Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'

Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'
Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'
Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'
Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'
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Transcript of Malaysia's 'PosDAFTAR'

  • 132 G.S.M. October 2013

    Malaysias PosDAFTAR Registration System

    Postal services are adopting to advances in technology all the time and this is affecting the stamps and postal history we collect. Developments in the registration system in use in Malaysia in the 21st century have already given rise to a number of changes including the fee paid being included in the cost of the label, justifying their description as stamps. Len Stanway runs through the story so farbut there is the strong possibility that there are further discoveries to be made!

    Registration Stamps, but not as we Know Them! Malaysias PosDAFTAR Registration System

    By Len Stanway

    From circa 1911 to 2001, Malaya used variants on the traditional British blue-and-white registration label. However, with the growth of postal mechanisation, the Universal Postal Union adopted a standard numbering system for tracked postal items, optimised for use with barcodes, so, from 2April 2001, all Malaysian offices introduced a new Registered post system, marketed as PosDAFTAR, which complied with the UPU standard. The UPU system ensures that, in theory, postal administrations should be able to track foreign mail automatically using the barcodes without the need to apply national tracking labels.

    The new Malaysian system required all registered mail to carry a large, self-adhesive, combined stamp and label with computer barcodes, including tear-off barcode strips which could either be attached to documentation, such as the postmans delivery receipt book, or scanned by a hand-held recording device. The backing sheet of the stamp provided instructions for use and acted as the senders receipt. The registration fee (and postage in some cases) was therefore no longer paid for using ordinary postage stamps, but was paid using these items, which had intrinsic monetary value, which justifies my decision to classify them as registration stamps instead of labels. They were sold over the counter, like any other stamps, but the postal item, with PosDAFTAR stamp affixed, still had to be handed over the counter for registration and stamping of the receipt.

    At launch, the system used three versions of the PosDAFTAR stamp, for domestic, international and postal service use, plus a registration envelope for domestic use only (Fig 1). A fourth stamp, for use on incoming registered mail without a UPU-compliant, tear-off-type, barcode label, may also have existed at this stage, but has not been recorded in this original format. Other services were added to the system later.

    Each stamp carries a unique barcode and associated serial number as follows:RD: Service type / 01 517 607: Serial number / 4: Computer check digit / MY: Malaysia

    It will be seen that the combination of the first four digits describes one million stamps issued. By the end of 2011, the domestic numbering series was in its fourth cycle (over

    303 million stamps printed). This would suggest that, on average, about 30 million domestic registered items have been sent each year. Nearly 100 million domestic stamps were needed to provide the initial office stock plus use in the first year. By contrast, only some 14 million international series stamps had been produced in total.

    Most of the stamps had a red fluorescent, invisible (except under UV light), dot-matrix-printed, security marking in the form of the words POS MALAYSIA printed across the stamp, usually facing sideways reading down the centre of the stamp, but variations do occur.

    Series 1 stamps (2 April 2001)Series 1 is characterised by its very large size (9092mm except for the international stamp which was 9085mm), which must have been of concern right from the start, as the backing

    Fig 1 Original Domestic envelope type 1

    The Malaya Study Group This article was provided by Len Stanway of the Malaya Study Group. The MSG has over 420 members spread around the world and exists for collectors of the stamps, postal stationery and postal history of the states of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore.

    It publishes its quarterly The Malayan Philatelist which contains articles, questions and answers submitted by the members.

    For further information, visit the groups website:

  • Malaysias PosDAFTAR Registration System

    G.S.M. October 2013 133

    paper specified that envelopes to be registered must be at least DL size! Four types of stamp have been recorded:(i) Domestic Registered (Track on 1) (RD series numbers)This red stamp was peeled from a backing form entitled TRACK ON 1, which presumably referred to a digital ledger system on which movements of registered mail were recorded. For use on domestic registered mail only, it was sold at RM1.30 including the first 20g. postage (Fig 2). It had five peel-off barcode strips, the top (A) one of which included data on sender and addressee. Used examples normally had one or more of these strips removed for recording purposes.

    The first printing of the domestic stamp was dated 24/02/01 and was in the Bahasa Malaysia language with an English translation on the back. Some 48 million of this type were produced.(ii) International Registered (Track on 2) (RR series numbers)Intended for mail for overseas destinations, this blue stamp was sold at RM1, covering the registration fee, but not including postage. It had three peel-off strips and was undated. The text was in English with a Bahasa Malaysia translation on the back (Fig 3). Some three million were printed.(iii) Track on 3The TRACK ON 3 stamps were probably the Foreign Registered magenta stamp for use on non-UPU-compliant incoming mail. This stamp has not been reported in Series 1 format, but logically must have existed. It certainly exists in a later format.(iv) Postal Service Registered (Track on 4) (RS series numbers)A green stamp was used by post offices (and the Philatelic Bureau) for official mail which was exempt from the registration fee. These stamps should only be found used, as mint RS-series stamps were not made available to the general public (Fig 4). Some 2.8 million were produced.(v) Privileged Registered (Track on 5) (RP series numbers)The original RM1.30 domestic stamp blank (without the black printing that added the serial number and barcode) was subsequently used to provide a second official stamp type. These stamps were intended for use by agencies, such as the Armed Forces, Police and Inland Revenue, which had free domestic postage but which had to pay the registration fee. The form part was overprinted in black to obliterate the blue text TRACK ON 1 and RM1.30. At the same time, the stamp part was overprinted RM1.00 TRACK ON 5 in black at the foot of the stamp, together with a number in the RP series (Fig 5). Various versions of overprint are recorded.PosDAFTAR Envelope (2 April 2001)The pre-paid envelope for domestic mail was originally sold at RM2; the price including postage up to 100g. and 3mm in thickness. A pre-affixed stamp similar in size to the Series 1 stamp but of a hybrid format similar to Series 2 was pre-affixed at bottom left. The back bore a pre-printed returned mail label (a somewhat pessimistic approach!). The flap bore the return address block and was extended with instructions and a receipt, which was rouletted so that it could be torn off. The stamp was printed with an additional serial number label, but this was removed during manufacture and affixed to the receipt

    Figs 2 and 3 RM1.30 domestic and RM1 international series 1 as issued on backing forms

    on the flap; the die-cut impression for this label could be seen up the right-hand side of the stamp. The flap was closed using a peel-off self-adhesive strip.

    There have probably been a number of subsequent printings, but the only one seen by the author was dated July 2006. The envelope was now only pre-paid for 50g., but was still sold at RM2 and a thicker 6mm enclosure was allowed. A number of design alterations had been made to the envelope and the pre-affixed stamp had been reduced in size.

    Series 2 stamps (2002)Circa April 2002, a new, smaller series of stamps was introduced; being a more convenient 5982mm and enabling the envelope size limit to be removed. The new stamps had the same features as Series 1, but in a more compact format with the face value on the strip at the left which is retained by the user.

    Above: Fig 4 Used Series 1 label for official mail (section B removed by postman)

    Right: Fig 5 RM1 Privilege User Series 1 label

    All images are reduced on these pages

  • 134 G.S.M. October 2013

    Malaysias PosDAFTAR Registration System

    First to appear, circa April 2002, was the RM1.30 domestic stamp, of which some 72 million were produced before the next change (Fig 6). The registration rate for domestic mail rose from RM1 to RM1.40 from 1March 2005, at which point the domestic registration stamp was reissued with the face value increased to RM1.70 (including 30s. for postage). Some 12 million were produced with the changed price. From August 2005 new printings had the order date added to the left-hand portion of the stamp. The date therefore did not appear on a used stamp. For the domestic stamp, four printings between AUG2005 and NOV2005 have been recorded, totalling some 16 million stamps.

    Following a massive increase in the overseas registration fee, the Series 2 version of the blue international stamp now had a face value of RM3.50 (plus postage) (Fig 7). It has not been seen by the author used before 28January 2003, but was probably issued around the same time as the domestic one. Some four million were printed. The face value rose again from RM3.50 to RM3.90 in October 2005 (Fig 8). New printings showed the new value and bore the date OCT 2005. About a million were printed.

    From the 25April 2002 new issues mailing, the Kuala Lumpur Philateli