First Day Covers














Primates of Malaysia

(16 December 2003)


Click on cover above to enlarge.

Among the most fascinating denizen of Malaysia's rain forests are Leaf Monkeys. As their name suggests, they have found a way of subsisting on a diet comprised mainly of leaves, as well as flowers, buds, seeds and shoots. Evolution has granted them complex stomachs with bacteria-filled fermenting chambers that digest leaves, releasing the normally indigestible sugars and deactivating toxins.

Leaf Monkeys live in complex societies, with adults, juveniles and newborns, clinging tightly to their mothers, making their way through the forest canopy. Typically, groups revolve around a single adult male and several females, with or without the young. Baby leaf monkeys are born with their eyes open and can cling on to the mother's fur as she travels and forages for food.

Red Leaf Monkey (Presbytis rubicunda)

The Red Leaf Monkey is known locally as Lotong Merah . It is somewhat more territorial than the Proboscis Monkey, and will chase away other monkeys in its area. It can be found in groups of 2 to 13 individuals. They feed only during the day, breaking into sub-groups as they forage for leaves, shoots and fruit. They can only be found in Kalimantan, Karimata Islands, Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei.

Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus)

A unique species easily recognized by the male's large nose, the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is a rare yet unmistakable denizen of Borneo. Groups of proboscis monkeys, ranging from 3 to 32 individuals, will not move farther than 600 metres from a river or stream. They are accomplished swimmers and can swim underwater for up to 20 meters if disturbed suddenly. Despite their large size of up to 20 kg, Proboscis Monkeys are not territorial and will tolerate other groups in their area. There are only about 1,000 left in Sarawak and Sabah and only 7,000 in the whole of Borneo. Because of this, they are a strictly protected species.

Technical Details

Date of Issue 16 December 2003
Denomination 30 sen (2 designs), 50 sen (2 designs)
Stamp Size 30mm X 40mm
Perforation 14
Sheet Content 20 stamps
Paper Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process Lithography

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