SEAP To SEA

While our Sportsmen and Sportswomen are still participating in the current 24th SEA Games in Thailand, let’s talk about the past SEA Games. Singapore held its first and only SEAP Games in 1973. I was 11 years old then and I remember that the SEAP Games Village was in Toa Payoh. That was the 7th SEAP Games.

The First Day Cover issued in 1973 to commemorate the hosting of the 7th SEAP Games in Singapore;

Credit : National Philatelic Museum of Singapore.

Do you know why the National Stadium was also shown in the stamps? This is because the National Stadium was opened in 1973 too! Too bad, our National Stadium is also closed in 2007 when it’s our turn to host the game.

Below shows the SEAP Games Village in Toa Payoh, so do you know where is it;

Photo Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS.

Are you aware that 4 point blocks in the Toa Payoh Town Centre was used as the games village to accomodate the sports participants.

SEAP or South East Asian Peninsular Games, started off with only 6 participating countries in 1959 – Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The next SEA Games Singapore held was in 1983 and 1993 but it was already renamed as SEA or Southeast Asian Games since 1977. That is the reason why I said Singapore held its First and Last SEAP Games in 1973.

It now has 11 participating countries if I’m not wrong. Each country will take turns to host the SEA Games by means of nation name alphabetically which removes the politics of bidding for the games, and allows the host countries ample time to plan for their turn at the games. Singapore supposed to host this year 2007 SEA Games but as the National Stadium and other facilities are not ready, so we didn’t host it this year.

The 1983 SEA Games FDC when Singapore hosted the game again the second time;

Credit : National Philatelic Museum of Singapore.

Note the logo still having 6 rings representing the initial 6 participating countries. How many rings are there now?

The 1993 SEA Games FDC when we hosted the 1993 games;

Personally, I feel the 1993 SEA Games stamps the least attractive and I love the 1973 SEAP games stamps the most.

Now let’s take a look at the 1st SEAP Games stamps issued in 1959 by Thailand when Thailand hosted the 1st SEAP Games;

Some of the homegrown sportsmen and sportswomen that won for Singapore in the Games held in Singapore were;

1973 SEAP Games : Chee Swee Lee – won 2 Silver for 400m and 800m. She was a popular sportswomen in the 70s.

Photo Credit : Team Singapore

1983 SEA Games : Junie Sng – the famous Singapore Swimmer won 10 Gold in her last swimming competition in 1983 SEA Games before retiring.

Photo Credit : Singapore Sports Council

1983 SEA Games : Ang Peng Siong – he is the other famous male swimmer and won the gold medal in the 1983 SEA Games.

Photo Credit : Singapore Sports Council

I felt proud then when these are the Singapore own homegrown winners! Too bad, nowadays most winners are ‘imported’ from other countries…though I still feel happy but no longer the same pride I had then…

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8 Responses to “SEAP To SEA”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Monday, December 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I remember the 1973 SEAP games well because I was one of a dozen or so ball-pickers at the football games played in Jalan Besar stadium just next to our school (Victoria School). I was in Pre-U I then.

  2. 2 aiyahnonya Monday, December 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Toa Payoh Library ?

  3. 3 laokokok Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Hi Victor, I didn’t know that you were involved too. Must be a footballer to pick balls right?

    Hi Aiyanonya, it does look like the Toa Payoh Library.

  4. 4 Victor Koo Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    No skills or brains are required to be a ball-picker. When the ball gets out of the playing field, you just go after it, retrieve it and throw it back to the line. There are about 10 ballpickers positioned around the field. When not picking balls, they just sit and watch the game. I think we were paid $10 per game, quite easy money.

  5. 5 Lam Chun See Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 9:29 am

    I think the games were held at Farrer Park sports complex.

  6. 6 不老槟榔 Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing your collections.
    I am serious philatelist too, SEAP / SEA Games also my theme.

  7. 7 Chee Chang Monday, November 24, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Any idea how much 3 unused stamps valued at one dollar each are worth now?

  8. 8 daniel Friday, May 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    hay after any info on for gold stamps i have cant rember whot year the sea games was wil get out of storege and check at some stage thy in there envalope with all the numbers ect for them


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