In December of 1941, the Japanese invaded Malaya, then a British colony, which included its client states: Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor, Sungei Ujong, and Trengganu. As the Japanese occupiers did not wish to use the postage stamps of their enemies but had no stamps of their own on hand, they simply handstamped or overprinted stocks of stamps that the British had left behind.
With a population of over 28 million, Malaysia is an emerging market nation and the 29th largest economy in the world. It has abundant minerals and petroleum, vast forests, as well as a thriving agricultural sector. Nevertheless, over the last four decades, the Malaysian government has committed the nation to a transition from reliance on mining and agriculture to manufacturing, and is moving to conserve its remaining forests and reforest the overcut areas. The government has recently taken steps to make Malaysia more business-friendly, and the number of Malaysians living in poverty has also decreased. As of 2007, average wages were around $34 per day, up from about $9 per day in 1999. Annual GDP growth has averaged almost 6% over the last five years, although the country is taking a hit in 2010 as a result of the global financial crisis.
Those interested in becoming part of an international community of stamp collectors, dealers, and investors are encouraged to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group hosts lively discussions concerning stamp investment and practical aspects of collecting, and provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, or trade stamps.