Commemorating an Event on Stamps Part 1: Official Stamps

There has been a lot of questions on how to get an event or commemoration on to a stamp. In this article we look at the guidelines from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) (Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM)).

The official reference is the official website of MCMC (SKMM) at:

The site was referenced and PDF extracted on 10 January 2022, thus any new updates or changes, please check the website when you need to get the latest information.

The PDF titled “GARIS PANDUAN PENGELUARAN DAN PERMOHONAN SETEM DI BAWAH AKTA PERKHIDMATAN POS 2012” (Guidelines on Apply (for) and Issuance of Stamps under the Postal Services Act 2012) gave a detailed explanation in Bahasa Malaysia. This is the main source of information.

Click to access Garis-Panduan-Pengeluaran-dan-Permohonan-Setem-di-bawah-Akta-Perkhidmatan-Pos-2012.pdf

Here is a summary roughly translated into English.

There are 3 categories of stamps:

A. Special Stamps

B. Definitive Stamps

C. Commemorative Stamps

A. Special Stamps

  1.  Stamps should reflect the uniqueness of Malaysia.
  2.  Celebratory events should not reflect just a section of the population.
  3.  National Figures should be a Malaysian with National and/or International recognition and has passed away.
  4.  History, Art and Culture category should be a national heritage, originated from Malaysia or has been in Malaysia for centuries and ancient artifacts if required to be certified by the National Museum Department (Jabatan Muzium Negara) the National Archives (Arkib Negara).
  5.  Science and Technology category should be a Malaysian invention with National and/or International recognition.

B. Definitive Stamps

  1.  Definitive stamps are issued for a long term postal use.
  2.  The stamps are classified into National definitive, International definitive and State definitive.
  3.  A review is made every 5 years.

C. Commemorative Stamps

  1.  Commemoration of the installation of Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Oertua Agong, Sultans and Rajas including anniversaries.
  2.  Celebrate or commemorate an important (historical) event that Malaysia has an interest at the National or International level.

Thus the main area of interest for parties wishing to commemorate their event will be under the Commemorative Stamps category. The procedures laid out are:

  1.  A written request should be sent to Pos Malaysia Berhad at least 12 months in advance!
  2.  The request should note the criteria set out and the merits of their request.
  3.  The request will then be submitted to the Commission (MSMC) for consideration and approval.
  4.  The result of the Commission will then be informed to the requestor.
  5.  Should the request be approved, a discussion will be held with Pos Malaysia on the design and production. (The Philatelic Bureau HQ is located behind the Kuala Lumpur General Post Office)

The above is a very simplified translation and summary. The reader MUST refer to the original text in Bahasa Malaysia. There is even a contact number and email.

The important thing is to request early! At least 1 year ahead!!!

So what can you do if you do not have enough time?