is called obeliks) for Dipacodes trivalis is particularly interesting. This obeliks style having the abdomen pointing up to air is to avoid over heating by sun onto its abdomen during hot sunny day.

Of the 12 dragonfly species in the stamps, seven species can be found in the Peninsular Malaysia, i.e. Acisoma panorpoides, Trithemis festiva Neurothemis ramburii, Orthetrum pruinosum, Dipacodes trivalis
Crocothemis servilia and Orthetrum sabina. Actually, Peninsular Malaysia has more dragonfly species than Taiwan. More than 240 dragonfly species have been recorded in Peninsular Malaysia.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Hornbill Stamps of Indonesia

Recently, I acquired three hornbill stamps of Indonesia. The hornbill species depicted in the stamps are wrinkled hornbill (Aceros corrugatus), helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil or Buceros vigil) knobbed hornbill (Aceros cassidix). Wrinkled hornbill and helmeted hornbill are distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. Malaysia postal authority has issued hornbill stamps for these two species as well. On the other hand, knobbed hornbill is endemic to Sulawesi Island of Indonesia. (Click here to see other entries on hornbill stamps from this blog).

This wrinkled hornbill stamp is part of a miniature sheet containing six bird stamps. The miniature sheet was issued on July 15, 2009.

This helmeted hornbill stamp is part of a minisheet containing 11 stamps depicting flora and fauna of Indonesia. The minisheet was issued on November 5, 2008

This knobbed hornbill stamps is part of a 10 stamp set depicting flora and fuana of Indonesia. The stamp set was issued on November 5, 1996.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Cover with UJIMEL Label

Sometime we received normal letter or registered letter with a piece of adhesive white paper on the cover. The size of the adhesive paper is roughly 6 x 2.5 cm. Many people find it annoying to have a piece of white adhesive paper appearing on a beautiful cover. Actually, the white adhesive paper is the remain of UJIMEL label (uijmel is literally translated as test mail). Pos Malaysia measures the efficiency of mail delivery using UJIMEL. For some reasons some UJIMEL covers were not done proper, and the postal staff forgot to peel off the second half of the UJIMEL label for mail tracking. Therefore, some covers would have UJIMEL label (half of the label) remain on the cover. Showing below is a cover with the top part of the UJIMEL label. The cover was sent from Langkawi to Sg Siput on September 25, 2003.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Energy Efficient Building 50 sen - Ring Flaw 2

The Energy Efficient Building set was issued on September 9, 2009. I showed a ring flaw (green colour ring) on the 50 sen stamp a while ago (click here to see the green colour ring flaw). However, there is another ring flaw recorded on the 50 sen stamp (see the images below). This second ring flaw is grey colour, and it is a consistent flaw. It happens that the grey colour ring is found on the same sheet of the green colour ring flaw. However, not all the sheets with the green colour ring also have the grey colour ring flaw. In another word, the grey colour ring flaw is much less common than the green colour ring flaw. Go and check you stamps if you also posses this grey colour ring flaw!

the stamp on the left is normal and the stamp on the right has a grey colour ring flaw

the grey colour ring flaw (right image) is located on somewhere on the window of the yellow colour building

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Philatelic Activity - Bukit Dukong Post Office

Bukit Dukong Post Office had a philatelic activity on November 14, 2009. The post master of Bukit Dukong Post Office, Kak Ros, sms-ed me early in the morning on that day - it was 7 o'clock in the morning and I was still half conscious in my bed, I received her sms! Well, I did go for the activity. The philately unit of Shah Alam Post Office was invited to participate the event. I made some Setem-Ku (personalized stamp). Many old miniature sheets were still on sale, and the boat booklet (issued in 2000) was also on sale. Apart from sale on stamps and Setem-Ku, competition of jigsaw puzzle (picture of a miniature sheet) was held, and quite a number of kids and also adults took part in the competition. The Setem-Ku programme was particular successful as many costumers to the post office couldn't resist to make one or two sheets for their own and loved ones.

the sale of stamps and miniature sheets by the philately unit of Shah Alam Post Office

the person in charge of Setem-Ku busy in his work; standing on the left side is the post master of Bukit Dukong Post Office (Kak Ros)

Miniature Sheet - 1-Malaysia

The issue of 1-Malaysia stamp and miniature sheet was released on August 31, 2009 (click here to see the detail of the issue). The normal watermark for 1-Malaysia miniature sheet is SPM upright (click here to know more about SPM watermark). However, inverted SPM watermark has been recorded for this miniature sheet. I am learned that the occurance of SPM inverted for the miniature sheet is 1 in 100. I am lucky to get some copies of this inverted SPM miniature sheet.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Malaysia Postmarks 056

Kuala Lumpur B.23; date: November 10, 2009

Kuala Lumpur B34; date: November 10, 2009

Kuala Lumpur M5; date: November 10, 2009

Malaysia ATM (PAM) / Frama Label Cover

The ATM (PAM) used on this cover was printed on November 3, 2009. The cover was sent from GPO Kuala Lumpur on November 3, 2009.

New Frama Label of Malaysia

Pos Malaysia released new frama label on November 3, 2009. This frama label is called postal automated machine (PAM). The paper used in the PAM is thermal paper, and laser beam is used to create the printing on the paper. Five basic values are available from the machine - 30s, 40s, 50s, 100s and 200s. Other values are also available by choosing button "Other Values" on the machine with the allowed minimum value 10s. The PAM is self-adhesive label.

There are 13 digits at the bottom of the denomination. The first 3 digits indicate the machine number (eg. 001, the machine 001 is located at GPO Kuala Lumpur. At this moment only one machine is available. Pos Malaysia has intention to install similar machine in other post offices); the next 6 digits indicate the date (eg. 031109 meaning 3 November 2009); and the final 4 digits indicate the number of frama being printed on that day (eg. 0864 meaning the label is produced at 864th print of that day). Basically, the 13 digits on the frama form the serial number of the PAM.

The last time postal authority of Malaysia released frama label was on May 25, 1987 (click here to see the frama label). So, this new frama label has long been due. Showing below are the PAMs of 5 basic denominations printed on November 3, 2009. Click here to see the PAM machine.

Special Airmail and Seamail Labels with New Logo

The design of special airmail and seamail labels of Pos Malaysia has changed a bit. The Pos Malaysia new logo is used in these labels. Click here to see the old special airmail label and here to see the old special seamail label.