Because Sumatra and Malaya were both under the control of the 25th Army headquartered at Singapore, Sumatra was placed under control of Malaya at the end of September 1942. This was Sumatra itself, as well as the Dutch East Indies islands located between Borneo, Sumatra, and Malaya. There were several island groups, the main ones being the Riouw, Lingga, Anambas, and Natuna Islands.

In April 1943 there was a re-organization and Sumatra was decoupled from Malaya, with the exception of these islands which remained under the jurisdiction of Singapore. It is for this reason that these islands were under the Singapore postal administration during the war, and used stamps of occupied Malaya. They are quite rare, and can only be recognized from their cancellations.

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