Friday, 17 June 2011

How to ensure you get your post (PO Box)

The day of my relocation to Penang draws closer and closer (thankfully) and one of the issues that was a slight concern is that of postal re-direction. Clearly once in Penang and established it will be no problem as I will have an address for the rental at least but what about the interim, the period between vacating the UK home and finding, let alone moving into, a rental in Penang. I don't expect to receive too much mail from the UK but over the years there will be some that I will need to ensure I get.

The solution - a PO Box in Penang. I had one of these in Abu Dhabi where in some districts they are like gold dust with the limited numbers at the smaller post offices being snapped up quickly by expats in the ever increasing newly constructed apartment blocks. Thankfully, in Malaysia they do not seem quite so popular.

Boxes are available at a number of the larger post offices (I opted for the one near HSBC Bank in Downing Street, Georgetown) and are operated by POS Malaysia. The link goes straight to the PO Box page under 'Post Office Services' and as can be seen there is a charge on RM 50 per year for the box rental and an RM 30 deposit for the key. Very good value for money IMHO. There is a link to the PO Box application form (Pos-Mel 58) on the site but, having contacted POS Malaysia by email I am advised that this form is in fact an older version and they will be putting the new bi-lingual version up online in due course, albeit the code for the form is the same. Post Offices will of course have the forms in stock. To apply you will need a copy of your passport and should, really, put down a local fixed address with a post code and a local telephone number on the form then sign and date it on the rear. In terms of local address they are not really THAT bothered and there are a number of options you can consider to satisfy this requirement with some imagination. This address can then be quickly amended once you have a more permanent address. For the telephone number I used my local Digi pre-paid.

For me, acquiring a PO Box in Penang prior to leaving the UK has been a good move and is another problem dealt with. I shall now be able to update my address details with any critical services/companies in the UK once we exchange contracts and before I leave. For anyone visiting Penang on a fact finding visit who decides that they are definitely going to relocate there within the 12 months following their visit, for 'postal peace of mind' I think it would be a good option to consider.

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