Annual Stamp Collection 2009

Annual Collection 2009

The 2009 Collection of Singapore Stamps has been released today. This coffee-table book contains all the stamps released in the entire year, including issues such as the Flora and Fauna definitives, 150 Years of Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Food Festival, and APEC 2009. The book can be obtained from any Post Offices or via the internet at From now till 31 December 2009, the promotional price for the book is $54.90 (UP $60). In addition, this year’s collection comes with an exclusive gift: a miniature post box containing two specially designed stamps.


APEC 2009

Later in the week, leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will meet in Singapore for a week-long forum. More than 10000 delegates from the 21 member countries, including ministers and leaders will be present, including United States President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Logo: Image courtesy of APEC Singapore 2009
Logo: Image courtesy of APEC Singapore 2009

According to the APEC Singapore 2009 website, the logo depicts the 21 APEC economies coming together to convene at a single point, working towards unity, cooperation and synergy among member economies to advance common interests. The Spark, made up of 21 strokes, represents the 21 member economies, signifying the dynamism within the APEC community and a catalyst that inspires new ideas and initiatives to further the vision of APEC.

The 21 APEC members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

APEC 2009 First Day Cover

In order to commemorate this event, SingPost is releasing a new stamp issue today, entitled ‘APEC 2009 Meetings’. This set of four stamps, two gutter pairs of two stamps each, showcases different places in Singapore. The 1st Local stamp shows the skyscrapers of Singapore’s Central Business District. On the 80c stamp, there is a picture of the night view of Clarke Quay, a riverside quay in Singapore. The $1.10 depicts Singapore as an aviation hub. Featured on the $2.00 stamp is one of the busiest ports in Singapore.


Registered First Day Cover

Registered First Day Cover - Singapore-Indonesia Joint Issue (2009)

Something that I would have never thought of was to register a first-day cover. On the day when the Singapore-Indonesia Joint Issue was released, I met a few experienced stamp collectors at the post office in Harbourfront Centre after the launch. That was when I realised that it was possible to send a registered mail to myself without having to write my name and mailing address on the first-day cover.

One of the collectors said, ‘The stamps on the first-day cover have already exceeded the amount of postage required for registered mail!’

According to the branch manager Jasmine, many collectors have been registering their first-day covers by affixing a barcode label on the cover. In the past, collectors had to write their own address on the cover in order to send it as a registered mail. Today, there is no need to write the mailing address on the cover. However, the catch is that the item has to be marked as delivered by the post office only on the next working day. The status of the registered article can be tracked online by the registered article number.

Registered Article Information


Singapore-Indonesia Joint Issue

The stamp launch for the Singapore-Indonesia Joint Issue was held this morning at Club Islander, Sentosa, Singapore. The theme of this stamp issue is tourist attractions. For Singapore, the selected attractions are the Merlion (65c) and Sentosa ($1.10). For Indonesia, the featured attractions are Singa Ambara Raja Statue (1st local) and Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (80c).


The Merlion is a symbol of Singapore with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, combining Temasek and Singapura, which means sea town and lion city respectively. Sentosa, which means peace and tranquillity in Malay, is an island resort in Singapore. The Singa Ambara Raja Statue shows a winged lion bolding a big corn in one of its front leg and is the landmark of Singaraja City in northern Bali. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (or Beautiful Indonesian Miniature Park) is a park in eastern Jarkata where visitors can experience the rich culture and architecture.

Mr Wilson Tan and Mr Kemal Haripurwanto

Stamp Launch

The stamp launch started at half past eleven, where guests were entertained with a cultural dance. Following which, the stamp was officially launched with the striking of a gong.

Autographed Cover

Anticlockwise from top: (1) Kemal Haripurwanto, Minister Counsellor, Indonesian Embassy, (2) I Ketut Mardjana, CEO, Indonesian Post, (3) Tata Sugiarta, Designer (PosKreatif, Indonesia), (4) Andy Koh Boon Peng, Designer (Singapore)


Singapore National Monuments

The four stamps below were issued in 1978 with a value of 10 cents each, showcasing selected national monuments: Armenian Church, Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, Sri Mariamman Temple and Thian Hock Keng Temple. All national monuments featured on this set of stamps were gazetted on 6 July 1973.

National Monuments (1974)

Armenian Church
60 Hill Street, Singapore 179366

Built in a British neo-classical style, the Armenian Church is the oldest Christian church in Singapore. This church was one of the exhibition sites used during the inaugural Singapore Biennale in 2006.

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
4001 Beach Road, Singapore 199584

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque was designed by colonial architect John Turnball Thomson and was completed in 1846. The design was based on a mixture of local Islamic and European architecture.

Sri Mariamman Temple
244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793

Being the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, it has rich historical and architectural value and is a tourist attraction in Singapore. The main feature of the temple is its gopuram (the entrance tower).

Thian Hock Keng Temple
158 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068613

Thian Hock Keng Temple is one of the oldest and most important Hokkien temple in Singapore built in 1839. Chinese immigrants visit the temple to thank the Goddess of the Sea for their safe voyage.


Postage Due

When one forgets to insert a CashCard (or one with insufficient stored value) into the In-Vehicle Unit (IU) when driving through an Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry, he or she will be charged an administration fee of $10, to be payable within 24 hours, on top of the amount payable for the original ERP charges.

ERP Gantry

Similarly, when one forgets to affix a postage stamp (or affixed an insufficient amount) on the envelope when sending a letter, the recipient of the letter will be charged an administration fee of $1, to be payable immediately when someone comes knocking on the door at his apartment located in Bras Basah, shouting, ‘Postman!’

Holding up the letter, he said, ‘Meant for you. Can you verify if this is your address? The sender forgot to affix a postage stamp on the letter, so I am collecting the fine from you. It would be $1.25 according to this Postage Due Label.’

The recipient pays the fine, closes the door, picks up his mobile phone and calls the sender.

‘You send me that letter, forget to put stamp! Just now, a while ago, the postman knocked on my door and asked me to pay a fine.’

The sender replies, ‘I am so sorry, I must have forgotten about it and dropped it into the posting box. I will go over to your place and compensate you the amount, how much is it?’

‘Never mind about that, it is $1.25 only. When you come over, you pay for ERP charges. If you forget your CashCard, you pay a fine. When you park your car downstairs, you pay for parking fees. If you forget to display a parking coupon, you also pay a fine. This car park is famous for parking wardens appearing many times a day.’

‘Okay, when we meet in future, I will treat you lunch at The Restaurant.’

However, when one forgets to write the recipient’s address, writes it incorrectly or if the recipient rejects the letter, it will be returned to the sender with the postage due label, as well as many other labels and markings, seven of them in total for the envelope below.

Envelope with Postage Due Labels

If the recipient lives in another part of Singapore as marked out by the delivery zones, there will be more labels pasted on the envelope when the letter is returned to the sender. There seven delivery bases are located in Ayer Rajah, Bukit Panjang, Jurong, Kallang, Loyang, Upper Serangoon Road and Woodlands.

‘Knock, knock!’

‘Who’s there?’


‘Postman who?’

‘Psst… Meant for you. Can you verify if this is your address? You forgot to affix a postage stamp on the letter, so I am collecting the fine from you. It would be $1.25 according to this Postage Due Label.’


Mail from Malta

Last week, I received some postcards and used stamps from Malta. If you take a closer look at the cover, the stamps were cancelled on 9 September 2009.

09 Sep 09 Cancellation

The postcard below shows St. Julians, the most popular tourist resort in Malta. This town is famous for its tourism-oriented businesses, including hotels and of course, restaurants. During summer, tourists and locals visit this town, which is located along the coastline.

Malta Postcard

Malta Stamps


Fortune Teller Genius

After a busy week in school, I decided to take a short break from studying and check for updates in my Facebook account. Many people who have an account in Facebook would have recently realised that a person dressed in orange floating in mid-air had been appearing all over their friends’ Walls. He describes himself as follows:

El Gurú Sabelotodo lo sabe absolutamente todo. Pregúntale lo que quieras y te responderá sabiamente.

This can be translated into “The Fortune Teller Genius knows absolutely everything. Ask him what you want and he will respond wisely.” With over 600,000 active users, I decided to give the Fortune Teller Genius a try.

Do you speak Spanish?

I asked if he spoke Spanish. He replied immediately with a triple no.

Do you speak Spanish? (Screenshot in Facebook English (UK))

Not even a little. Well, at least he knows the word ‘no’ in Spanish! Well, maybe it would be better for me to ask him questions in English instead of Spanish, hoping that he would reply ‘sí’ (yes) to some of my questions.

Not even a little bit?

Interested to know if the Fortune Teller Genius was interested in collecting stamps, perhaps maybe asking him to visit The Restaurant, I asked:

Do you collect stamps?

Really? I will only tell you after you become my fan.

Interesting guy, maybe we should add him (and The Restaurant) as a fan. Following that, I asked if he collected stamps from Singapore, and he replied:

The Fortune Teller Genius

How about stamps from Singapore?

Well, at least he collects stamps on the 13th day of each month!

Tan Wei Jie likes this!


The Machine Strikes Back

Due to the ongoing Great September Sale, the new (physical) mailbox at The Restaurant is once again getting filled up. From time to time, there will be one or two letters in my mailbox which seem to catch my attention. Last week, I received such a letter. It was an envelope with a postage stamp on it, without any of the wavy cancellations.


If you look closely, the orange barcodes which are used for the sorting of mail are printed right next to the stamp! Maybe that is a new cancellation barcode which contained information such as the time, date and machine number.

However, as I turned the envelope over and was about to open the letter, I noticed the postmark dated 7 September 2009 (Machine C2) at the back on the envelope as shown in the picture below:

Yes, it is upside down.
Yes, it is upside down.


This postage stamp used on the envelope was similar to that on the postcard from Singapore. This letter is of standard specifications as well. Indeed, the machines are really interesting!

The machine has struck off the invisible stamp pasted on the back of the envelope, once again!


Malta Euro Coins

Malta Euro Cover

Here is a first day cover from Malta dated 1 January 2008. On that day, Malta started using the Euro currency. As seen on the cover, there are two values imprinted on the postage stamp. The value in red (43 c) denotes the old currency while the value in white uses the Euro (?1).

For a period of one month until 31 January, there was a dual circulation for Malta where the Euro and Maltese lira are used alongside each other. For accounting purposes, the usage of the Maltese Lira is still allowed but limited.

To commemorate the introduction of the Euro, Malta Post issued a colourful miniature sheet featuring the coin designs. Each miniature sheet comes with a unique serial number.