Corporate Information

History

Brief History of Singapore Post

Singapore Post has a heritage dating back to the founding of Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. In those days, a single mail office collected and delivered the small volume of letters. It was located in the previous Parliament House and run by just three persons.

As trade flourished, both postal and marine traffic grew. The "Post Office", as it was known, became a separate department from the Marine Office in October 1858.

From 1949, under a Malayan Postal Union Agreement, the Singapore Postal Department was linked with the Postal Department of the Federation of Malaya. A colonial postal system was imposed which standardised rules, regulations, procedures and postage rates in both territories. The operation of international postal agreements, introduction of new services or modification of existing services was centrally administered by the Postmaster General of Malaya from the joint administrative headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. However, the government of that territory retained revenue collected in each territory.

Following independence on 9 August 1965, Singapore took over its own postal functions in stages and was admitted to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on 8 January 1966. The Singapore Postal Services Department became a fully autonomous body on 1 January 1967.

In 1982, the Postal Services Department merged with the then Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, known as Telecoms. With the merger, the Assistant General Manager (Postal Services) was responsible for the development and administration of all postal facilities in Singapore. In 1992, the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore was split into three entities: the reconstituted Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS, now part of the Info-communications Development Authority), Singapore Telecommunications Private Limited (now Singapore Telecommunications Limited) and Singapore Post Private Limited, a subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications. Singapore Post Limited was listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange (SGX-ST) on 13 May 2003.

Singapore Post is the first Public Postal Licensee. TAS granted the licence in 1992 in accordance with section 42 of the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore Act 1992. As a licensee, Singapore Post is empowered to operate postal services with the exclusive privilege of receiving, collecting and delivering letters and postcards from one place to another until 31 March 2007.



Changes in the Mail
Fullerton Building, the 'Grand Old Dame', was the site of the General Post Office (GPO) and was built between 1925 and 1928. An earlier GPO was demolished to make way for this building. The novelist, Joseph Conrad, described this earlier post office as 'the most important post office in the East'.
On 4 December 1971, the Mail and Registration Branch from General Post Office moved to rented premises at a Port of Singapore Authority warehouse at Nelson Road. This was used as a temporary handling centre pending the completion and the establishment of a permanent postal complex in a new location. On 1 February 1974, a Facer-Canceller Table capable of processing up to 30,000 letter mail items per hour was put into operation.
In November 1983, the Mails and Parcels Centre moved from Nelson Road to bigger premises at Chai Chee Complex. At Chai Chee, staff experienced the coming of first generation Optical Character Reader technology. With this technology, about 40% of the mail was processed mechanically, with the remaining 60% needing to be processed manually by staff.
In September 1998, the mail-sorting operations at Chai Chee moved to the Singapore Post Centre located along Eunos Road 8, which was purpose-built for mail processing and houses state-of-the-art mail-sorting technology.