PONTIAN: First day covers issued on Aug 31, 1957, to commemorate Malaysia’s Independence Day have become hot items among collectors.
“Not only Malaysian collectors are looking for the covers, but also those from Singapore,” said collector Ahmad Ali. “The republic was part of the Federation of Malaysia before it was separated on August 9, 1965,” added the 52-year-old from Taman Saujana here.
“Unlike five to six years ago, it is now difficult to get hold of the first day Merdeka Day covers.”
The history and art teacher at SM Dato Mohd Sulaiman in Jalan Sawah, Pontian, said he was fortunate to have got the first day covers at reasonable prices.
Presently, the avid collector of antique and old items with historical value to Malaysia has about 500 pieces of the Aug 31, 1957, first day covers.
Ahmad said when he started to collect them, most of the owners were willing to sell each cover to him for RM20 or less.
“Now, the asking price is between RM150 and RM500 per piece and collectors are willing to pay more for covers with images of Tunku Abdul Rahman,” he added.
Ahmad said apart from the high asking prices, collectors had to use “strong persuasive powers” as they (owners) were not willing to let go of their possession.
He said most of the first day covers issued 56 years ago had postal marks from Penang and Singapore as the places were more developed compared to the other states then. “I anticipate that the asking prices for the covers will go up further as Malaysia celebrates its Diamond Jubilee or 60th anniversary in 2017,” said Ahmad.
He said apart from the first day postal covers, other sought-after items were drinking glasses produced as souvenirs in that same year.
Ahmad said the glasses were actually given away free on Aug 31, 1957, to those attending Merdeka Day parades in all states. “Today, the selling price is between RM200 and RM300 each.”