Pos Malaysia’s Diyana Lean Abdullah: There’s still life to stamps, so lick it and go stick it

STAYIN' ALIVE

Pos Malaysia’s Diyana Lean Abdullah: There’s still life to stamps, so lick it and go stick it

Philately is alive and well despite the disruptive force of technology making traditional postal services obsolete. Pos Malaysia's Stamp and Philately Unit Head Diyana Lean Abdullah tells AWANI Review’s Nur Adilla Noorazam that stamps still retains pride of place in a corner of a true stamp collectors’s heart.

The stamps and philately industry is a living example of what happens when the disruptive nature of technology forces one sector to innovate to survive.

What might once be deemed as a commodity, postal notes and stamps lost their luster, replaced by electronic messaging by the mobile phone takeover.

Postal services providers have had to resort to innovative means to ensure stamps and philately continue to survive, even gaining new consumers and retaining diehard traditionalists.

According to Pos Malaysia’s Head of Stamps and Philately Unit, Diyana Lean Abdullah, stamps and philately are no longer seen as the means to an end.

To ensure continuous interest from consumers, the industry has re-positioned stamps and other postal products into rare items that are produced in limited numbers and at specific times, promising thrills in collecting.

Diyana added that stamp collecting has not only become an industry of its own but also a form of investment.

“There were occasions where rare stamps were sold out in hours and just a day or two later we found them online being resold at a much steeper price tag than its original cost. These stamps can be sold for an even higher price —fetching hundreds or even thousands of Ringgit. In fact, some of the most expensive stamps we have seen are used stamps that were issued back when people still religiously sent letters,” she said.

In its embrace of the digital disruption, Pos Malaysia also makes use of technology by setting up an online shopping site for its stamps allowing them the opportunity to break into the international collectors industry.

Not just relying on existing consumers, Pos Malaysia has embarked on a mission to inspire future stamp collectors through its activation at national schools nationwide.

“Stamp collecting has been recognized as a co-curriculum activity for primary and secondary school students. We do not just stop there. We also help them organize clubs, workshops and national competitions in order continuously excite them about the world of stamp collection. We always have to keep them excited for more.

“Our annual competition will select a lucky winner who we will bring to showcase his or her stamp collection at an international stamp exhibition. These activities inspire students to look at stamps in a different way,” she said.

These students made the large, growing chunk of Pos Malaysia’s Standing Order Deposit Account (SODA) where stamp collections are delivered to your door with a deposit of RM50 upon registration.

In its embrace of the digital disruption, Pos Malaysia also makes use of technology by setting up an online shopping site for its stamps allowing them the opportunity to break into the international collectors industry.

There is no denying that Pos Malaysia’s Stamp and Philately Unit’s innovative ways have given it drive and optimism despite the very challenging climate.

They began this year with the release of its working dogs-themed stamps under the ‘Animals with various special roles’ series that also coincides with the Chinese New Year’s Zodiac of 2018—the Earth Dog.

In the age of disruption, who can really tell if an age old product will not survive its treacherous conditions?

With the right formula, even postal stamps have not lost is glue but still make perfect sense in the digital era.

Podcast of the interview: 

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