Spink London, 24th January 2023 


The invasion of Malaya started on the night of 7th/8th December 1941, with the Japanese landing at Kota Bharu, Kelantan, and was completed with the surrender of Singapore on 15th  February 1942.
Malacca was part of the Straits Settlements, which also included Penang and Singapore. The Post Office there re-opened on 21st April 1942 with the stamps being put on sale on 23rd April.

The Japanese used a boxed handstamp, which read ‘Military Administration Malacca Government Seal’ with each impression covering four stamps. These impressions were applied to the stamps of the Straits Settlements and comprised the 1c, 2c, 3c, 5c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 15c, 40c, 50c and $1 denominations. The handstamp was also applied to Postage Due stamps of the Malayan Postal Union and comprised the 1c, 4c, 8c, 10c, 12c and 50c denominations, plus postal stationery postcards, registered envelopes and envelopes.

 A stock of these stamps, totalling $1,500, were found, and using the State Secretary Mr Shiramoto’s handstamp and some Japanese red ink pads, overprinting began. Before all the stamps could be handstamped the Japanese red ink pads began to run dry.  At this point, it was thought that black ink pads might have to be used, when it was remembered that they had some British red ink (vermilion), and this was bought into use. During May 1942 these stamps were replaced by the overprinted issues with the single frame chop intended for use throughout Malaya. 

The Dato Professor Cheah Jin Seng Collection of Japanese Occupation South East Asia will be offered for sale at the RPSL London on 24th January 2023. 

For further information please contact Nick Startup, [email protected].


Examples of the two different ink pads used
To North Borneo but the service was suspended and did not resume until 1st October 1942
Marked ‘Found posted in drop box’. Overpaid 1c for the registered letter rate (8c postage + 15c registration)
Commercial usage at the correct letter rate