Saturday, April 2, 2011

Melaka Stamps Museum & Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum

One common hobby Michelle and I share when we were young is stamps collecting. Try asking the kids nowadays and I will not be surprised if some of them don't even know what is that. Some people might take this hobby as something for the nerds; I do not disagree with them. However, there are actually a lot of information you can get from collecting stamps, especially when you are in the process of soaking, drying and arranging them in the stamp albums. You learn about the name of countries, plants, animals, certain important events of a country and etc.

In other words, stamps are a valuable asset from the arts, financial and historical aspects. The ecstatic feeling whenever we managed to get a complete set of stamps is just hard to be described with words. Only those who collect stamps know the feeling.


We were wandering around the Porta De Santiago area and came across this stamp museum.

Most of my stamps were passed down from my aunt, who used to have a lot of pen pals from around the world. Some of those countries have names that are unheard off; for example Hellas, which is actually another name for Greece. Those were the days when e-mail has not been invented and people had no other options but to just rely on snail mail.

Besides stamps, I used to collect first day covers too but I have stopped collecting them ever since I went to Japan. However, sometimes it happens I am back to Malaysia for holiday and at the same time, there's a new issue of first day cover. So, that is the only time I go to get my first day covers nowadays.


During the Portuguese era, correspondence became more frequent in Malacca. Letters by the local Portuguese community to their friends and relatives back home
were sent through ship captains, churches or agents.


Different kinds of letter boxes at the gallery on the first floor.


Famous Pahang bisects stamps, which happened because there was a shortage of two and three cents stamps. So, the district officer decided to bisect the five cents stamps that had a fair stock, and surcharge one-half two cents and the other three cents.


Different types of stamps used during the Japanese occupation in Malaya. The bottom rows showed the first set of stamps issued in Malaya, which the designs are based on the beauty of Malaya and not the identity of individual state or political federation.


The word マライ (Marai), that refers to Malaya was printed on each stamps during the Japanese occupation.


This was the only stamps prepared for use but failed to issue due to the strong resistance by the Malayan people,
and it is an important evidence of the successful rise of nationalism in this country.

Overall, this stamp museum is worth a visit, if you have interest in philatelic stuff. Entrance fee is RM 1 for adult and RM 0.50 for children. One thing I like about the place is that you have to remove your shoes when you get to the first floor gallery. Doing this, it will keep the place clean.

The descriptions on the wall was short and concise, unlike some museum who prepare long essay for visitors to read. However, they should put more effort in proof-reading the texts because I spotted a few simple spelling errors in them.


The Penny Black, the world's first adhesive postage stamp that went to sale to the public in London on 1 May 1840.


The earliest postman's uniform.


Postman's uniform in the 1980's.


Present postman's uniform.


The weighing machine used for weighing letters and parcels.

There is also a souvenir shop that sells stamps and first day cover at the ground floor of this museum. I saw some old stamps there were sold for thousand of ringgits. So, stamps collecting can also be seen as a long-term investment.

After our short visit to the stamp museum, we walked around the Porta De Santiago, or more commonly known as the A' Famosa Fort. Being one of the must-visit spot in Malacca, the place was as usual, flooded with tourists; local and foreign alike. We ended up at another museum after that - Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum.


Colourful and beautifully decorated trishaws in front of the Independence Memorial, opposite the Port De Santiago.


The landmark of Malacca.


The entrance to the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum.


This is how the Sultan's palace used to look like several centuries ago.


The stairs that lead to the main door of the palace.

This is a replica of the Malacca Sultanate Palace, which sits majestically on the foot of the St. Paul's Hill. The replica palace was build in 1984, according to the Sejarah Melayu (Malay History) records that depicts the unique architecture of the Malay Palace during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah that ruled Malacca from 1456 to 1477.

Inside the museum, visitors can see the atmosphere inside the Malacca Sultanate Palace and certain halls, such as the Balairong Seri, Balai Beradu and the characteristics of the protocol of the Malay Sultans during the Malay Sultanate era in Malacca. There is also a special corner about the famous fight between the legendary warrior Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat on the first floor of this museum.


The famous incident between a mouse deer and few dogs under the Melaka tree that started everything.


A replica of the Balairong Seri inside the palace. It is actually quite eerie to see the human-sized figurines as I was worried that they might blink or turn at me haha!


A beautiful painting on canvas that depicts the life in Malacca during those days.


 "Ta' Melayu Hilang Di-Dunia" - a famous quote by Hang Tuah.


The battle of the two warriors of Malacca - Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat.


Chinese traders, with their trades like porcelain wares and silks.


Arabian delegates who brought cloths and perfumes to be traded in Malacca. I was actually expecting to see camel, but there were none. 
Maybe camels develop sea sickness, so they cannot travel on the ships haha!


I immediately knew that this is gonna be the Thai delegates once I saw the bald fella haha!


The reason why everyone was going after Malacca during those days.

This museum was made a cultural museum when it was officiated by the Prime Minister on 17 July 1986. The building is fully made of hard wood, which the roof is made of pieces of wood. The construction of this building is similar to Malacca's Malay houses, where the pillars are strengthen only with pegs.

We ended our museum trips and spent the remaining time camwhoring with some old train coaches outside the museums.


An attempt to model with with an old train haha!


Mich also didn't wanna miss out on that train lol!


There were so many people lining up to pose with these two buffaloes, which I don't understand why. Being a kiasu, I also wanna join the craziness, although those buffaloes had broken horns already haha!

That sums up our short half day outing around the Malacca town.


DT said...

u should collect the japanese stamps also.. i've seen some very nicely designed ones...quite contrary to the m'sian stamps. Especially the current 60c stamps looks absolutely horrible. i bet i can paint better than the current stamps.

calvin said...

@ dt:
i actually have a huge bag of japanese stamps with me but i have not remove them from the envelopes yet.

talking about malaysian stamps, i think their designs lately are getting worse too. seems like they issue new stamps for the sake of doing it only >.<

Tom said...

Hi all,

We have just finished a post about the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum.

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