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Speech by the Postmaster General


The following is the full text of the speech delivered by the Postmaster General, Mr Luk Ping-chun, at the Lunar New Year Stamp Series Issuing Ceremony today (January 19):

Good morning, Mr Ho, distinguished guests and friends from the media.

For 13 more days, we shall usher in the Chinese Lunar New Year. Wish you all happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Ram.

Now, I would like to first extend my special thanks to Mr Patrick Ho, the Secretary for Home Affairs, for officiating at this ceremony. The three stamp products we are going to roll out today are "Year of the Ram" special stamps, "Gold and Silver Stamp Sheetlet on Lunar New Year Animals - Horse/ Ram" and "Flock Stamps on Lunar New Year Animals - Dragon/ Snake/ Horse/ Ram."

Stamps featuring the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac issued by Hongkong Post have all along been sought after by philatelists as keenly as the Lunar New Year, one of the most cherished events on the entire Chinese festive calendar, ever been celebrated. The "Year of the Ram" special stamps we issued today marks the fourth issue of our third zodiac series. With repeated application of the technique of Chinese paper cutting, its style is consistent with that of the last three issues of the latest series. Its uniqueness, however, lies on the meshing of silver against the default four colours which gives an extra touch of vivacity on the rams.

In order to live up to the expectations of philatelists, Hongkong Post has been issuing a new set of special stamps bearing the theme of one of the twelve animals before every turn of a new leaf, year after year. Never once have we reduced the mission to a mere business practice and rest on our laurels. We keep splashing new ideas onto the design canvas and going to great lengths to ensure that there are always surprises in store for novices and veterans alike. Take this newly issued flock stamp as an example. It is the ram, one of the twelve animals again. This time, we daringly took flock paper instead of the usual printing paper. With state-of-the-art printing technology, today we proudly present the world's first set of flock stamps. We have encountered a number of problems in the process, but our determination to excel through innovation has given us the strength to overcome every seemingly insurmountable obstacle. I am glad to see that the flock stamps have won your appreciation for this reassures us that innovation is the key to excellence.

I do hope that all the novelty items we present today will soon become a treasure to you. Thank you.

End/Sunday, January 19, 2002


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