Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tuber Plants Stamps

The term tuber plants or root crops is applied to plants which produce subterranean structures that are used as human or animal foods. These perennial plants have organs which store plant nutrients. In many cases the storage organs may be a root or a modified stem, for example a swollen rhizome or corm, or a tuber such as a potato or a swollen root as in carrot or sweet potato. All these swollen underground organs are commonly spoken of as tubers

Root crops are the second most important source of carbohydrates in the worlds food, the most important being cereals. However, in the tropical world, root crops are proportionally much more important. In fact, in many tropical countries where rice is not grown, they are the staple diet. In general the protein content is low, but some, like potato and yam provide significant amounts of certain vitamins.

Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)

Sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant which belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Amongst the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of this family, on Ipomoea batatas is a crop plant whose large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens.

This plant is an herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmate lobed leaves as well as medium-sized trumpet-shaped flowers and thus are also grown as ornamental plants. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose colour ranges between red, purple, brown, yellow, orange and white. Its flesh ranges from white to yellow, orange and purple.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Cassava or tapioca (Manihot esculenta) is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceaae that is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root. Tapioca is the third largest source of carbohydrates and contains significant amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.

Tapioca is long and tapered with a firm homogenous flesh encased in a detachable rind about 1mm thick. The skin is light brown to dark reddish brown in colour and has a smooth or rough texture. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm in diameter at the top and 50 to 80 cm long. The colour of the flesh ranges from chalk white to yellowish.

However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast tapioca leaves are a good source of protein but should be supplemented with the amino acid methionine to counter the high cyanide content.

Sengkuang (Pachyrrhizus erosus)

Sengkuang is one species in the genus Pachyrrhizus that is commonly called yam bean.

The sengkuang vine can reach a height f 4-5 metres, given suitable support. Its roots can attain length of up to 2 metres and weigh up to 20 kilograms. The roots exterioris yellowishbrown while its inside is creamy white with a crisp textile that resembles water chestnut or pear.

In contrast to the roots, the remainder of the sengkuang plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to kill insects and stun fish.

Sengkuang is high in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It is composed of 86-90% water, containing only trace amounts of protein and lipids. Its sweet flavour makes it a favourite ingredient in rojak and popiah.


Dioscorea alata L. is a genus of over 600 species of flower plants in the family Dioscoreaceae, native throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. Known as yams, they are important agricultural crops in the tropical regions, grown for their large tubers.

They are tuberous herbaceous perennial climbers, ranging from 2 to 12 metres in height. The leaves are spirally arranged, mostly broad and heart-shaped. The flowers are individually inconspicuous greenish yellow with six petals; they are mostly dioecious, with separate male and female plants, though a few species are monocious, with male and female flowers on the same plant. The fruit is shaped like a capsule in most species.

Many of these are toxic when fresh but they can be detoxified and consumed and are particularly important in parts of Aftrica, Asia and Oceania.

Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corm, a root vegetable known as taro or cocoyam. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants and is described by historians as an important crop.

Its primary use, however, is the consumption of its edible corm and leaves. In its raw state, the plant is toxic due to the presence of calcium oxalate and the presence of needle-shaped raphides in the plant cells which can cause irritation to the mouth and tongue/ However, the toxin can be destroyed and the tuber rendered palatable by cooking or by steeping in cold water overnight.

Corms of the small round variety are peeled and boiled and used in local favourites such as bubur caca. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Serdang Endau ( Livistona endauensis)

This small to medium palmis only found in the forest of Endau-Rompin, Malaysia. the trunk is erect and slender about 20 cm in diameter, carries a crown of palmate with rather stiff segments of green leaves.

The endemic palm of Endau-Rompin is now planted in many public parks and gardens as a rare collection of palm.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 23rd July 2009

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

Sheet Content : 20 Values

Miniature Sheet : RM3

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen

Perforation : 14

Paper : Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : World Communications Network Resources Sdn. Bhd.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Traditional Houses Stamps

Traditional houses are a part of the valuable architectural heritage in Malaysia. There are a variety of traditional houses that can be seen throughout the different states in Malaysia. Traditional houses in Malaysia are reflected by the architectural designs that focus mainly on the styles, culture, skill, creativity, purpose and craftsmanship in building a place for shelter using the raw and organic materials that are available during the particular era.

This collection of 16 stamps depicts the different houses of the states of Malaysia. Each traditional house differs in the architectural designs and style and has their own unique features.

Malay Traditional House

This house bears many similarities to the long roofed houses in Malacca partly due to the historical ties between these two states. The original traditional Selangor is built on 12 main pillars with 6 tall pillars at the verandah area. The skeletal structure is a combination of Cengal, Giam, Damar Laut, Kapur and Kempas wood. The roof is made from Rumbia and Nipah palm.

Dusun Lotud Traditional House

This house is the traditional house for the Dusun and Kadazan tribe, the largest ethnic group in Sabah and can be found in the Tuaran district. The structure that makes up the Lotud house comes from the by-product of the forest, mainly mangrove trees, bamboo, nipah palm and rattan.

Kutai House

This house can only be found along the river banks located in Perak Tengah, Hilir Perak and Kuala Kangsar. The walls are made from bamboo and the roof is made from palm leaves.

Twelve Pillar House

This house display architectural heritage that can only be found in Kota Bahru, Kelantan where it has existed over 1,000 years ago. Its close proximity to the Thailand has great influences in its architectural design mainly in the construction of roof and wooden carving decorations. The skeletal structure is mainly made of Cengal, Meranti and Kapur wood while the roof is made of senggaoa tiles.

Iban Long House

The long house is culturally unique. Within one longhouse, there are several units that houses different Iban families. The roof is made from sago palm such as blue-leave Pantau and Mulong trees. The walls and flooring are made from the bark tree namely Terentang Bark or from bamboo. Till today, the architectural heritage is still preserved, unaffected by the current rapid growth of modern development.

Semai House

This house displays the handicraft from usage of plants and nature. Young hardwood trees such as cengal and Petaling are used for the poles and bertam leaves are used for making the roofs. With regular fumigation from kitchen fires, a well-made thatched roof can last more than five years. Mengkuang leaves are used for weaving decorative wall panels. Bamboo is cut into mat-like strips for flooring and rattan is stripped to make strings to tie the bamboo strips.

Limas House

This house is mainly found in Pontian, Johor. It is characterized by its primary long ridge roof interconnected to four other secondary ridges which protract towards the edges of the roof. The fascia is decorated with wooden carvings to reflect traditional Malay architecture. Material used is mainly Cengal, Keranji and Meranti wood.

Long House

The unique feature of this house is the gable end at both the front and back of the house. The main building stands on stilts or wooden pillars. The exterior walls and the interior partitions are made of bamboo strips interwoven into crisscrossed pattern with senggora tiles.

Limas Bungkus House

This house displays architectural heritage that can only be found in Besut, Terengganu. The roof construction comprises of one long ridge interconnected with four shorter ridges which protract downwards towards 4 respective edges to form the roof.

Adat Minangkabau House

This house resembles those found in Minangkabau, Sumatera, Indonesia. Its distinctive difference from any other house in the other states is its unique roof architecture design where the two ends of the roof arches upwards. The area under the roof is usually a bedroom for the daughters or for storage.

Elephant Milking Verandah House

This house know as the house with the Nursing Elephant verandah which reflects the combination of the main roof at a higher level adjoining the lower roof, thus giving the appearance of an elephant feeding her young. The skeletal structure of the house is made from Cengal and Meranti wood while the roof is made of palm leaves, Rumbia or Nipah palm.

Bajau Laut House

A cluster of houses built on stilts in the sea off the southeast coast of Sabah is typical of a Bajau Laut house. Know to outsiders as Bajau Laut, these nomads distinguished themselves as people of the sea. Boats are their main mode of transportation and they live exclusively by fishing and inshore gathering, collecting among other things, shellfish and sea cucumbers for trade.

Verandah House

This house displays 1,000 years old architectural heritage currently found in villages in Pahang. It comprises of two main structures namely the main unit and a walled covered verandah unit along the front of the main structure. The main unit is further divided into two main areas by a passage called Selang. The unit is characterized by its long roof and a covered verandah.

The Bidayuh Longhouse

The most outstanding features of the Bidayuh Longhouse is the circular head-house, with it conical roof, known as baruk or rumah pangah (the community centre). This is where the village chief and elders discuss local politics and communal issues with the people. It is also where the shamans conduct ceremonies and festivals are celebrated. A raised platform around the inside perimeter of the head-house act as seating and sleeping area for Bidayuh bachelors. Their head-house is supported by a timber frame tied together with rattan.

Technical Details

Date of Issue : 9th July 2009

Stamp Value : 50 sen (16 Designs)

Sheet Content : 16 Values

First Day Cover Value : 30 Sen x 2

Perforation : 14

Paper : Watermarked SPM, Phosphor Coated

Printing Process : Lithography

Printer : Percetakan Keselamatan Nasional Sdn. Bhd.

Designer : Hazel Design Sdn. Bhd.

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