'Look at this, my father called me over.
'Hey, it's our hornbill! It's so
beautifully drawn. On such a tiny piece of paper!' I was hooked.
I was six years old when my father gave me my first stamp. Now I have three
albums. Most of my stamps were given by my parents and relatives. I also
exchanged some with my friends. I am especially proud of my album on Malaysian
wildlife. I remember waiting eagerly for the postman to come, hoping to get a
new stamp - one that was not in my collection.
The artwork had drawn me to collecting stamps when I was six years old. Then I
started to look out for important personalities. I have stamps of our first
prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Queen Elizabeth, my favorite actors and
actresses. I collect stamps from all around the world. Whenever an important
event is going to take place, I will rush to buy the first day covers. My most
prized possession is the stamp commemorating our country's independence. Stamp
collecting is a wonderful hobby. I can learn about the history, socio-economics
and important personalities of a country.
I would not consider myself a philatelist; merely an avid collector of stamps.
When I am feeling down, a quick flip through the pages of my album will cheer me
up. The stamps have sparked my interest in my other hobby, postcard collecting.
Many of my friends sent postcards to me. I found the postcards as fascinating as
My first postcard was one of the funicular train in Penang Hill. My brother had
gone on a school trip to Penang and had written home to tell us about his trip.
From then on, I would coax or badger anyone who is traveling to get me a
I have been lucky. Many of my cousins travel widely. I have postcards of the
seven wonders of the world. They are now vintage postcards. Like the stamps,
these postcards are windows to the past. I have a postcard of a rural scene of
Malacca - a farmer and a bullock pulling a plough. Another is of a tin mine in
Perak. They are all part of a vanishing landscape. Such postcards give an
insight to what was life then. I once went to a postcard and stamp exhibition.
There was a collection of postcards by German photographer A. Kaulfuss who was
based in Penang in 1900. It was a time of horse-drawn carriages and bullock
carts and ladies holding parasols. I would not have guessed it - if not for the
What is required of a good collector is some creativity and an orderly
system. My hobbies have definitely made me neat and systematic. I learnt the
hard way as many of my stamps were torn because I was too impatient and
My hobbies have given me much pleasure. Nowadays my family and friends do not
ask me what I would like when they are traveling. They know the answer - 'Get me
a postcard, please. And get it stamped, if you can.