First Day Covers














Historical Buildings - Lighthouse

(31 January 2004)


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The Malay Federation was known among the traders, and they called it the state at the end of the land. Its strategic location in the Asian Continent was well exemplified by the trading activities carried out. The Straits of Malacca also contributed to the importance of the Malay Federation as a trading and maritime centre.

When the Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511, the Straits of Malacca, for the first time, fell under an European power. The Portuguese later charged ships which ply the straits for payment. The arrival of the Portuguese was an important watershed in the history of this region.

The lighthouses in Malaysia have its origin during the British rule since 1826. There were 15 lighthouses that were collectively known as the Straits Settlement Lighthouses. Among the lighthouses that are still operational are the Tanjung Tuan (Cape Rachado), Muka Head, Pulau Undan, Fort Cornwallis (formally known as Fort Point) and Pulau Rimau.

Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse

The Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse still in operation in Malaysia. The white, cylinder-shaped tower started operating in 1863. With a height of 24 meters, its pilot light can be seen from a distance of 23 nautical miles. The Tanjung Tuan lighthouse is located at 02o24'N and 101o51'E.

Pulau Undan Lighthouse

The Pulau Undan lighthouse was built in 1880 at Pulau Undan, Melaka. It is the second lighthouse built in this country. The lighthouse has an octagonal shaped tower, built on top of a building. With a total height of 15 meters, the bright red tower can be seen from as far as 18 nautical miles away in good weather. The Pulau Undan Lighthouse is located at 02o03'N and 102o20'E.

Muka Head Lighthouse

The Muka Head Lighthouse is the second lighthouse to be built in Penang's waters. The construction of this gray granite tower was completed in 1883, with a height of 14 meters. It was built to the northwest of Penang Island. The lighthouse is located at 05o28'N and 100o11'E.

Permatang Sepeda Lighthouse

In 1874, Screw Pile lighthouse was launched. The name Screw Pile was given to the design of the lighthouse being built on top of metal piles buried as deep as 11 feet 6 inches. In 1907 it was replaced with a new structure called the One Fathom Bank Lighthouse. This particular lighthouse has its origin in a report by hydrography survey, General Thomson, who reported the existence of a sand bank at the coordinates of 03o10'U and 101o00'T, between North Sands and South Sands, in the Straits of Malacca. The sandbank emerges during low tide, with water depth of not more than two and a half fathoms and is now being preserved as a memorial.

The new One Fathom Bank Lighthouse was completed in 1999. It has a 43 meter tower, and is equipped with the latest lighting system. Its pilot light can be seen from as far as 23 nautical miles. The jetty and building structures are made from concrete, while the tower is fabricated from metal. The roof is made from polycarbonate and polished metal. This new lighthouse is located parallel to the old one, at 02o53.3'N and 100o59.8'E.

Kuala Selangor Lighthouse

The Kuala Selangor Lighthouse was built in 1907. The 27 meter tower was built on top of Bukit Melawati, giving it a commanding view of the surrounding area. The pilot light can be seen from 18 nautical miles away. The construction of the lighthouse was believed to have been undertaken by the Federation of Malay States. The lighthouse is also known as the Altingsburg Lighthouse, in lieu of the Dutch Governor who overran the fort in 1784.

Basides the lighthouse, Bukit Melawati also has within its area various historical remains that serve as a reminder of the past.

Technical Details

Date of Issue 31 January 2004
Denomination 30 sen (4 designs)
Stamp Size 30mm X 40mm
Miniature Sheet Denomination RM1.00
Miniature Sheet Size 70mm X 100mm
Stamp Size in Miniature Sheet 30mm X 40mm
Perforation 14
Sheet Content 20 stamps
Paper SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process Lithography

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