Malaysia stamps sovereignty over Layang Layang island with postal code

The deep sea post box launched by Pos Malaysia Bhd.
The deep sea post box launched by Pos Malaysia Bhd. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

LAYANG-LAYANG (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Pos Malaysia Bhd has launched a special postal code for Layang Layang island, one of the world's best diving destinations.

The 88005 special postal code symbolises Malaysia's sovereignty over the remote island located 300km from Sabah or one hour by air from Kota Kinabalu.

Layang Layang, which is located near the Spratly Islands, is among a group of 600 islands and reefs claimed by several countries.

Pos Malaysia acting chief executive officer Azlan Shahrim said 88 is the Sabah code while 5 refers to Royal Malaysian Navy's (RMN) Station Lima based in Layang Layang.

"We decided to have a post code to improve postal services," he said after the launch of the special postal code by Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari.

Maritime Sovereignty Security Division Secretary Shakib Ahmad Shakir said the initiative symbolised Malaysia's sovereignty over Layang Layang.

"By giving the special post code, we recognise the island as part of Malaysia and this will enhance our sovereignty and claim to the Exclusive Economic Zone," he added.

Also launched was a seabed post box, an initiative of the RMN, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the National Security Council and Avillion Layang-Layang Resort.

At 40m deep, the seabed post box made it into the Malaysia Book of Records as the first of its kind in the country.

"This underwater post box is our second project, after the first was launched in Mount Kinabalu as the highest altitude post box in Malaysia," he said after launching the underwater post box.

Jailani said the underwater post box allows divers at Pulau Layang-Layang to share their experience with family and friends via waterproof postcards stamped with a special postmark and Malaysia Book of Records logo.

Azlan said Avillion Layang Layang Resort was appointed agent with postal delivery by MASWings flights departing Kota Kinabalu twice weekly.

Two postmen would be assigned to collect the waterproof postcards from the underwater post box.

Victorley Marden, 25, and Ritchie Lester Lee, 35, were selected as the underwater postmen.

Lee, a diving centre manager on the island, has more than 10 years of diving experience and has held a diving licence since 2001, while Marden is a dive master who earned his diving licence in 2011.

The duo from Kota Belud would ensure that postcards sent through the underwater mail box would be safely delivered to recipients.