Sunday, 15 July 2012

Radio Malaya

Radio Malaya
Radio dan Televishen Malaysia (RTM)


Datuk Haji Zainul Alam (5 March 1926-12 December 1991)

  • Senior RTM broadcaster in Penang during WW2
  • Penang Wireless Party, HQ at Penang Radio Station
  • He was a member and the radio announcer for the Malay section, managing the news and song requests. 

Malay radio announcers after WW2:
  1. Suffian bin Hashim
  2. Ismail bin Ali
  3. Inche Mustapha bin Che Ismail
  4. Inche Idris bin Ahmad

Mass Media 1900-1936

Radio in Malaya
- radios were not saleable items in British Malaya
- there were no radio broadcasting station in the 2,000-mile radius of Singapore
- Singapore was a dead spot
- Amateur Wireless Society of British Malaya operated an experimental station in Singapore
- Penang had no broadcasting station
- the Malayan Broadcasting Service (Ltd.) had a 5-year licence
- to erect a main radio station in KL immediately, and 2 relay stations later
- Penang was a free port for radio apparatus
- potential radio customers were limited to 4,000 Europeans and 25,000 wealthy Chinese and Eurasians; the population at the time was 1,250,000.
TSFPMA 31Dec1927 p8


Send-Off For Malay Announcers
The Straits Times, 3 September 1946, Page 5

Two young Malay radio announcers, Inche Mustapha bin Che Ismail and Inche Idris bin Ahmad Shah, who are going to England early next week to broadcast B.B.C. news in Malay, were given a tea-party by Utusan Melayu at the G. H. Cafe yesterday.

Both Inche Idris and Inche Mustapha are at present Malay announcers with Radio Malaya. They were attached to the R.N.V.R. during the war and broadcast to Malaya over the All-India Radio and also from Ceylon.

Two of their colleagues, Suffian bin Hashim and Ismail bin Ali, who have been with the B.B.C. since the liberation, are returning to Singapore shortly.


Radio dan TV Malaysia (RTM) had its beginnings in 1946, before the Malayan Independence. Radio Malaya was a big thing before the TV came to Malaysia. I first watched a B/W TV in 1963.

Gus Steyn composed patriotic songs for Malaysia.

Alfonso Soliano composed patriotic songs and Negara Ku, the national anthem.

Datuk Jimmy Boyle @ Penang Boy, introduced jazz to Malaysia.

Tan Sri Dol Ramli was a close friend of Datuk Dr Haji Abbas bin Haji Alias, an early Malay doctor, even in their old age.

Tan Sri Ahmad Merican's name was mentioned by his relatives. He was in radio before the Japanese war.

Datuk Johari Salleh composed some songs. His daughter was in my elder sister's class at Malacca Girls' High School at Durian, Daun in Malacca circa 1972-1974.


External links:

Radio Malaya. Photo from Penang Museum.

Radio Malaya. Photo from Penang Museum.