By Nur Fatin Mohmad Kadenen
KULAI, Aug 31 -- For stamp collector Mohd Sidek Roslan, inheriting a 62-year-old stamp from his late father is likened to getting ‘gold’.
To make it even more remarkable, the stamp bears the words ‘Kemerdekaan Ulang Tahun Yang Pertama Persekutuan Tanah Melayu’ (First Anniversary of Independence of the Federation of Malaya) and was released in 1958, as a special collective piece to commemorate the anniversary of the country’s liberation from British rule.
For Mohd Sidek, 37, the 10 sen stamp with the image of the Merdeka Stadium is priceless, not to mention that it is one of the stamps belonging to his late father Roslan Selamat, a former soldier, who collected both local and foreign stamps since childhood.
He added that the stamp recorded historic events which reminded him the struggles of the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj in seeking liberation of the country from the clutches of colonial rule.
“We (the country) achieved independence on Aug 31, 1957 but the process of gaining this freedom took a long time. We don’t look at this stamp for its colour and artistic beauty only...but (to reflect) the events that happened at that time, thus translating and immortalising them in this stamp.
“My father gave me this stamp...and later perhaps my children and grandchildren will ask me about the history behind the stamp. For me, this stamp has its own sentimental value,” the motivational expert told Bernama at his residence recently.
The stamp collecting hobby inherited from his father has motivated him to collect stamps issued each year by Pos Malaysia in conjunction with the National Month celebration.
“I also have a stamp in conjunction with 10th National Day celebration, and many more with images of, for example, Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring “Merdeka”, and also ones featuring previous Yang di-Pertuan Agongs.
“Owning these stamps makes me feel more patriotic because of the stories and history attached to them,” said Mohd Sidek, who has been an avid stamp collector since 2015 and now owns about 1,000 unique and exclusive stamps from different eras.
Among the show stealers in his stamp collection are special stamps issued in conjunction with the coronation ceremony of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah; the coronation ceremony of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, as well as the official birthday of 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, and others featuring the coronation of previous 14 kings.
Mohd Sidek, the fifth of the 10 siblings, also shared tips on how to take care of decades-old stamps so that their value and quality remain intact.
“These stamps should not be handled with your fingers but you should use tweezers and also keep them in an album.
“The postmark on the stamp is important because it shows the stamp’s value and when it was issued,” said the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia graduate.
He also hoped that in conjunction with the 63rd National Day celebration this year, the people remain united and prosperous and appreciate the meaning of independence and the hardships of national leaders in the past to achieve it.
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