Sarawak ‘an independent state within Malaysia’ is a fascinating collecting area.. The United Kingdom recognized Sarawak as a sovereign state in 1863; in 1888 it became a British Protectorate. The first Sarawak adhesive postage stamps were issued in 1869; they depicted the profile of Sir James Brooke Rajah of Sarawak. However these local stamps had no franking validity beyond Singapore until 1897 when Sarawak joined the Universal Postal Union. Until 1897 mail sent beyond Singapore had to bear Sarawak and sufficient Strait Settlements stamps to satisfy the specific postal rate to foreign destinations. In 1875 new stamps were issued to match new postal rates. When Sarawak became a British Protectorate in 1888 new stamps reflected the change of political status; the 1888 definitive series from 1c to $1 was printed by De La Rue. Some of these stamps were later overprinted to meet shortages of 1, 2 and 5c stamps (1889-1892). In 1895 new stamps depicting Brooke were issued. In joining the UPU the 1888 definitive stampswere later released with the “Postage & Revenue” inscription changed to “Postage”. When Brooke died in 1917, he was succeeded by his son Charle Vyner. The new Rajah was portrayed on a new definitive series issued on 26 March 1918. [Content of this country profile is under International Copyright]

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