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Archive for March 2008

Page 5



The earliest adventurer shown on Singapore stamps is Admiral Zheng He. He came from China to Southeast Asia in 1405. A hundred years after him came adventurers from European nations (Portugal, Spain, Holland, Britain and France) who wanted to get a share of the spices in Southeast Asia.

These European nations began to fight for control of the places involved in the Spice Trade. The port of Malacca on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia was conquered by the Portuguese in 1511.

The Dutch, having established their trading stations in Indonesia from around 1602, fought and defeated the Portuguese and ruled Malacca from 1641.

The British came to Southeast Asia much later. They set up trading stations in Bencoolen (Sumatra) in 1685, in Penang in 1786 and Singapore in 1819.

Stamp: Malaysia 1986 Dec

Stamp caption: Built in 1656 by the Dutch, the ‘Stadthuys’ in Malacca attracts hundreds of visitors daily

Written by victorkoo

31 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Contemporary Pioneers                                                                                       Pg 48
          The 1959 Cabinet of Government Ministers
               Yong Nyuk Lin, Ong Eng Guan, S Rajaratnam,
               Ahmad bin Ibrahim, Ong Pang Boon, Goh Keng Swee,
               Toh Chin Chye, K M Byrne, Lee Kuan Yew

          President Yusof bin Ishak                                                                                 Pg 56

          President Benjamin Sheares in Parliament Pg 57
               James W D Ambrose, F A Chua, T Kulasekaram,
               Wee Chong Jin, Benjamin Sheares, Yeoh Ghim Seng,
               T S Sinnathuray, Denis D’Cotta, Abdul Wahab Ghows

Arts & Culture Personalities                                                                            Pg 64
               Pan Shou, Han Sai Por, Iskandar Jalil,
               Ong Kim Seng, Liu Kang, Tan Swie Hian,
               Roger Kool, Hans Christian Andersen

The Future                                                                                                                   Pg 72

Written by victorkoo

30 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Contents (1)



Foreign Adventurers                                                                                             Pg  5
          Admiral Zheng He, Sir Stamford Raffles,
          Colonel William Farquhar, Governor Robert Fullerton,
          Governor Orfeur Cavenagh, Sir Frank Swettenham,
          George D Coleman, Dr Nathaniel Wallich,
          James Horsburgh, Lord Canning,
          Lord Dalhousie, Lord Elgin

Early Pioneers                                                                                                          Pg 22
          Tan Tock Seng, Edward J Tessensohn,
          Mohammad Eunos, P Govindasamy Pillai, Tan Yeok Nee,
          Hajjah Fatimah, Abdul Gaffoor, Miss Agnes Joaquim,
          Professor Eric Holttum, Dr Sun Yat Sen

British Royalty                                                                                                         Pg 33
          Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V,
          King Edward VIII, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II         

Wartime Leaders In Singapore                                                                    Pg 44
          General A E Percival, General T Yamashita,
          Lord Louis Mountbatten, General Itagaki Seishiro

Written by victorkoo

29 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Stamps can help to provide an avenue for learning about a nation’s history and heritage. I am very pleased that my retired colleague and old friend, Dr Tan Wee Kiat continues with his interest in writing stamp-based books to help our young Singaporeans know more about our little country’s history and heritage.

This present book, the tenth in the series, looks at the prominent people whose names or faces have appeared on our Singapore stamps. While each and every one of these ‘stamped’ individuals may be regarded as a very important person (VIP), it is timely to remind ourselves that there are many other VIPs whose names/faces have not been shown on Singapore stamps.

I have read the draft of this book and have found its contents to be informative, interesting and educational. I congratulate Dr Tan and his co-authors on its publication. Now, turn the pages and let them introduce you to the VIPs remembered in our Singapore stamps.

Professor Lee Sing Kong
Director, National Institute of Education,
Nanyang Technological University,

Written by victorkoo

28 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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An End That Leads To A New Beginning

Book cover

We have eventually come to the end of the transport book. But wait… the journey has not ended. As they say, “every road leads somewhere” and “when a door closes, another opens“. Or rather, in our case it should be “when a book closes, another opens“. 😉

Tomorrow, we will start page-by-page blogging of our brand new book, Singapore Stamps: Remembering VIPs. This book is another joint effort by the same 3 co-authors who brought you the transport book, i.e. Dr Tan Wee Kiat, Noel Hidalgo Tan and yours truly.

Undoubtedly, most of the hard work involved in writing this book was done by Dr Tan and Noel; I only played a minor supporting role, i.e. proofreading and on-line publishing aka blogging.

This book is special in that it is the first time that we are putting it on-line even before it goes to the printers. Yes, that might affect profits somewhat should the book ever go on sale later. However, as Dr Tan would say, the purpose of our books has always been to share knowledge. And when knowledge is shared, everyone profits.

We hope that you will find this book an interesting read.

Written by victorkoo

27 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Backcover – End Of Transport Book


Children’s books co-authored by Tan Wee Kiat

Written by victorkoo

26 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Page 38


Singapore Philatelic Museum

The Singapore Philatelic Museum showcases Singapore’s stamps,
philatelic materials, and postal artefacts dating back to the
Straits Settlements as well as the rare collections of private
collectors. It promotes interest and appreciation of Singapore’s
history and heritage through philately.

Singapore Post (SingPost)

SingPost has a special service for those who wish to collect
stamps in every new issue. This is done by becoming
a Standing Order Deposit Account (SODA) member.
An added bonus for SODA members is free entry to the
Singapore Philatelic Museum.

Written by victorkoo

25 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Page 37 – Addendum


Apologies: For adding a note after the Ending Note.

After this “Horse-powered & Man-powered Transport” book was published, a reader pointed out that the co-authors had committed a grave sin of omission:

That all the different modes of transport described in the book dealt with Land Transport and we had missed out Man-powered Water Transport.

Luckily, it is easy to rectify this mistake when it is a blog and not a book. So, for our readers, we add this note for stamps of Man-powered Water Transport.

Written by victorkoo

24 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Page 36



Read more about early Singapore from the following books in your
neighbourhood library.

Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Published in 1998 by Times Editions Pte Ltd

Singapore Story: From Third World to First
Published in 2000 by Times Media Pte Ltd

Singapore: Journey into Nationhood
Co-published in 1998 by National Heritage Board and Landmark Books Pte Ltd

Singapore: The Encyclopedia
Published in 2006 by Editions Didier Millet and National Heritage Board

Singapore: A Pictorial History 1819-2000
Published in 1999 by Archipelago Press

Written by victorkoo

23 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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Page 35


Ending Note

The transporting of goods and passengers by muscle-powered vehicles may
have been slow and laborious but it had its good points. For one thing, traffic
accidents were practically unheard of in the days of muscle-powered transport.

Granted, some injuries might have resulted from the rare occasions of sleepy
riders who fell off the bullock carts; or unwary horse-carriage drivers who were
kicked by agitated horses; or the careless rickshaw pullers who sprained their
ankles after stepping on a loose pebble. But that was about all and the injuries
were seldom fatal.

Granted, too, there would be a need to clean up the inevitable droppings of
horses and bullocks but such generous offerings could be put to good use as
fertiliser for growing and nourishing the plants in our Garden City.

Yes, with muscle-powered modes of transport, we can also put into practice
the wise Chinese advice for a safe journey when our guests take their leave:

‘慢慢走’ which literally means “Slow, slow, go”.

Written by victorkoo

22 March, 2008 at 10:00 am

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