Malaya: 500 Early Postcards presents a wide-ranging collection of views of the Malay Peninsula from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. The country’s changing landscapes and townscapes are vividly captured in a series of postcard galleries:
- the Federated Malay States (Pahang, Perak, Selangor and Negri Sembilan),
- the Unfederated Malay States (Johore, Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis), and
- two of the Straits Settlements (Penang and Malacca).
The book also traces key developments in the early production of picture postcards in Malaya. Based on the personal collection of the author, Malaya: 500 Early Postcards is an important source of information on postcards from a collector’s point of view. It is also a richly informative visual document of a formative period in Malaysia’s history.
The inspiration for this book comes from two books published earlier by Editions Didier Millet: Indonesia: 500 Early Postcards by Leo Haks and Steven Wachlin (2004), and Singapore: 500 Early Postcards (2006). For most of the period covered by this book, Malaya (sometimes known as “British Malaya”) comprised the Straits Settlements (SS), made up of Singapore, Malacca, Penang, Province Wellesley, the Dindings, Labuan, Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands; the Federated Malay States (FMS), made up of Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang; and the Unfederated Malay States (UMS), consisting of Johore, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Trengganu.‘ Taken together, these entities occupied essentially what is known to geographers as the “Malay Peninsula”.