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Singapore 1997 and 1999
National Issues

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The first issue on this page is from 1999, and the second from 1997.  On the following page you will find the Singaporean joint issue with Sweden in 1999.  

The stamp and souvenir sheet, issued 1999, feature Yusof bin Ishak, the first President of Singapore. Please read below a short biography about Mr. Yusof.  

Released together with the stamps is a very limited quantity of Perforated Full Printer's Sheets.  The stamps are printed in a pane of four and there are altogether eight panes on each Printer's sheet incorporating 32 stamps.  the Presidential Crest, Presidential Standard and the Singapore Millennium 2000 logo appear on the selvedges. 

In the upper right corner is printed Singapore's Lion Symbol in gold print.

Scott # 908

  • 1999.  Yusof bin Ishak, the first President of Singapore.

  • 1999.  First Day Cover of the presidential issue. 

  • 1999.  Souvenir sheet featuring Yusof bin Ishak, with the Presidential Standard, the State Crest and Singapore Post's Millennium Logo in the selvedges.

Mr. Yusof bin Ishak was elected to the office of Yang Di-Pertuan Negara, or Head of State, on 3rd December 1959.  He was the first local to hold the highest office in the land since Singapore obtained self-rule.  When Singapore became fully independent in 1965, he was elected President. 

Born to a civil servant in 1910, Mr. Yusof was very determined from young.  A brilliant student, he pursued a career in journalism after he left school.  In May 1939, Mr. Yusof was the managing director when Utusan Melayu Press Ltd was inaugurated.  In 1948, he went to Britain as a member of the first Press delegation.  From 1949 to 1950, he served on the Film Appeal Committee.  He was a member of Nature Reserves Committee and Malayanisation Commission.  In July 1959, he was appointed Chairman of Public Service Commission, Singapore. 

Mr. Yusof was one who identified himself with the people.  Had a simple and steadfast belief that his people came first.  His constant message was that people of all races should be united, progressive, keen and prepared to take on challenges of the time.  He stressed always that the world did not owe anyone a living.  His faith in Singapore's future rested firmly on the confidence that training and developing the skill latent in Singaporeans will unify the nation.

The first president of Singapore, Mr. Yusof bin Ishak, died of heart failure at the age of 60 on 23rd November 1970.  He is remembered as the peoples' President, a man who inspired rather than led, who by dedicatin and example served his country well.  

Please do not mix up the Presidential Standard and the Singaporean national flag, even if they are very much alike.

The Flag

National Flag

President's Standard

Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

Stylised Lion Logo

National Symbol

For 140 years (1819-1959), the Union Jack flew over Singapore.  Then, on 3 December 1959, the National Flag, an important symbol of independence, was unveiled together with the State Crest and National Anthem at the installation of the new Head of State, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara.  The flag was conceived and created by a committee headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Toh Chin Chye.  The Flag consists of two horizontal halves, red above white.  Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of men; white, the purity and virtue. In the upper left corner, a white crescent moon and five white stars form a circle. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise.  The five stars stand for Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

The National Coat of Arms, or State Crest, consists of a shield with a white crescent moon and five white stars against a red background, all symbolising the same particularities as in the national flag, read above.  Supporting the shield are a lion on the left and a tiger on the right. The lion represents Singapore and the tiger represents the islandís historical links with Malaysia. Below the shield is a banner inscribed with the Republicís motto, "Majulah Singapura" ("Onward Singapore").  The Coat of Arms or State Crest was unveiled on 3 December 1959 together with the National Flag and the National Anthem at the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Negara at the City Hall steps.

According to 13th century Malay Annals, a prince spotted a creature he believed was a lion and named the island "Singa-pura" (Lion City) - from which Singapore was derived.  The Lion Symbol was launched in 1986 as an alternative national symbol. The National Flag and State Crest have legal restrictions that prevent their commercial use.  The Lion Symbol was chosen as a logo that best captures the characteristics of Singaporeís reputation as the Lion City.  The Lion symbolises courage, strength and excellence.  It is in red against a white background - the colours of the National Flag. The five partings of the lionís mane represent the five ideals embodied in the five stars of the flag:  democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The lionís purposeful bearing symbolises the nationís single-minded resolve to face challenges and overcome obstacles.  

 

Great strides have been made in the development of transport in the industrialised world since the 19th century.  In Singapore too, land transportation has made significant progress.  Many measures are ongoing to improve the public transport system in Singapore, so that it can provide high standards of service and infrastructure to meet the needs of a dynamic and growing city.  This stamp issue features four types of modern public transport:  Taxi,  Bus,  Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, and the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system.   All stamps have the Singapore Lion Symbol in their upper right corner.  The set is the high value part of the Transportation-set issued in 1997.  

Scott # 790

Scott 790-793a

Scott # 792

Scott # 791

Scott # 793

Taxi.
Taxi plays a key role in bridging the gap between the private car and mass public transport like buses and the MRT.  Offering personalised door-to-door service, taxis provide about 500,000 passenger trips per day.  The stamp depicts a Comfort Taxi.  Set up in the early 1970s, Comfort manages the largest fleet of taxis in Singapore.  It currently operates a fleet of 10,000 taxis.  In March 1996, Comfort launched its new satellite-linked taxi dispatch system called Comfort CabLink, with a special automated dial-in line.  It uses a satellite to locate a taxi nearest the pick-up point while a pre-recorded voice keeps the passenger informed of the the taxi number.  Thus, it enables toe commuter to book a taxi quickly and easily without going through a telephone operator.  

Bus.
Buses have always been a major mode of transport in Singapore.  Improvements in service standards have been significant since the formation of Singapore Bus Services (SBS) in 1973.  Today, SBS operates about 200 services with more than 2,400 buses, carrying 2,5 million passenger trips daily.  The stamp depicts the SBS Superbus introduced in 1993.  It is a 12-metre long 3 axle double-decker with a carrying capacity of 131 passengers.  It is more efficient than single deck buses in terms of road usage.  It uses an ozone-friendly refrigerant for the air-conditioning system and is equipped with a comprehensive range of safety and comfort features. 

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) System.
The MRT was opened for service in 1987 to serve the heavy demand corridors.  The first extension, the Woodlands Line, followed and was opened for passenger service in February 1996.  A North-East Line is also oin the pipeline, scheduled for completion in early 2002.  The trains are electrically powered whilst the system enjoys a number of environmentally friendly features, such as platform screen doors, which reduce air-conditioning costs by 50%.  Covering a total of 83 route kilometres over 48 stations now, the MRT system enjoys about 850,000 daily passengers. 

Light Rapid Transit (LRT) System.
The LRT is new mode of public transport that Singaporeans will soon see on our landscape.  Essentially a feeder service to complement he heavy rail MRT network, it offers an attractive and cost-effective transport alternative in light traffic corridors, for both housing estates and commercial areas.  Work has started on the first LRT system which will be built in Bukit Panjang and is scheduled for completion in late 1999.  The will also be a second LRT line in Sengkang New Town, which will be the first LRT to be integrated with the development of the town. 

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Many thanks to Mr. Chong Meng (Singapore) for all help and research.


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