Sunday, October 26, 2008

National Angkasawan Programme Stamp

National Space Agency (ANGKASA), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations has been given the responsibility of commissioning the process of selecting the national astronaut (Angkasawan Negara). The process reached its peak when two out of the four final candidates was chosen and announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia before they go through the Astronaut Training Program for 18 months in Russia.

The Malaysian people and the country has benefited from this program mainly in the fields of science and technology. This include Space Medicine, Aviation Medicine, Life Science, Environmental Science and Physics where scientists are able to involve themselves to create and design experiments that could be carried out in a unique enviroment. These researchers will benefit selected industries such as in the medical and Aerospace Industries while working towards achieving a scientific society.

This is a pioneer program for this country to cater the next generation into exploring new technologies that is capable of bringing into existence another advantage for Malaysia to compete in the global arena.

30 sen - Soyuz TMA-11
Rocket brought first Malaysian Spaceman to the International Space Station on 10th October 2007.

50 sen - Micro-gravity Science Experiment
One of the objectives of the National Space Program is to send Malaysian Spaceman to ISS and conduct beneficial activities to the country and its people especially in science and technology development for both the present and in the future. The major activity in the International Space Station involves conducting microgravity science research. Some of the experiments that were conducted are regarding cells, microbes and protein in space.

50 sen - International Space Station (ISS)
The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest International scientific project ever produced. It's an outcome of collaboration between countries such as the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and other eleven European countries. The station is generated by solar power which will produce 110 kilowatts of power once it is equipped. Laboratory and habitation modules will support a permanent international crew of seven astronauts. ISS will act as a platform for Earth and space observation and the experiments conducted on board will help produce new materials and pharmaceutical products. which can only be carried out in a microgravity environment.

Miniature Sheet RM2 - Liftoff
Malaysian Spaceman, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Syukor Al-Masrie was lauched to space at 9.21 p.m. (Malaysian Time) on 10th October 2207 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on board the Soyuz TMA-11 rocket. This marks a significant milestone in Malaysia's history where for the first time ever, a Malaysian was successfully able to go to outer space and this is indeed a catalyst for future space exploration projects.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 21st October 2008

Stamp Value : 30 sen, 50 sen (2 designs)

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Perforation : 14

Paper : Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : Hazel Design Sdn. Bhd.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unique Flowers Stamp

There are many varieties of flowers found in Malaysia and there are some species that are attractive and unique due to their special shape or rare fragrance. Most traditional Malay landscape comprise of plants with fragrant flowers, leaves and wood. In fact, most traditional poetry refer to these unique traits.

The issuance of this Unique Flower stamps is an effort to increase the awareness of such flowers as well as to popularize Malaysian flowers.

Kenerak (Goniothalamus tapis) - 30 sen

Kenerak is a shrub or small tree up to 3 metres high with ascending branches and short twigs forming conical or uneven crown. Leaves are oblong in shape, widest near apex and bluntly tipped, 12 to 24 cm long, 6 to 11 cm wide, dull yellow green. Flowers grow solitary on leaf twigs hanging from short stalks. Calyx is green in colour, and outer petals are cream white or pale yellowish and very fragrant. The fruits are ellipsoid, 1.2cm long, red in colour and turn purplish black as it ripens.

Kenerak is often planted in Malay villages, especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. The flowers are often sold in the markets.

Climbing Lily (Gloriosa superba) - 30 sen

This plant is a species of lily that climbs up to 2.5 metres in height, aided by tendril-like tips at its narrow lance-shaped leaves. The flowers are attractive and unique with narrow yellow and red curly edged petals. When it blooms, the flower turns inside out and points upwards with the stamens and pistil more or less horizontal. The plant has underground bulb which is poisonous.

The plant is cultivated in Malaysian gardens for its unique and attractive flowers. Malays call it Bunga Kembang Songsang because when the flowers are fully bloomed the petals are inverted.

Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) - 50 sen

Rangoon Creeper is a climbing shrub and planted as ornamental plant because of its unique flowers. It can also be found growing wild, escaped from cultivation. The flowers are very attractive and borne in short clusters. the flower tube is 5 cm long and the petals are white but turn red when matured. The flower blooms at bight and very fragrant.

The plant is often planted as climber on fences, on specially prepared pergola or left to climb on big trees.

Banana Shrub (Michelia figo) - 50 sen

The shrub is about 1 to 2 metres high, branched to form bush-shaped canopy. The leaves are elliptical in shape, 5 to 10 cm long, 2 to 6 cm wide with short petiole and dark green in colour. The flowers are about 3 to 4 cm in diameter when fully opened, the bracts are brownish and hairy and the petals are yellowish white with slightly purplish base. The flowers are fragrant reminiscent of banana. In Malaysia the plants seldom bear fruits.

The Chinese community use the flowers to fragrant tea and the Malays use the flowers in aromatic bath and potpourri.

Gooseneck Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) - RM5

A slender herb under the family of cactaceae grows up to 1 to 3 metre. It has a short main stem and long irregular branches that are flat and look like leaves that are jointed with edges that are scalloped , green or slightly brownish, about 6 to 10 cm with 20 to 25 cm long. The large white flowers are nocturnal, very fragrant with slender curved red tubes and red to yellow sepals and numerous white linear or ovate petals. The white stamens are numerous and the style is yellowish white or red and tipped with a lobed stigma.

The Chinese believe that Keng Hwa brings luck and used to grow them in big pots and placed them in front of their houses. It is associated with the belief that when the flowers open at midnight, fairies come out and bring luck.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 9th October 2008

Stamp Value : 30 sen (setenent) & 50 sen (setenent)

Sheet Content : 20 Stamps

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Miniature Sheet (Spot Varnish) : RM5

Perforation : 14

Paper : Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : Hazel Design

>>> Read more about "Unique Flowers Stamp" <<<

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