The history of radio in Malaya began in the year 1921 when an electrical engineer from the Johore Government, A.L. Birch, brought the first radio set into the country. He then established the Johore Wireless Association and commenced broadcasting through 300 meter waves. This was then followed by the establishment of the same association in Penang and the Malayan Wireless Association in Kuala Lumpur.

In the year 1930, Sir Earl from the Singapore Port Authority commenced its short wave broadcast every fortnight either on Sundays or Wednesdays. The same effort was emulated by the Malayan Wireless Association, broadcasting from Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, via 325 meter waves. This was followed by the efforts of Sir Shenton Thomas who opened the Studio of Broadcasting Corporation of Malaya and its transmitter at Caldecott Hill, Singapore, on 11th March 1937. The British Broadcasting Corporation of Malaya was then taken over by the Straits Settlement and became a part of the British Information Ministry better known as the Malayan Broadcasting Corporation.

Following the Japanese invasion and the end of British rule in Singapore in 1942, the Japanese took over and used the existing radio channels in Penang, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Singapore to transmit Japanese propaganda. However, in the year 1943, the British came back into power and reclaimed the stations.

On 1st April 1946, the Department of Broadcasting was established in Singapore. When emergency, caused by the outbreak of social riots was declared in 1948, it became necessary to further enhance and develop radio services. 

In the early 50's, broadcasting activities in Malaya were operated from its temporary studio in Jalan Young (now know as Jalan Cenderasari) in Kuala Lumpur and later in 1956, were moved to the Federal House, Kuala Lumpur. It was here that broadcasting in Malaysia grew with the establishment of several stations throughout the country includingSabah and Sarawak. Commercial advertisements were first aired on radio in 1960. This became a new source of revenue for the Government. An interesting point to note is that 'deejays' began to use the introduction "INILAH RADIO MALAYSIA" (This is Radio Malaysia) to greet listeners at the very first time Malaysia was formed in 16th September 1963.

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Source:  RTM Website

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