Sabah, also known as "Maldives of South East Asia", has dozens of islands, with its pristine clear waters and beautiful beaches. Divers travel thousands of miles to experience the amazing wonders of the underwater realm here.
On 17 Dec 2002, the International Court of Justice concluded that sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan belongs to Malaysia. Both islands are located in Sabah, Malaysia.
Continuing from the Island & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series issued in 2002, Pos Malaysia issued another set of four stamps in 2003 featuring both Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan.
Pulau Sipadan - Being one of the top five diving destinations in the world, Sipadan lies 5 degrees north of the equator in the Sulawesi Sea. Sipadan was formed from living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano, which rises 600 metres from seabed. A unique feature of Sipadan is the so-called 'turtle bomb', an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that contain the skeletons of turtles that become disoriented and drowned. What also thrills the divers are the swirling tornadoes of barracudas, jacks and hammerhead sharks as well as schools of brilliantly-hued reef fish.
Pulau Ligitan - While Sipadan has achieved its worldwide fame, Ligitan is the great 'secret' of the international diving community. Surrounded by very large reefs, which forms the Ligitan group of islands, the thrill of diving in unexplored waters brings world's best divers here. The underwater scene in Ligitan is a macroworld of great interest featuring rare fauna such as dragonets, fire gobies, wasp or leaf fish, gurnards, the tame crocodile fish, blue-ringed octopus, to name just a few. Indeed, it is regarded as one of the world's top destinations for underwater nature photography.
Date of Issue : 28 Jun 2003
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 2 x 30 sen and 2 x 50 sen
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography and Emboss
A LIL' NOTE
An interesting feature of this stamp issue is the emboss printing technique applied on two of the stamps (both stamps on the right), thus giving these stamps some 3D feel.
Here's the link to other issues on Islands & Beaches of Malaysia stamp series :
* Series I