A hobby of collecting ‘ang pow’


MOST people eagerly tear open their ang pow in anticipation of the money inside. But for some, the prize is the red packet itself. 

While others collect stamps, wines or rare books, accountant Connie Tai, 52, retiree Low Seng San, 72, and engineer Christina Quek, 51, collect ang pow

The numbers are impressive – Tai has about 6,000 designs, Low 4,000 and Quek 2,000 –and so is their passion.  

Their ang pows are painstakingly wrapped in plastic, categorised and filed neatly away in folders. 

Just as a wine connoisseur gushes about fine vintages, these collectors draw your attention to an ang pow’s intricate design, material or even the organisation that issued it. 

Low’s collection includes vintage ang pow, some at least 40 years old, that trace the years of the former Asia Commercial Bank (ACB). 

There are also ang pow from Keppel Bank, which came about in 1990 after ACB was acquired by the Keppel Group. 

The latest fad in ang pow? Cutesy designs from the Disney hit cartoon Finding Nemo

The older the design, the more coveted the ang pow. Its value increases if you have other designs issued by the same organisation. 

Low reckoned he has spent more than S$1,000 (RM2,200) on his two-year-old hobby. 

Each month, about 18 enthusiasts gather at the Kreta Ayer Stamp Society, of which Low is president, to admire each other’s finds – and to barter. 

Quek, a mother of two, buys – but does not eat – multiple sets of value meals from McDonald’s just to get their ang pow

All three said it is difficult to price their collections. Anyway, they treasure them too much to sell them. – The Straits Times/ Asia News Network 

For another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network, click here.

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