Thai Occupation of Malaya – General Stamps issue (1945)

History of Thai Occupation of Malaya

Thai occupation of Malaya dates back even before 1800s where the Sultans of the States of Kedah, Kelantan and Trengganu had paid triennial tribute to the Siamese king in the form of bunga mas (an artificial plant with golden branches and leaves) as an acknowledgement of fealty. During the later half of the 19th century, British presence in the northern Malay states increased considerably and by 1909, the Siamese government agreed to transfer their rather vague suzerainty of these states to the British.

During the WWII after the British surrendered Malaya to the Japanese, some Thai nationalists agitated for the return of the former Siamese territory to Thailand. On 25 January 1942, the Thai government, believing the Allies beaten, declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom. As a reward for entering into a military alliance with the Japanese, the latter agreed to return to Thailand the four British Malayan states of Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, and Terengganu on the 19 October 1943. The stamps of Thailand were introduced in these states as a general issue for general use. These states were reverted to British rule in September 1945.

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The Stamps

A definitive set printed in Bangkok for general use in the newly acquired northern states of Malaya consisted of 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 4¢, 8¢ and 15¢ plus 4¢ postcard. A 5¢ and 10¢ stamps were ordered much later but not subsequently used because the end of the war prevented the dispatch of a shipment containing the two denominations. The stamp depicts the Voluntary Soldier Monument (อนุสาวรีย์ทหารอาสา) in Bangkok.

The stamps were lithographed at the Royal Thai Army Survey Department Printing Offices, Bangkok. All 6 values have been seen on thin paper with or without gum. The paper for the issue is unwatermarked and was made from bamboo at the Thai Government Paper Mill at Kachanaburi on the River Kwai.

The first day of issue was 1st January 1944 (Buddhist Era 2487) while the last known date of use was 16th October 1945.

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