“Listeners Calling”: Radio Enters its Second Century in Malaysia

By William Tham

April 2022 COVER STORY
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IMAGINE BEING ON the lookout for new music in the pre-war days, and you had already exhausted the collection of the local S. Moutrie and Co. Ltd., local agent of the Gramophone Co. and purveyor of “Chap Kuching” records. Fortunately, Penang’s towns were one of the few in Malaya capable of receiving broadcasts.[1] Atmospheric conditions permitting, you could even listen to short-wave transmissions from Nairobi, New York or the Soviet Union.[2]  But why look afar when you had the local...

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William Tham

His novel, The Last Days, is set in 1981 and covers the continuing legacy of the Malayan Emergency. He is currently an editor-at-large with Wasifiri and also an MA candidate at Universiti Malaya.