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Malaysia - Radio


Radio is a popular activity in Malaysia and there are over fifty stations available. Thirty-four stations are state-owned and payment for these is collected by taxes and there are over nineteen stations which are privately owned. Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) owns all of the thirty-four radio stations as they do the TV channels. All of the stations are available on the FM frequency and Chinese and Thai radio stations are available on the AM frequency.

FM Frequency Stations

Of the thirty-four stations on FM frequency, many of the stations are talk and music stations which differ from state to state. Capital Radio is the main English talking station which reaches Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding districts. The tuning for Capital Radio is 88.9MHz. RTM, the state-owned media distributor also broadcasts in English and is available nationally throughout Malaysia.

BFM Media radio station has talk, news and music and is an all-English station available throughout the Klang Valley and other major districts. This station can be tuned to 89.9MHz. TraxFM is also broadcast in English and is talk and music based. This can be tuned to 90.3MHz. There are many more stations available on FM frequency and there is a mixture of English, Malay and Mandarin.

The Voice of Malaysia is owned by RTM and is broadcast worldwide. This is available on the FM frequency. This is broadcast in various languages and in English.

AM Frequency

Malaysia does not own any AM stations. These are broadcast from neighbouring Asian countries via large broadcasting transmitters. Most of these stations come from Thailand and China. The majority are broadcast in Thai and Chinese.

There are some stations that are no longer available in Malaysia and the main one which has caused some controversy is that of the BBC World Service. Reception from the BBC World Service was ceased in 1991.

Censorship

Censorship in Malaysia is a controversial matter and this applies to radio as well as television. There are a number of songs which are banned or censored in Malaysia. Profane words are blanked out and some videos are banned for viewing. Songs which feature religious references are completely banned.

Some of the songs have a “clean” version and these are used instead of the raw version. The same names crop up in the banned lists and these are the more controversial singers that are world-famous and not only banned or censored in Malaysia.

Internet Radio

There are a number of stations which can be listened to over the internet. As the internet is not as restricted in terms of censorship in Malaysia, access is unrestricted and there is a whole range of globally broadcast stations which are available to listen to. These internet radio websites broadcast stations as far as the UK and the US. Brazilian and Mexican radio stations can be streamed through sites such as the one below.

www.internet-live-radio.com/2008/02/malaysia-radio-stations.html

Listening to radio via the internet is in no way breaching any censorship laws and is perfectly legal.

www.radiomalaysia.net

Radio Malaysia via this website will also give you access to global radio stations.

While censorship is by large in effect in Malaysia, there are legal ways around it. Radio is free and plentiful in Malaysia and with access to the internet you will likely not notice the censorship that is in place. It is highly unlikely to affect you in any way, shape or form. The radio stations should be able to be opened on most browsers and if not, then the sites have clear instructions on how to download the relevant programs to listen to the radio station of your choice.

Largely, radio is enjoyed by many people in Malaysia and with a wide range of stations in many languages; the radio is a popular listening device that is used by expats widely. Radio keeps people informed with what is going on in expats’ own countries and this helps with keeping up-to-date with what is happening at home.

Enjoy your radio in Malaysia whether on a unit or via the internet.




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