World Stamp Exhibition 2015: Fishes, Orchids and Birds Definitives

To commemorate Singapore’s golden jubilee in 2015, the Association of Singapore Philatelists has won the bid to host the World Stamp Exhibition here. Four sets of stamps featuring designs from previous years will be issued each year leading up to 2015. They include Queen Elizabeth II Definitives (1955), Fishes, Orchids and Birds Definitives (1962-1966), National Day (1960) and Osaka Expo (1970). These stamps have been selected to revive the memories of collectors and to showcase Singapore’s progress and developments over the years.

The first series released on 31 August 2012 feature two designs from the Fishes, Orchids and Birds Definitives (1962-1966).

The Yellow-breasted Sunbird (Leptocoma jugularis) is commonly seen near Singapore’s shorelines. When taking off, this sunbird produces a chipping sound made by knocking two pebbles. Attracted to red flowers in particular, it is depicted in front a firecracker plant (Russelia juncea) on the stamp.

The White-bellied Sea Eagle is also often spotted around the coastal areas and on offshore islands. It can also be seen hovering the skies in circles at Labrador Park. To feed on crabs, these eagles drop the crabs from a height onto rocks in order to break their hard shells.

The collectors’ sheet containing two $5 stamps is sold for $12.80. The stamps feature the same design as their $2 counterparts.

Denomination: 2 designs of $2
Miniature Sheet: 2 designs of $2
Stamp size: 29.5 mm by 39.5 mm
Miniature sheet size: 102 mm by 81 mm
Perforation: 13
Sheet content: 10
Designer: Chan Willie

The Second Series of Malaysian Currency Stamp Issue (2012)

In conjunction with the new Second Series of Malaysian banknotes on 16 July 2012, Pos Malaysia has released a set of stamps featuring the new coins and banknotes. Eight 60 sen stamps show the obverse and reverse of the new coins, while the six denominations of banknotes are depicted on the RM 5 stamps, in two separate pieces containing three miniature sheets each.

This is a very special set of stamp in terms of design. Firstly, it is printed with hot stamp foiling on most stamps. In addition, the 60 sen stamps featuring the coins are hexagonal in shape, complete with embossing to bring out the intricate details on the coin.

The RM 5 stamps featuring the banknotes contain silver foil hot stamping to carefully represent the security thread on the notes, including that of the RM 50 note.

These new notes are to replace the previous series that has been in circulation for over ten years. The coins have also been released into general circulation earlier in the year. Banknotes can be exchanged over the counter at most major banks in Malaysia.

Denomination: 8 designs of 60 sen
Miniature Sheet: 6 designs of RM 5
Stamp size: 35 mm by 40 mm, hexagon
Miniature sheet size: 100 mm by 70 mm
Stamp in Miniature Sheet: 60 mm by 40 mm
Perforation: 14
Sheet content: 20
Designer: Reign Associates Sdn Bhd

Pond Life Definitives: Reprint Stamps (2011B)

The Pond Life Definitive stamps were released in 2011, featuring pond creatures in their natural habitat. Earlier this year, an additional design for the 1st Local and 2nd Local denominations were introduced.

On 11 July 2011, first reprint stamps for the 20c, 30c and 50c denominations will be made available at philatelic outlets across the island. They include the branches at Change Alley, Changi Airport, Chinatown, Jurong Point, Killiney Road, Singapore Post Centre, Robinson Road, Tanglin, Thomson Road, Toa Payoh Central and Woodlands.

Each stamp will be marked 2011B. These stamps can be purchased individually. For special requests including colour checks, plate numbers and reprint markings (“RP”), a minimum of a block of 4 stamps per denomination must be purchased, subject to the availability of stocks.

In addition, the first reprint of the Pond Life Definitives booklets (2012B) will be made available. At the bottom right corner of the stamp, the “2012B” is printed in black, instead of “2012A” in white. In addition, the “1RP” marking is found at the bottom right corner of the self-adhesive stamp booklet.

Gardens by the Bay (2012)

To commemorate the opening of Singapore’s latest attraction Gardens by the Bay on 29 June 2012, Singapore Post released a set of two $1.10 stamps. The stamps are designed by Mr Eng Siak Loy. He has previously designed a large number of local stamps, including the issue 150 Years of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Among the three gardens at Gardens by the Bay, Bay South is the largest. Spanning 54 hectares, Bay South will feature the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry through two contrasting sets of foliage, the Heritage Gardens and the World of Plants. Two cooled conservatories and man-made supertrees ranging from 25 metres to 50 metres in height form the backdrop of Bay South. The 32-hectare Bay East spans 2 kilometre along the Marina Reservoir to link Gardens by the Bay with East Coast Park. The 15-hectare Bay Central will provide access to cultural activities at The Esplanade Theatres on the Bay arts centre.

The new attraction is a short five-minute walk from Bayfront MRT. A free shuttle service operates between Marina Bay MRT station and Gardens by the Bay at ten-minute intervals, from 9 am to 9 pm daily.

Stamp size: 120 mm by 40 mm
Perforation: 13
Sheet content: 10
Designer: Eng Siak Loy

Images and adapted text: Singapore Post

United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (2012)

On 31 May 2012, Singapore Post has released a set of postage stamps to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) 2012. These stamps highlights five milestones in the Singapore Co-operative Movement, including Founders of the Co-operative Principles in 1844 ($1.10), Birth of Singapore’s First Co-operative in 1925 ($1.10), Birth of NTUC Co-operatives in 1969 (50 c), Birth of the Singapore National Co-operative Federation in 1980 (1st Local), and Singapore celebrating the International Year of Co-operatives 2012 (1st Local).

On 9 June 2012, President Tony Tan will launch ‘Co-opalicouz’, an event which will attract some 15000 members of the co-operative movement and the general public. The theme for the International Year of Co-operatives is ‘Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World’.

Denomination: 2 designs of 1st Local, 1 design of 50 c, 2 designs of $1.10
Stamp size: 37.5 mm by 38.2 mm
Perforation: 14.40 x 14.61
Sheet content: 10
Designer: Alynn Teo

Images and adapted text: Singapore Post

New Bishan Post Office

On 14 May 2012, SingPost will open a new post office at Bishan. The new Bishan Post Office is
located at:

51 Bishan Street 13
#01-03
Bishan Community Club
Singapore 579799

Operating hours as follows:

Mondays to Fridays: 9.30am to 6.00pm
Saturdays: 9.30am to 2.00pm
Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed

The new Bishan Post Office will provide a wide range of postal, remittance and agency services. In addition, the 24-hour SAM will also be available at this post office.

The following 5 metal datestamps will also be provided:

BISHAN
BISHAN A
BISHAN B
BISHAN C
BISHAN D

Wet Markets (2012)

Wet markets are a common sight in many neighbourhoods around Singapore, and is part and parcel of the weekly routine of a number of residents they serve. It is said to meet the basic needs of the community, providing a convenient space for interaction among members of the public. The stallholders would use ice to ensure that the seafood is fresh, and from time to time, clean their stalls with water. Due to the wet floors, these markets are commonly known as wet markets.

Four new stamps featuring common sights in wet markets were released on 18 April 2012.

Back in the 19th century, markets used to comprise loose clusters of vendors and peddlers with their wares spread out neatly on the ground or in baskets. In 1822, a market was constructed near the north end of Market Street, under the order of Sir Stamford Raffles. In the 20th century, more wet markets were developed to house street hawkers.  Many of these markets were integrated with the development of public housing in the 1950s and 1960s, as part of a neighbourhood centre, gathering residents around the area.

Today, there 107 markets cum hawker centres located across Singapore. Over the next decade, 10 more hawker centres will be built, with emphasis on hygiene and cleanliness. Eventually, wet markets will be drier and their existence will be very much a part of history.

Denomination: 4 designs of 80 c
Stamp size: 40 mm by 30 mm
Perforation: 16
Sheet content: 10
Designer: Andrew Tan (Drewscape)

Images and adapted text: Singapore Post

Pond Life Definitives 2012

On 12 March 2012, two new stamps featuring the yellow burhead (Limnocharis flava) and water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) were released by Singapore Post. These two stamps are part of the Pond Life Definitives series.

Pond Life Definitives 2012

The yellow burhead featured on the 1st Local stamp has yellow cup-shaped flowers and grows up to nearly one metre above water. In several Southeast Asian countries, as well as India, the young leaves and stems are traditionally eaten as a vegetable. While its seeds are dispersed by water, water birds and animals, this plant is commonly used to feed pigs and fish.

Shown on the 2nd Local stamp is the water lettuce. It has light green leaves arranged like a lettuce and can grow up to 14 centimetres long. They float on the water surface with its long roots submerges in water, as the leaves have parallel veins, wavy margins and are covered in short hairs that form basket-like structures that trap pockets of air and increase its buoyancy. Rarely, one may see its small, white flowers.

Stamp Size: 30 mm x 27 mm
Perforation: 14 x 14
Printer: Joh Enschede Security Print
Designer: Eric Kong (Design Vizio)

Images by Singapore Post
Text adapted from Singapore Post

Local Tea Time Snacks (2012)

On 8 February 2012, Singapore Post issued a set of stamps featuring local tea time snacks. Designed by Mr Sherman Lim, the stamps show a colourful illustration of the Lapis Sagu (1st local), Kueh Dadar (50 cents), Bao (80 cents) and Kueh Tutu ($1.10). These snacks are personified and drawn in a cartoonish manner. In Singapore, it is not uncommon to see people enjoying food outside the usual hours of lunch and dinner.

The Lapis Sagu, commonly known as the nine-layered kueh, is made from coconut milk, tapioca flour and boiled with pandan leaves. The rectangular shaped snack is found in a number of confectioneries, and it is definitely something unique to eat it layer by layer.

The Kueh Dadar is a bite-sized coconut pancake. Stir-fried grated coconut flesh and brown sugar are wrapped with a green skin that is made of sifted plain flour with pandan juice.

The Bao is a type of steamed Chinese bun with assorted fillings, including meat, vegetables or paste. There are also different sizes to choose from. Traditionally, it has been a common dish in most Chinese cultures, but now it can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

The Kueh Tutu is a traditional snack which is commonly found in Singapore. A soft outer layer made of rice flour or glutinous rice flour conceals either shredded coconut or ground nuts as its filling. It is often served on pandan leaves and is certainly available at night markets.

Stamp Size: 30 mm x 40 mm
Perforation: 13.33 x 13.33
Printer: Southern Colour Print
Designer: Sherman Lim

Images by Singapore Post
Text adapted from Singapore Post

Year of the Dragon 2012

SingPost will be releasing the Dragon Zodiac stamp issue on 5 January 2012 to usher in the year of the Water Dragon. This is the fifth out of twelve issues in the Zodiac stamp series, which started with the Rat Zodiac stamp beck in 2008. The Dragon is the fifth animal in the zodiac cycle.

Designer Leo Teck Chong illustrated the three stamps for this issue, which comes in the denominations of 1st Local, 65 c and $1.10.

On the 1st Local stamp, a dragon is featured on a beige-gold background, together with the Chinese character ‘ji’. The 65 c stamp features the character ‘xiang’, with a dragon on a bright red background. Put together, ‘ji xiang’ means auspicious.

Similar to the previous issue in this series, two dragons are featured on the $1.10 stamp, together with the phrase ‘xiang long xian rui’.

In addition, a collector’s sheet ($16.80) containing a $5 and $10 stamp will be released. The $5 stamp shows a morphing effect from the outline of a Rabbit to that of a Dragon, while the $10 stamp changes from the outline of a Dragon to that of a Snake.

For banknote collectors, the new banknotes for Chinese New Year will be released as early as 3 January, at selected DBS and POSB branches. OCBC and UOB will be issuing these new notes later in the week or early next week.

Lastly, wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2012!

Images by SingPost