Thursday, January 29, 2009

1994 Orchids - Hong Kong Stamp Exhibition

1994 Orchids of Malaysia - Hong Kong Stamp Exhibition

Malaysia had issued stamp and covers to commemorate 3 major philately exhibition in 1994, 1 of which was held by Pos Malaysia. They were the Hong Kong'94, Aseanpex'94 (in Penang!!) and Philakorea'94. I would showcase the first stamp exhibition in that year, Hong Kong'94, in this blog.

"1994 Hong Kong Stamp Exhibition - MS on FDC"

Orchids of Malaysia miniature sheet was overprinted with the Hong Kong'94 logo to commemorate the event. No special exhibition cover was issued but the nice miniature sheet and FDC cover make up for the loss.

The exhibition was held from 18 - 21 February (4 days) by Hong Kong Philatelic Society and Hong Kong Postal services.

The Hong Kong Philatelic Society was established in 1921 and is the oldest philatelic organisation in Hong Kong. Members were mainly Europeans before the war and after 1946, more and more Chinese became members and the Society has grown in stature.

Over the years, the Society has promoted philately vigorously in Hong Kong and organised the first national stamp exhibition in 1994 (ie Hong Kong'94 as shown in the FDC above), the first international stamp exhibition in February 1997 and the 15th FIAP Asian International in February 2001. In addition, the Hong Kong Philatelic Society has also organised national exhibitions such as Hongpex'96, Hongpex'98, Hongpex'00, Hong Kong Stampex 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 so that new exhibits formed by local collectors can qualify for future FIAP & FIP exhibitions. The Christopher D'Almada trophy is to be awarded as the grand prize for the Hongpex exhibitions. In December 2002, our Society together with the Hong Kong Study Circle (UK) organised the 140th Anniversary of Hong Kong Stamps Exhibition at the City Hall. In addition, the HKPS also participated in joint stamp exhibitions such as in Guangzhou, Macau and the most recent Hong Kong-Macau Joint Stamp Expo in October 2005. In January 2004, the Society co-organised the Hong Kong 2004 Stamp Expo - 17th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition which was another success. HKPS looks forward to the next international show in 2009.

"Malaysia Orkid - First Day Cancellation"

The first day cancellation of this issue was very delicate and illustrate an orchids flower. You can see the magnify version of this flower on the FDC.

"Hong Kong'94 - Exhibition Cancellation"

The exhibition cancellation was more complexly designed. It illustrates the Malaysia Clock Tower (or better known as Sultan Abdul Samad building near Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur) along side with the Hong Kong Central Plaza ("中環廣場"). From my opinion, this cancellation give a false impression that both the buildings are of similar hight. But this is far from reality.

In term or hight, Sultan Abdul Samad building is 40m (peak of the clock tower) while the Hong Kong Central Plaza is 374m!!

"Sultan Abdul Samad Building - night view"

Topped by a shiny copper dome and a 40m high clock tower, it is a major landmark in the city. It serves as the backdrop for important events such as the National Day Parade on August 31 and the ushering in of the New Year. This heritage building used to be occupied by the then Apex Court of Malaysia, the Supreme Court which was subsequently renamed the Federal Court. The Court of Appeal was also housed in this historic building. The Federal Court and the Court of Appeals have since moved to the Palace of Justice located in Putrajaya, the new Federal administrative capital. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building now houses the Commercial Division of the High Court of Malaya.

Behind the building flows the Klang River and Gombak River's confluence and in the middle of where the 2 rivers meet stands The Masjid Jamek (or Jamek Mosque), a mosque of similar design by the same architect.

"Hong Kong Central Plaza (中環廣場)"

Central Plaza is the second tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. With a height of 374 m (1,227 ft), Central Plaza is only surpassed by 2 IFC (415 m / 1,362 ft) in Central. The building is located at 18 Harbour Road, in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. It was the tallest building in Asia from 1992 to 1996, until the Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, People's Republic of China, was built. The 78-storey building was completed in August 1995. The building surpassed the Bank of China Tower as the tallest building in Hong Kong until the completion of 2IFC.

Central Plaza was also the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world, until it was surpassed by CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou. The building uses a triangular floor plan. On the top of the tower is a four-bar neon clock that indicates the time by displaying different colors in 15 minute intervals, blinking at the change of the quarter.

An anemometer is installed on the tip of the building's mast; the anemometer sits at 378 m (1,240 ft) above sea level. The mast has a height of 102 m (335 ft). It also houses the world's highest church--Hong Kong City Church.

For more information of all the skyscraper in Hong Kong, you can visit HERE.

We should put KL Tower (335 meter in hight) in this cancellation instead of Sultan Abdul Samad clock tower. However, KL Tower was only completely built in 1996....

Anyhow, I think both structure are magnificent, from both historical as well as architecture point of view.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2002 Malaysia - China Joint Issue

2002 Malaysia-China Joint Issue - Rare Flowers

In the late 1990's, "joint-issue" became a relatively new and "hip" concept in philately through out Asia Countries. Singapore, Thailand and China started the trend to jointly issue stamp with other countries.

But lets get this clear first... what is a "joint issue". A joint issue is the release of stamps or postal stationery by two or more countries to commemorate the same topic, event or person of relevance to both countries. Joint issues typically have the same first day of issue and their design is often similar or identical, except for the identification of country and value.

Pos Malaysia, don't want to fall behind the trend, issued its first joint issue cover and stamps with China in 2002 - Rare Flowers.

"Joint Issue Cover and Stamps - design A"

"Joint Issue Cover and Stamp - design B"

Beside from the normal first day cover, Pos Malaysia had issued the unique "joint-issued FDC". The cover was uniquely designed and are larger than the standard size FDC in Malaysia. It was affixed with both version of the stamps (Malaysia version and China Version) on a single FDC and cancelled with respective cancellation.

As you may notice, both the joint issue stamps (RM1 in se-tenant pair) had the same design with China's 80c setenant pair. The "Golden Camelia" flower design is a flower found in southern Guangxi of China while "Guiana Cannonball Tree Flower" Malaysia native flower. I would suspect that each stamp was design by respective designer in each contry. However, as you can see, the color plant used for printing was not agreed upon and thus caused some differences in the color used.

"Malaysia First-Day Cancellation"

"China Joint Issue Cancellation A"

"China Joint Issue Cancellation B"

There is only 2 version of this joint issue covers that you can find in Malaysia (at least that's what I had found so far). Please see above for design A and B. The different was mainly the stamps attached and cancellation used.

Design A was purchased over-the-counter from Pos Malaysia. Quite a number of this was produced and you still can get these joint issue cover from some selected pos office. Although for this series, Malaysia had issue a 30c stamp and a miniature sheet, only the RM1 setenant pair stamps are affixed together with their China version. From my opinion, this was a more appropriate way of presentation as the RM1 pairs was the "joint issue stamp". All the stamps are nicely cancelled with cancellation from respective country. In some case, special joint-issue cancellation would be introduced for the cover. However, Malaysia had only use its normal first-day cancellation on this.

Design B was purchased from International Stamp and Coint Sdn. Bhd. It includes a 30c stamp (to complete the set of stamps) and a different joint-issue cancellation for the China side. I am not sure how this is done as normally Pos Malaysia would have control over the issue and cancellation of the stamps and thus you can't really change the design. However, for some reason, this stamp dealer had done it. And to be fair, the China's cancellation in design B was actually nicer.

Stamps in Twins?

Since the starting of this issue, I had given myself a new challenge to collect all the Malaysia FDC, its Joint-issue variation, other country joint issue partner joint-issue cover variation, and other joint issue partner FDCs. Believe me, this prove to be very challenging. The hardest part was mainly to get the joint-issue special cover, as the are normally issued in very low quantity. However, it could also be tricky seach and found the joint-issue partner FDCs. For this case, it took me almost 6 years to finally acquired the China FDCs for this issues. But I always think that this is the fun part of stamp collecting, and I like to call it "target and found".

The joy of finding an item to complete your collection is what keep me addicted to this hobby for so long.

"Rare Flower - Cover A: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover A: Back"

"Rare Flower - Cover A cancellation"

Only at the time I acquired these 2 covers then I realised China's postal service operates in a very different way in term of new stamps / FDC issued.

First of all, there is no "official FDC" as sold by all post office. The FDCs cachet are design by each private and individual companies/corporation as authorised by the China postal services. The company would also design the "first day cancellation" as there is no "official cancellation".

Thus, for a stamp issue, you could have 20 different type of FDCs designed and sold by various parties.

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Front"

"Rare Flower - Cover B: Cancellation"

This is the second design for this issue. In China, they normally refer this design as cover B ("B封"). As you can see from the front of the cover, on the left hand side, it is indicated this as "B-FDC".

Most China stamps collectors would regard this 2 disign as the "official FDC" as the entity that issued these covers, China National Philatelic Corporation and Beijing Stamp Company had been in this business for many year and had the reputation of producing the best FDC.

"Cover A - China National Philatelic Corporation (A 封)"

"Cover B - Beijing Stamp Company (B 封)"

I think this is a great phenomena where entities are encourage to compete to disign the best FDC for its customers. However, for cover and cancellation enthutiasts like me, it would cost me a bom just to collect each FDC design from each issue...

If you have seen any variance of this FDC (China/Malaysia version), please let me know or even send me a scan/pic of it. I would very much like to catalouge all FDC for this issue, if possible.

Monday, January 12, 2009

1993 Bangkok Exhibition

1993 Bangkok Exhibition

"1993 Bangkok Exhibition Overprint Stamp on Souvenir Cover"

Thailand, through my years of collecting covers, had pop out to be one of the few nation which did really well in promoting philately as hobbies among its people. This was well proved by the amount of international level philately exhibition that it had held. Thailand truly stand out among the crowd for being the country which hold tons of successful world exhibition, the most recent one being Bangkok'07 (please correct me if you think I am wrong).

Bangkok'93 was held from 1 to 10 October at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. Pos Malaysia, as a postal service who participate in this event, issued a set overprint stamp and special cancellation for this event. However, no official souvenir covers issued. The cover you seen above was privately made by collectors.

The cover was designed by an elephant (wearing a vest with the letter "post"), the scared animal in the heart of Thailand people. No a really impressive design, especially it was mono-colored. However, due to minimal quantity being produced, this was still one of the rare collectors' fouvorite.

"1993 Bangkok World Philatelic Exhibition Cancellation"

The cover was affixed with the overprint stamp and cancelled with the exhibition cancellation. The cancellation was pretty classic but neat and nice.

The cover worth quite some money due to the quantity of the overprint stamp issued. It was still a highly sought after cover even until today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2000 Millennium

2000 Millennium Souvenir FDC

First thing first, Happy 2009 !!!

Yeap. Time passed like nobody business. It is year 2009 already. I have been writing this blog for 9 months. . . .

Tons of things happen in the previous year (2008). I got married, changed job, migrate, traveling, set up this blog, become an uncle as my sis-in-law give birth to a cute baby girl. . . . what a year I would say.

And sorry for not updating this blog for quite some time. I have gone for a long vacation in New Zealand. I had a really nice vacation bungy jumping, sky diving, horse riding, luging, zorbing, cruising, spa, shopping, rafting, sight seeing etc etc etc. There is just so much to do in New Zealand. Please put it in one of your "must go places before you die"!!

Quote: "Stamps let you see the world, but it is better to see it yourself".

"2000 Millennium Cover #1"

"2000 Millennium Cover #1 Cancellation"

Since we are all in the new year mode, let me showcase something which fits this theme, 2000 millennium souvenir cover. As a grand event of our generation, many postal services around the globe had issued FDC to commemorate this event. Pos Malaysia join in the fun and issued "several" series of stamps for this event. Apparently motivated by earning more money from the event, they choose quantity over quality. the 2000 millennium series, from my view, was not nicely designed and presented.

The souvenior cover as shown above was from a special folder issued for the event. The folder cost RM25 and consist of an album which highlight Malaysia development over the passed millennium and 2 souvenior covers. The above is cover #1. The selling point of this issued was that you have to buy this folder to get this exclusive cover, exclusive miniature sheet and exclusive cancellation. Now do you realised how exclusive it is?

"2000 Millennium Cover #2"

"2000 Millennium Cover #2 Cancellation"

The design of the souvenior cover actually fits the theme quite well. It give us the idea of where the new millenium would be an "astro" era, advancement, technology, hi-tech, unknown and should various element. Both miniature sheets are Rm5 and show an universe view of the earth, with a ship "sailing into the next millennium".

From the design point of view, this issue could be the best-designed issue for the whole millennnium celebration series. Due to the high price, the quantity issued was quite limited and should be highly sought after by various collector. But to my surprise, some of the post office still have this item in their "philately" section and you can still purchase them at original price (I am not joking). However, due to the poor handling of the Pos Malaysia staff, some of the cover had turn yellowish. My guess was that these covers was not prepared in an environment with low humidity.

A new year stamp to mark the new starting for everyone in the world. I hope all readers of my blog will be bless with good health and mind in 2009!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

1992 Asian Philatelic Exhibition

KL'92 5th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition

"KL'92 Exhibition Cover with first day cancellation"

After multiple years in organising smaller philatelic exhibition, Pos Malaysia finally got a chance to organised an event at international level - the "5th Asian International Philatelic Exhibition". I find it a bit weird to call it "Asian International" because logically, you should be either Asian, or International.. and not both.

But anyhow, that is not the point. The point was that this exhibition was phenomenal!! Postal services all over the world had participated in this exhibition and tons of exhibits, booth and activities was sets up for the participants.

The event was held from 1 Sept to 7 Sept 1992. I am not sure about the location of the event. But my guess would be the Muzium Negara.

"KL'92 - Daily exhibition Cancellation"

Like all philatelic exhibition, the daily cancellation was introduced. Each of the cancellation represent different theme for the day. From top left were "Philatelist Day", "Youth Day", "Thematic Day", "Award Presentation Day", "Pos Malaysia Day" and "FIAP Day".

"First day cancellation"

The Stamp introduced was to commemorate 125th years since the first stamp in Malaysia. The stamps featured interesting design which now fits into a thematic category called "stamp on stamp". This basically mean there are a group of collector who like to collect stamps which have stamps printed on them. It was actually a very interesting theme.

"KL 92 - Exhibition cover with full set of new stamps"

If you are interested in "stamp on stamp", you might want to visit here.

"Official MS on FDC for 125th anniversary of first stamp issued in Malaysia"

This was the official FDC issued. As you can see, the post man uniform at that point of time does change a bit as compared to now.

"125th years of first stamp in Malaysia - FDC with stamps"

The first day cover itself actually fits in the category of thematic collection for "stamp under glass", which I had introduced in my previous blog.

As I have mention above, ton of postal services from over the world came to Kuala Lumpur to participate in this events. To commemorate this, most of the postal services have issued stamps, miniature sheet, exhibition cover as well as cancellation specially for the philatelic exhibition. For instances, Hong Kong have issued 2 miniature sheet with KL' 92 overprint. Tuvalu have also have their fish series overprint (see below).

"Tuvalu KL'92"

Just in case you wonder where is Tuvalu, it is a beautiful island in the middle of the pacific ocean. There have only a few series of stamps issued. Click here if you are interested in this country's stamps.

As there is so many booths around, people start going around and collect the KL'92 cancellation from all the participating postal services. Here are some of the cancellation I have manage to collect.

"KL'92 Singapore"

"KL'92 Indonesia - wayang kulit / hand puppet"

"KL' 92 Korea"

"KL'92 Nauru (another island in the pacific ocean)"

"KL'92 Hong Kong"

"KL'92 P.N.G"

Just in case you are wondering what is "P.N.G", it stands for Papua New Guinea. I try to figure out what is the picture as illustrated on the cancellation but just can't work it out. It seem like a coral or birds. If anybody know what is it, please do tell me.

"KL'92 Solomon Islands - Butterfly"

This cancellation would be nice for philatelic cum butterfly lover.

"KL'92 Tuvalu"

"KL'92 Tuvalu - FDC cancellation for the overprint stamp"

"KL '92 Viet Nam"

I apologized for not having a nicer version of the Viet Nam cancellation. This is the best I have got. If you have a sample of this cancellation which can provide to me, please do email me the image. I will really appreciate that.

After introducing all the cancellation above, do you know of any cancellation regarding KL'92 which you want to share? If so, please do email me. I would definitely like to make this blog as complete as ever. But I alone can't have all the information available and thus hope this blog could server like the "wikipedia" concept and pool as much information as possible regarding this exhibition.

"Australia Special KL'92 cover"

If you have participated in this event, you might have bought the cover as shown above. Sprintpak was a supplier who have participated in this exhibition to demonstrate a auto-affixed technology. It showcase a machine which auto affixed the stamps at pre-set location on a cover and machine cancelled it.

"Sprintpak - stamp perfectly affixed an cancelled"

See above for the result. The stamp and cancellation was at a exact perfect position. The technology could be used to mass produce FDC and souvenior covers for the postal services to be sold to collectors.

Making philatelic history with a number of world firsts, Sprintpak has carved a strategically important niche in the international philatelic and collectible packaging market. Today, a commitment to vigorous research and development and a growing reputation as one of the world`s best, Sprintpak is setting its sights on new business opportunities.

When it comes to business diversification, Sprintpak, a fully owned business of Australia Post, is ahead of the pack.

Specialising in providing high quality finishing processes in the production of postage stamps, philatelic products and other related products such as numismatic, collector albums and book publications, Sprintpak has gone from strength to strength since it began in the 1970s.

For those who have followed this unique businesses lifecycle it would have been difficult to predict the amazing outcome of this relatively obscure service provider.

Sprintpak was launched as a division of Mayne Nickless, an Australian transport and distribution company, firstly supplying stamp packs to Post and then later first day covers and the annual collection stamp album.

Recognising the strategic importance to Post`s philatelic division, Sprintpak was purchased in 1987 and incorporated as a division of the postal corporation in 1994. Sprintpak is now a business unit of Post Logistics.

This is why when you purchase Australia FDC, you seldom see flaw or damage on the stamps, cancellations or covers. The FDCs produced by Australia post are so perfect due to the Sprintpak technology being employed. As for Malaysia.... our postal services still very much believe in human power. If you ever visited the philately counter in Complex Dayabumi, you may even find a scene where the Pos Malaysia staffs are affixing stamp to FDCs and hand stamp them. This is why you will find not-straightly-affixed-stamp or dirtied-cancelled FDC when you have a SODA account in Pos Malaysia and have them send you every issue of new FDC.

In 1992, Australia Post was already using this technology. It was 2008 now... which mean Pos Malaysia Bureau Philately was about 16 years behind. Not too bad....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

1991 FFC KL-Beijing

1991 First Flight Cover - Kuala Lumpur to Beijing

"FFC KL-Beijing Front"

In 1991, a cover was issued to commemorate the first flight of Malaysia Airline ("MAS") first flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The flight was commenced on 31 March 1991.

As with most of the first flight cover, it illustrates the landmark structure in Beijing, the "Temple of Heaven". In Chinese we called it "天壇" or "天坛". This was a well-known tourism destination in Beijing and was included as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

But now, after the Beijing 2008 Olympic, perhaps the "Bird Nest" and "Water Cube" was more famous than Temple of Heaven.

"FFC KL-Beijing Back"

The back of the cover had an arrival cancellation from Beijing Post. The small print of the bottom of the cover contain information of the issuer and cover designer.

"FFC KL-Beijing Cancellation"

The first flight cancellation was very similar to the first flight cover from KL-Khoh Siong, which was issued in 1991 also (see my previous post regarding FFC to Khoh Siong).

"Temple of Heaven - front overview"

The Temple of Heaven is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in southeastern urban Beijing, in Xuanwu District. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. It is regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism.

The Temple of Heaven comprises of three building structure:

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿) - the structure in the middle(as illustrated in the cover) is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 32 metres in diameter and 38 metres tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests. The building is completely wooden, with no nails.

The Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇) is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base. It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and resembles it, but is smaller. It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall, that can transmit sounds over large distances. The Imperial Vault is connected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360 meter long raised walkway that slowly ascends from the Vault to the Hall of Prayer.

The Circular Mound Altar (圜丘坛) is the altar proper, located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is an empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather. It was built in 1530 by the Jiajing Emperor and rebuilt in 1740.

It was amazing how a structure from such ancient time illustrate the concept of ultimate beauty from the creator/god - "Symmetry". If you may have notice, the structure was symmetry (same in left and right if you look at it in the middle). The concept of symmetry was used by the creator in the creation of life. The form of human being, animal, snow flake to even individual cell, follows of golden rule of symmetry. A structure in perfect symmetry, now that's a beauty!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


More Than 1,000 Visitor

When I started this blog on 15 March 2008, I have never imagine this blog could actually reach 1,000 visitors in just 8 months time.

As this was an historical moment in my blogging history, I would share a little statistic about this blog:

- there were 46 blogs being written (not including this one)
- average 5.75 blogs written per month
- approximate 1.4 blog written per week
- there was an approximate 22 visitors per blog
- covers tagged "Exhibition" was most frequently written (17 in total)

Thanks everyone who enjoy this blog. I will continue to bring you interesting covers and hope to earn a "wah!!" or "wau!!" from every one who visit here.

1996 Istanbul Exhibition

1996 Istanbul Exhibition

"1996 Butterfly - Istanbul World Philatelic Exhibition Cover"

As promised in my previous blog, I present you the 1996 Butterfly Booklet on Istanbul World Philatelic Exhibition Cover. The exhibition was held from 27 September - 06 October 1996 which attracted 4,000 participants, including Pos Malaysia.

The International Philately Federation Congress was also held in conjunction of this World Philatelic Exhibition. The exhibitions opened at the Lutfi Kirdar International Convention Centre and the Harbiye Military Museum and Culture Village. About 700 philatelists from all over the world will exhibit their collections. The exhibition played an important role in promoting Turkey abroad.

"Exhibition Cancellation"

The cancellation resembled the logo of the Istanbul 1996. Is this Jawi character, Istanbul building structure or ... I am not sure.