Malaysia - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Malaysia, a country in Southeast Asia consisting of two major landmasses separated by the South China Sea has a total land area of 127,350 square miles and a population of over 28 Million. It is located near the equator and is considered a mega-diverse country because of its bio-diverse range of flora and fauna is. Its economic record within Asia is praiseworthy. Till recently about two thirds of Malaysia was covered in forests (believed to be from prehistoric times) which include rainforests, mangroves, and peat forests. Deforestation is major threat to the country. The major sectors of its economy are natural resources (petroleum), science, commerce, ecotourism and medical tourism.

Travel Resources: 

May through September are the tourist-friendly months. Given the diversity of its terrain and culture, it is only fair to assume that Malaysia has the potential to cater to visitors of various hues. With beaches, rain-forests, national parks, hill stations, caves, museums and amusement parks Malaysia truly lives up to its tag-line ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’. The major attractions of Malaysia are Kuala Lampur, Penang, Sarawak, Kelantan, and Sabah.  Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Indonesian culture influences its cuisine.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei978-1741048872$17Includes 177 maps. Travelers introduction of around 70 pages followed by 400-odd pages of extensive Malaysia coverage.
Peninsular Malaysia Travel Map978-0794605728$91:1,000,000 scale. Includes maps of Greater KL Area, Johor Bahru and Singapore, Penang, and Langkawi. Also City Plans of Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and Melaka Town.
Malaysia Adapter Plug DB001FD3JEU$7

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Malaysia were a set of three stamps released on September 16, 1963 to mark the Formation of the Federation of Malaysia. The set (Scott #1 to #3) catalogs for around $5 MNH and around a dollar used. The design shows a Map of Malaysia and a 14-point star. The Malay Kingdoms from the eighteenth century became part of the British Empire as Straits Settlements. The states on Peninsular Malaya along with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore became the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963. Singapore was expelled from the federation two years later and became an independent country. The 14-point star depicted in the set and also on the National Flag signifies the unity between the thirteen member states and the federal government.

Other issues of Malaysia enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of eight stamps released on September 9, 1965 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #20 to #27) catalogs for around $90 MNH and $12 used. The designs show crested wood partridge, fairy bluebird, blacknaped oriole, rhinoceros hornbill, zebra dove, argus pheasant, Indian paradise flycatcher, and banded pitta. Malaysia is a megadiverse country that is estimated to contain 20% of the world’s animal species. There is a high degree of endemism among bird species with around 40 found nowhere else.
  2. A set of eight stamps released on January 4, 1979 showing Fauna. The set (Scott #175 to #182) catalogs for around $30 MNH and around $7 used. The designs show tiger, cobego, chevrotain, pangolin, leatherback turtle, tapir, gaur, and orangutan. Individuals from the same set were released between 1983 and 1987. That set (Scott #175a to #182a) is even more sought after and catalogs for around $70 MNH and $20 used. There are over 200 animal species in the country supported by forests that cover two-thirds of Malaysia which are believed to be 130 million years old. Deforestation however is a major problem in the country.
  3. A set of three stamps released on November 4, 1985 in the National Oil Industry theme. The set (Scott #314 to #316) catalogs for around $10 MNH and around a dollar for used. The designs show offshore rig, first refinery, and map of oil and gas fields. The country has over 30 years of natural gas reserves and around 20 years of oil reserves.
  4. A set of three stamps released on August 30, 1999 in the Petronas Towers theme. The set (Scott #724 to #726) catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. The designs show The Towers, daytime vew, architectural drawing, nighttime view, and a hologram. The building is the tallest twin building in the world at 1483 feet including Spires. It was also the tallest building in the world between 1998 and 2004.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coin of Malaysia was a Constitutional Monarchy Standard Coinage (100 Sen = 1 Ringgit – Dollar) Bronze Sen issue of 1967 showing Value and Date in Obverse and Parliament House in Reverse. The issue has very high mintage (45M) and catalogs for around two dollar UNC. Proof version of the coin has very low mintage (500) and catalogs for around $15. Gold Coins debut in 1971 and they generally catalog for a slight premium over bullion value. Gold Proofs have low mintage and they catalog somewhat higher.

Numismatic items of Malaysia include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon Sens from the 1990s onward in UNC start around $1. 2010 Expo Commemorative Silver Proofs, Cents from the 1930s in BU, 19th Century Straits Settlements Issues in XF, etc start around $10. Low mintage commemorative silver proofs starts around $50. Proof Year Sets from the 1980s and Gold Coins go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon Ringgits in UNC starts around $2. High Value UNCs, Consecutive UNCs with 10-pieces or more, etc start around $15. Scarce KGVI notes from the 1940s in UNC, Bundles, etc start around $50. Low Serial Numbers, Specimens, and other Scarce notes go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Carving, weaving and silversmithing, and pewter are traditional art and visitors seek them out as they make wonderful souvenirs.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Antiques$5 and upPatches, badges, and magnets start around $5. 19th century maps start around $10. Vintage Ethnic Tribal Belts, Carved Buffalo Horns, etc go well into the 100s.
Art$10 and upTravel posters and contemporary art prints start around $10. Antique 19th century and older local scenes prints go into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$20 and upMalaysia Military Officer Rank medals start around $20. Gasing Pinggan Spinning Tops start around $50. Traditional Weapons (Keris Lurus Sapukal, Keris Luk, etc) go well into the 100s.


Last Updated: 12/2015.

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