Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Traditional Malay Weapons

Traditional Malay Weapons

Date of Issue: 1984-05-30
Denominations: 40 cents
Stamp Size: 39.19 mm x 24.13 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Harrisons & Sons (High Wycombe) Ltd., England
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Peter Khang Howe Ket

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

Traditional Malay weapons can be classified into swords, daggers, spears and also the cannon. The most well-known of these weapons is the dagger, that is the keris, badik, tumbuk lada, pedang, golok, beladau, lawi ayam, tombak, meriam and the ekor lutong. The keris has been the national weapon of the Malay people for over five hundred years. However, today the keris and other traditional weapons are being made more for decorative and ceremonial purposes.

A keris is primarily a weapon for thrusting. Basically there are five types of keris namely the keris from the Northern States of Peninsular Malaysia and Patani, from Rembau, the Javanese Keris, the Bugis Keris and the Sumatran Keris. The keris can be further classified according to the parnor, the iron used, the shape of its blade and the hilt. A keris must be made of at least two kinds of metal. Some keris have been known to contain even up to seven or more kinds of metal.

The blade of a keris is double-edged and it tapers to a point. It can be between twenty and forty cm in length and is either straight or sinuous, depending on the type of keris. Normally, there are three, five or seven waves but some keris even have nineteen waves. The sheath of a keris is normally made of ornamental wood and can be plain or intricately carved.

The most beautiful part of a keris is the hilt which is carved from hard wood, horn, bone or ivory depicting a variety of decorations such as the hulu pekakak (Kingfisher's Head) and the hulu burung (Bird's Head). A keris with hulu pekakak is part of the regalia of His Majesty the King.

Tumbuk Lada

The tumbuk lada has a straight blade and usually does not exceed twenty cm in length with only one cutting edge. Its hilt is normally tubular and is carved so that the top resembles a pepper crusher hence its name, tumbuk lada. The sheath of the tumbuk lada is normally carved.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Formation of Federal Territory of Labuan

Postage Stamps to Mark the Formation of Federal Territory of Labuan

Date of Issue: 1984-04-16
Denominations: 20 cents and $1.00
Stamp Size: 27 mm x 35 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

Labuan is a district in Sabah, comprising entirely of islands, namely Labuan, Kuraman, Daat, Papan, Rusukan Besar, Rusukan Kecil dan Burung. The area of Labuan Island is approximately 92 sq km. It is situated on the northwestern side of Sabah, about 8 km away from the Sabah mainland. Labuan can be reached via MAS flight from Kota Kinabalu, which normally takes about half an hour.

Before joining Malaysia, Labuan and other parts of Sabah were a British Crown Colony since 1946. The population of Labuan, made up of many ethnic groups, has now reached 26,500.
Labuan is famous as a scenic port. It is a free port and is the second largest in Sabah. The port handles a variety of trade, including barter trade which is popular among the small traders in this region. It is also well known as a tourist resort, particularly among the foreigners who love its beautiful natural surroundings.

Industries too, have developed in Labuan Island, especially around the Ranca-ranca Industrial Zone. Labuan exports flour and animal feed, and in the near future will produce important goods, such as liquefied petroleum gas, sponge-iron and methanol.

On the 16th April 1984, another important event in Malaysian history will be recorded when Labuan becomes a Federal Territory. With this change of status it is hoped that Labuan will achieve a greater pace of development for the benefit and prosperity of the people and the nation.

20c – depicts development in Labuan Island and Malaysian Crest

$1 – depicts Labuan Island and Malaysian Flag

Sunday, April 27, 2008

10th Anniversary of the Formation of Federal Territory

Commemorative Issue of Postage Stamps to mark the 10th Anniversary of the Formation of Federal Territory

Date of Issue: 1984-02-01
Denominations: 20 cents, 40 cents, and 80 cents
Stamp Size: 39 mm x 24.5 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Mara Institute of Technology, Shah Alam

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia was proclaimed a city on 1st February 1972. It is in Kuala Lumpur that the economic activities of trade and industry are concentrated on both locally and internationally. It is also the center for Federal Government policy and decision-making and the station for all communication networks. In 1974 the Federal Capital was extended to cover 243 sq km (94 sq miles) and later came to be known as the Federal Territory having a population of 1,036,000 people (1980 population census).

During the past ten years Federal Territory has undergone rapid social, economical and physical development. This is in line with the Government’s intention to plan a dynamic city comfortable to live and work in. Being one of the major cities for the production of the world’s primary commodity, the Government’s intention is to transform Kuala Lumpur into a trade center.

Kuala Lumpur has played its role as a political and administrative center since Independence. It is here that most government ministries, private firms and foreign embassies are located. With the declaration of Kuala Lumpur as a city and the formation of the Federal Territory, Kuala Lumpur is now in the process of playing a vital role in the economic and social field so that its people could enjoy a better standard of living.

Living its tug as an exemplary city, Kuala Lumpur naturally outshines other towns in terms of beauty, convenience and other facilities. Lately the government has increased its effort to boost the beauty of Kuala Lumpur. All these factors are imported to the present population who are concerned with a higher quality of life and a decent environment.

Today, there are many interesting places in Kuala Lumpur. Nevertheless, due to development process, many trees are being cut down thus destroying its natural landscape. Therefore, it is the Government’s aim to safeguard and maintain as much of the trees and the natural landscape as possible so as to ensure the quality of the surroundings, whereby Kuala Lumpur can truly be called a ‘Garden City’.

It is the nation’s objective to ensure that the development of the Federal Territory achieves an equal balance among the other regions. Its aim is to ascertain an equitable distribution, not only in terms of income, but also to provide health and education facilities, public services, recreational facilities, housing, social and economical development in line with the New Economic Policy.

20c – Depicts the Federal Territory as a city state clean and free from environmental air pollution – that is in line with the concept of a ‘Garden City’.

40c – Township Location Concept. Though Federal Territory is fast developing but emphasizes on restructuring all the districts with well planned and organized buildings.

80c – Depicts the Federal Territory as a city state clean and free from environmental air pollution – that is in line with the concept of a ‘Garden city’

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The 25th Anniversary of Bank Negara Malaysia

Commemorative Issue of Postage Stamps to Mark the 25th Anniversary of Bank Negara Malaysia

Date of Issue: 1984-01-26
Denominations: 20 cents and $1.00
Stamp Size: 26 mm x 43.5 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Mr. Phoon Poh Hoong

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) was established on the 26th of January 1959 as the monetary authority of the nation, with responsibilities for currency issue, management of the nation’s reserves, and acting as the Government’s banker and financial advisor. The Bank is also responsible for monetary policy and the promotion of a sound financial structure in the country.

One of the first tasks undertaken by Bank Negara was the creation of domestic banks and the expansion of the banking network to the rural areas and small towns where banking facilities were inadequate or non-existent. Through its regulatory and supervisory functions, Bank Negara oversees the prudent expansion of the banking system by encouraging the adoption of efficient management and sound banking practices in order to generate public confidence in the banking system. A local stock exchange was established in 1962 to facilitate the development of the capital market and the first discount house was established in 1963 to assist in the development of the domestic money market. The finance companies were brought within the jurisdiction of the Bank in 1969, and the first merchant bank was established in 1970 to provide specialist-banking services for the corporate sector. By 1983, there were 38 commercial banks with 608 offices, 41 finance companies with 248 offices, 12 merchant banks with 15 offices, 5 discount houses, 2 stock exchanges and a number of specialized financial intermediaries serving the growing need for sophisticated financial services in the country. There were only 23 commercial banks with 99 offices in 1959.

A major objective of the Bank is to promote monetary stability such that economic growth would proceed with price stability, it influences monetary and credit growth through a number of instruments, including the imposition of statutory reserves and liquidity requirements, the introduction of lending guidelines, management of interest rates and operations in money and foreign exchange. As the custodian of the nation’s reserves, the Bank maintains a sizable portfolio of foreign assets to bank the currency it issues. To promote the New Economic Policy, the banks are obliged to follow lending guidelines to ensure that credit is readily available at reasonable cost to priority sectors of the economy, such as the Bumiputera Community, small-scale enterprises, agriculture food production, and low and medium cost housing. Bank Negara also acts as the financial adviser, banker and fiscal agent of the Federal Government, as well as banker to the State Governments where the Bank’s branches are located. Bank Negara assumed sole responsibility for the issue of currency with effect from June 1967. From the 15th of September 1983 the Bank issued a new series of notes with new designs and improved security features.

Bank Negara experienced rapid growth in its organization over the past 25 years. When the Bank was first established in 1959, the administration comprised only 4 departments with a total staff of 46. Today, the Bank comprises 13 departments with 8 branches in Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Setar and Ipoh. The total staff strength is now 1,800. Future development plans include the construction of a new Head Office extension and new branches in Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Melaka, and Shah Alam.

20c – depicts the Ipoh branch building of Bank Negara Malaysia and is in full color.

$1.00 – depicts the Alor Setar branch building of Bank Negara Malaysia and is in full color.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hornbills of Malaysia

Hornbills of Malaysia - Special Issue

Date of Issue: 1983-10-26
Denominations: 15 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, and $1.00
Size: 25 mm x 37 mm
Paper: Unwatermarked
Printing Process: Offset lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps
Designer: Peter Khang Howe Ket

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

The hornbill belonging to the Bucerotidae family is probably most closely related to the kingfisher. The hornbill can be found distributed from Africa through Asia to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It has short wings, a rather long tail and its second and third toes are partly fused. The hornbill uses its long curved beak to dexterously manipulate food items such as fruits, insects and small vertebrates. Its beak is capped by a casque which is light and hollow, shaped and colored according to age and species in all except the Helmeted Hornbill. Unusually well developed ‘eye-lashes’ protect the eyes of the hornbill. The hornbill ranges in size from that of a domestic pigeon to a large turkey. All species of the hornbill depend on woodland since they nest in tree holes. For most of the nesting cycle, the female hornbill walls herself in and is fed exclusively by one or more companions to emerge only after its young are well-grown.

15c – Depicts the HELMETED HORNBILL (Enggang Tebang Mentua)

Found in Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this very large hornbill is territorial, often solitary and specializes in the figs of lowland rainforest. It is the only hornbill with a solid casque (valued as hornbill ‘ivory’). The laughing call of this hornbill carries far but the bird itself is secretive, rarely leaving the forest canopy.

20c – depicts the Wrinkled Hornbill (Enggang Berkedut)

Restricted to Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo this hornbill lives in low-lying forests of the coastal plains, which it roams in small parties in search of fruit. With progressive loss of their special habitat Wrinkled Hornbills are probably now the rarest Malaysian species and may shortly disappear.

50c – depicts the White Crested Hornbill (Enggang Jambul Putih)

Restricted to Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this hornbill, a gregarious species, lives permanently in parties of five or more individuals in forests most usually of hilly areas and often in secondary growth along rivers. The diet of this hornbill includes animal items and occasionally even snakes.

$1 – depicts the Rhinoceros Hornbill (Enggang Badak)

Found in the lowlands and hills of Java, Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula and Borneo, this hornbill is a large and relatively common bird. This hornbill normally lives in pairs and more than 20 such birds may sometimes gather at a favored fruit tree. Its up-turned casque which is straight in young birds develops with age.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

50th Anniversary of the Malaysian Armed Forces

Commemorative Postage Stamps to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Malaysian Armed Forces

Date of Issue: 1983-09-16
Denomination: 15c, 20c, 40c, and 80c
Stamp Size: 31.75mm x 48.26mm
Paper: White unwatermarked security postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Waddingtons Security Print Ltd., England
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

The Malaysian Armed Forces consists of three distinct services namely the Army, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong (King) is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and he exercises his authority on the advice of the cabinet or the Defense Minister. The Defense Minister is responsible to His Majesty the King and to the Cabinet on all policy decisions relating to security and defense and ensures that the Armed Forces and the various formations and units under command carry out these policies.

The Armed Forces Council comprising a representative from the Council of Rulers, the Chief of Defense Forces and the Service Chiefs is the highest authority for the command, control and administration of the Armed Forces except in cases where actual security operations are involved. The task of and responsibilities as regards operations and planning have been delegated to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. This Committee, which is chaired by the Chief of Defense Forces is the highest professional military body and is answerable to the Minister of Defense and is responsible for all operational matters pertaining to the Armed Forces.

For the purpose of effective administration and proficiency in its roles, the Armed Forces is divided into various Departments and Divisions, each with its own command, staff organization and functions.

The history of the Army began with the formation of the first unit of the Army when 25 dedicated and adventurous Malay youths joined the first Experimental Squad of the Royal Malay Regiment on 1 March 1933 in Port Dickson.

The idea of forming the first Experimental Squad was mooted at the Legal Conference of the Federal Council in 1913 but was left in abeyance due to the First World War. This proposal was brought up again after the war in 1920 but was not seriously considered by the British because they did not believe that the Malay Youths had the spirit or the capability to join the Army. However, nearly 12 years later on 13 September 1932, the War Office of the Colonial Government in London gave the agreement for the formation of the experimental squad of the Malay Regiment. Thus on 1 March 1933, 25 youths were selected for training and they formed the first batch of soldiers of our nation.

By 30 June 1934, the Experimental Squad of 25 was increased to 156 to form the first Experimental Company of the Malay Regiment. The Experimental Company brought along with it the traditions and customs of the Malays, hence their uniforms included the ‘songkok’, and ‘samping; and the motto ‘Taat Setia’ in Jawi. On 1 February 1935, an additional 232 soldiers were recruited and their satisfactory performance and dedication to duty, four soldiers from the initial 25 were granted commission by the King of England on 4 November 1936. They were 2nd Lieutenants Ariffin bin Haji Sulaiman (No. 8), Ibrahim bin Sidek (No. 12), Ismail bin Tahar (No. 13) and Raja Lope Noor Rashid bin Raja Abd. Rahman (No. 25).

The first combat test for the Royal Malay Regiment came with the outbreak of World War II where they performed commendably alongside the British soldiers and their Commonwealth allies in the defense of Malaya and Singapore.

The Royal Malaysian Navy was formed in 1939 by the British Government to provide security to the territorial waters of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore. It was originally called the Malay Section of the Royal Navy and consisted of 400 youths who received training in the HMS PELANDOK at the Royal Naval Base in Singapore. Their motto was ‘Ready to Sacrifice’. This Malay Section expanded to 1,450 men in 1942. By the end of World War II only 650 reported back for duty after having fought under the Royal Navy Flag in both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. In 1947, the British Government disbanded the Malay Section. On 23 May 1952, the Queen of England bestowed the title of Royal to the Malayan Navy and it was henceforth called the Royal Malayan Navy. When Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, the name changed again to the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The Navy is now largely responsible for guarding our Exclusive Economic Zone against any hostile intention and also providing protection to our fishermen. The Navy also participates in selected national development projects.

The Navy has its operational Headquarters in Lumut, Perak. For its sacrifices and dedication to the nation His Majesty the King bestowed the Royal Colors to the Navy on 12 March 1966.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force was formed at the Royal Air Force Base in Kuala Lumpur on 2 June 1958. The history of the Force began with the arrival of the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer as its first aircraft in service. The aircrews were recruited from the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force. By December 1958 the Flight Training School was established in Kuala Lumpur.

On 25 October 1960 the Royal Air Force Station situated alongside the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Royal Malaysian Air Force purchased helicopters in August 1963 and Dart Heralds in November 1963, thus increasing the scope and responsibility to include operating, servicing, repairing and maintenance of these aircrafts.

With the increased requirement of air support, a new air base was established in Kuantan in April 1967. In 1967 another air base was established in Kuching and this became the operational headquarters of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Sarawak.

Today the Royal Malaysian Air Force has more than 100 aircrafts and is able to carry out its roles and tasks more effectively.

The Army is deployed in operational areas throughout the country, forming the first line of defense for the nation. The Royal Malaysian Navy is responsible for the security of our territorial waters including the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Royal Malaysian Air Force gives protection to our air space and provides tactical ground support. All three services of the Armed Forces also provide assistance to the Civil Administration in times of floods and other national emergencies.
The Armed Forces celebrates its Golden Jubilee Anniversary on 16 September 1963 with 50 years of dedicated service of His Majesty the King and the Nation. The decision to celebrate the Armed Forces Day on 16 September of each year was decided at the 79 meeting of the Armed Forces Council on 10 February 1965. The first such celebration was held on 16 September 1965 to promote esprit-de-corps amongst the 3 services, so that the officers and men could understand each other better in their roles and tasks in the defense of the nation.

The total elimination of the communist terrorists within the country is now the primary task of the Armed Forces.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The 25th Anniversary of the Installation of His Royal Highness Tuanku Haji Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhu

Commemorative Postage Stamps to Mark the 25th Anniversary of the Installation of His Royal Highness Tuanku Haji Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badishah

Date of Issue: 1983-07-15
Denominations: 20 cents, 40 cents, and 50 cents
Stamp Size: 31.84mm x 48.34mm
Paper: White unwatermarked security postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 50 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

His Royal Highness Tuanku Haji Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badishah, D.K., D.K.H, D.M.N, D.U.K, D.K (Kelantan), D.K. (Pahang), D.K. (Selangor), D.K. (Perlis), D.K. (Negeri Sembilan), D.P. (Sarawak), S.P.M.K., S.S.D.K., the 27TH Sultan of Kedah Darulaman was born on the 28th November 1927 corresponding to 4th Jamadilakhir 1346 Hijrah at Alor Setar, Kedah.

His Royal Highness received his early education at Titi Gajah Malay School and later at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Setar, Kedah. In February 1949, His Royal Highness proceeded to United Kingdom for further studies and after a short matriculation course, His Royal Highness was admitted to his father’s old college, Wadham College, Oxford University in early 1952. In this college His Royal Highness took a Diploma Course in Social Science and Public Administration. On completion His Royal Highness returned to Kedah in 1955 where His Royal Highness was posted to the Kota Setar District Office Kedah and later in 1957 to the State Treasury.

His Royal Highness Tuanku Haji Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah was appointed the Crown Prince of Kedah on the 6th August 1949 while His Royal Highness was still in England. Later during the absence of the late His Royal Highness Sultan Badishah from the State from the 12th of March to the 3rd of July 1957, His Royal Highness was appointed Regent. His Royal Highness ascended to the throne of Kedah on the 15th July 1958 on the demise of His father, the late His Royal Highness Sultan Badishah. His Royal Highness was formally installed as Sultan of Kedah on February 20th 1959.

In March 1956, His Royal Highness married Her Royal Highness Tuanku Hajjah Bahiyah binti Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman, D.K., D.K.H., D.M.N., the eldest daughter of the then Yang di-Pertuan Besar and Tuanku Ampuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan (later to become the First Yang di-Pertuan Agong of the Federaion of Malaya and the Raja Permaisuri Agong). His Royal Highness is blessed with three daughters, Her Highness Tunku Intan Safinaz (1967), Her Highness Tunku Soraya (1961) and Her Highness Tunku Sarina (1961).

His Royal Highness was elected the Fourth Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong by the Conference of Rulers on 21st September 1965 replacing His Royal Highness the Sultan of Terengganu who was elected as the Fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong. On 23rd July 1970, His Royal Highness was elected as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong by the Conference of Rulers and was sworn in on 21st September 1970. His Royal Highness was officially installed as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 20th February 1971. His Royal Highness completed his term of office on September 20th 1975. On 23rd March 1966, His Royal Highness was appointed Colonel in Chief of the Malaysian Reconnaissance Corps until His Royal Highness was elected the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 23rd July 1970. With this appointment His Royal Highness also became the Field Marshall of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

On completion of his term of office as the Fifth Yang di-Pertuan Agong on 21st September 1975, His Royal Highness was succeeded by His Royal Highness the Sultan of Kelantan. On 23rd September 1975, His Royal Highness was appointed the Colonel in Chief of the Royal Malay Regiment.

His Royal Highness traveled widely in Europe between 1950 and 1954 and went on a world tour from the 10th of April to the 9th of June 1963. During His Royal Highness term as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, His Royal Highness made official visits to Iran (1971), Thailand (1973), United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan (1974). As the highlight to the tours, His Royal Highness went on pilgrimage to the Holy land in 1974. In 1980 His Royal Highness again toured Europe and the United States of America.

Since his school days His Royal Highness showed keen interest in sports and athletics and His Royal Highness used to follow its developments mainly in Kedah. Through these interests and activities, His Royal Highness had the chance of meeting and knowing the people of all walks of life. Among his hobbies are tennis, golf, billiards, photography and jogging.

His Royal Highness is the Patron of the Royal Kedah Club, Alor Setar, Patron of the Malay Students Association Alor Setar, Patron of the Kedah Amateur Athletics Association, Patron of the Kedah Camera Club, Patron of the Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia, Patron of the Malay Badminton Association Malaysia, Patron of the Malaysian Orchid Society, Patron of the Kedah Golf Association, Patron of the Malaysian Government Services Welfare and Recreational Council, Patron of the Kedah Kite Flying Competition, First Patron of the Sultan, Abdul Hamid Bus Fund Committee Alor Setar, Patron of the Malay College Old Boys’ Association Kuala Kangsar, Patron of the Kedah Justice of Peace Association, Patron of the Kedah Family Planning Association, Patron of the Kedah Shooting Association, Patron of the Sungei Petani Rotary Club and patron of the Lions’ Club, Alor Setar, Sungei Petani and Kulim.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Opening of the East-West Highway

Commemorative Postage Stamps to Mark the Opening of the East-West Highway

Date of Issue: 1983-07-01
Denominations: 15 cents, 20 cents, and $1.00
Stamp Size: 31.84 mm x 48.34 mm
Paper: White unwatermarked security postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 50 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

With the opening of the East-West Highway to traffic on 1st July 1982, another milestone in the history of road communication in Peninsular Malaysia was achieved. The construction of the Highway was one of the largest projects undertaken by the Public Works Department and its completion adds to the large mileage of roads in the country providing necessary access to new areas and the infrastructure for development works. The construction of the main Highway was carried out by Public Works Department workers; while the bridges and some of the ancillary works were carried out through contractors.

With the attainment of independence in 1957, the ferry services along a number of roads in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia were replaced with bridges and this reduced travel time. However, road communication between the East Coast and West Coast was through Kuantan. The distance between Kota Bharu and Penang was 1037 km. Due to poor road communication, the vast hinterland in Kelantan and Terengganu with economic potential, was not developed. Thus a road to link the East and West Coasts in the North was found necessary.

In October 1969, the Public Works Department was instructed to commence work on the Highway with immediate effect. In early 1970, work started, simultaneously from Jeli and Gerik even before any detailed design or investigations were carried out. Existing earth moving machines from the various states were initially deployed until new machines for the project were purchased. It was only in early 1973 that the full complement of machines and staff were available for the project to proceed.

Two Base Camps were constructed, one at the Gerik end and the other at the Jeli end. The whole construction staff and their families were housed at these camps. A pilot track was constructed to gain access to the forward areas. This was followed by jungle clearing work by the main earthworks teams. As work progressed and travel time between the work site and Base camp increased, forward camps were set up to house the workers.

There are 5 major bridges along the Highway. Two of the bridges including the longest, the Sungei Perak Reservoir Bridge, span arms of the lake formed by the Temenggor Dam Project. The bridges were designed by ENEX (of New Zealand) under the Colombo Plan Aid. Construction of 3 of the bridges were undertaken by a foreign contractor while a joint venture between 2 local firms undertook the construction of the remaining 2 bridges. In addition to the above, there are about 280 culverts constructed mainly by departmental workers.

Constructing the Highway was never plain sailing for the Public Works Department. There were many constraints, which slowed down progress. Some 27.5 million cu meter of earth was required to be cut to construct the Highway, of this over 3.8 million cu meter was rock, which required drilling and blasting operations for its removal. Hill cuts of over 60m and valleys over 100m deep, which required filling was found at many locations. The intensity of the monsoon rains especially in the forward areas reduced time available for construction to 10 months in a year. The East-West Highway is located close to the Malaysian-Thailand border and is situated in a Security Area. As a result several measures had to be taken and procedures adopted to ensure the safety of the workers and the machines. These too contributed to some delay. The 116 km long Highway, which links the East Coast at Jeli, Kelantan with the West Coast at Gerik, Perak cost $396 million. Other details of the project are as follows:

Major Bridges Span
1. Sungei Rui Bridge 256m
2. Sungei Perak Reservoir Bridge 880m
3. Sungei Perak Causeway Bridge 640m
4. Upper Sungei Pergau Bridge 159m
5. Lower Sungei Pergau Bridge 158m

Road Design Criteria
Design speed 72 km/hr
Maximum Gradient 7%
Pavement Width 7.2m
Shoulder Width 2.3m

Traveling along the Highway is an exhilarating experience. As one enters the Highway, the Central Mountain Range through which the Highway traverses comes into view in the distant. Traveling along the gentle curves one climbs higher and sees on either side the primary jungle rich with timber. As one proceeds on, the jungle gives way to the huge man-made Temenggor Lake at Banding. Halfway along the Highway the elevation of the road is over 1,100m above sea level and the weather cool and pleasant.

With the completion of the East-West Highway the previous distance between Kota Bharu and Butterworth (through Kuantan) of 1037 km is reduced to 363 km with considerable savings in travel time. The completion of the Highway will reduce transport costs and with this the State of Kelantan can expect its tempo of development to be heightened, new towns and industrial areas will be developed. The Highway will provide the access for the extraction of timber from the jungles along the road and help boost tourism among Malaysians as well as foreigners.

The successful completion of the East-West Highway is the result of the sacrifice of workers who had to carry out their jobs under difficult and trying conditions. The public Works Department wishes to record its deep appreciation to them and to the Security Forces who have all made some personal sacrifices for the development and prosperity of the country.

15c – this stamp shows the Lower Sungei Pergau Bridge which is located 11 km from Kampung Jeli, Kelantan. On the background is Gunung Reng.

20c – this stamp shows the Sungei Perak Reservoir Bridge which is located 32 km from Gerik town. It is the longest bridge in the East-West Highway.

$1.00 – this stamp depicts the location map of the East-West Highway.