Malaysia is a federal monarchy in Southeast Asia consisting of 13 states and three federal territories. It was established on 16 September 1963. Prior to that, a Malayan Federation was formed on 1 February 1948. It became an independent member of the British Commonwealth in 1957. The first stamps of Malaysia, issued on 16 September 1963, depict a map of the new country. The states continued to issue stamps, but these were restricted to low denomination definitive stamps and incidental commemorative stamps for special anniversaries. Singapore left Malaysia in 1965 to become an Independent Republic within the Commonwealth. The first definitive stamp series of Malaysia was issued in 1965 and it depicted orchids for each State low values and birds for the Malaysia high values. Each State had its own set, with same design except for the State name and Rulers portrait or State crest as suitable. The eight high values depicted Malaysian birds, and were inscribed ‘MALAYSIA’ instead of the individual State names. The next definitive series featured butterflies and was issued in 1971. Later definitives are: flowers (1979), agro theme (1986), birds (2005), and flowers (2007).
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