Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Visit to Radio Televisyen Malaysia in Kajang

For many short-wave listeners around the world, the Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) transmitter site in Kajang is the de facto "voice of Malaysia." For much of this decade RTM stations Asyik FM, Sarawak FM, Wai FM, Radio Tawau - Limbang FM, TRAXX FM, Klasik Nasional and Voice of Malaysia have had simulcast short-wave transmissions originate from this sprawling facility. Of these stations, only Wai FM (on 11.665 kHz) continues to be heard from Kajang.

Insomuch as Malaysian short-wave transmissions have decreased significantly in recent years, I thought I should drop by before this bit of broadcasting history  disappears all together. For years I had wanted to see the site but never seemed to get around to a visit, even though I live roughly 32 kilometers from Kajang.

So, my wife and I decided to drive over one afternoon. As we neared the transmitter site its awesome antenna masts could be seen from the SILK highway. Within a few minutes, we were at the entrance of the facility. It looked empty. I assumed it was the end of the work week, and only a handful of staff were present.

As we spoke to the security guard on duty, he confirmed in so many words  that the Kajang offices had been vacated -- permanently. And, indeed, the place certainly appeared abandoned, even the signage in front of the building had been stripped from the wall. Only CCTVs, a few vehicles and the guard were visible.

Permission granted to browse ONLY from the compound of the parking area, we proceeded to photograph the transmitter masts in the distance -- and I should add -- these were only just a few. The Tenaga Nasional power building and electrical lines and a satellite dish could be also viewed.

My overall impression was the facility had been constructed in the early 1970s, and it had not been maintained for quite a few years. The site could still be considered located in the Kajang countryside, although in recent years highways and newer buildings have slowly begun to encroach upon the area.

This all leads me to fear that the facility will soon be closed and razed in a few years, ending Malaysia's long history of short-wave broadcasting. It doesn't look good. And I should probably drop RTM a letter and enquire about the future of this site. Whatever becomes of the Kajang short-wave transmitter site, I'm happy to have had the chance to see it.

1 comment:

  1. The Kajang offices at the transmitter site (Seksyen Teknikal Rangkaian) has been relocated to a smaller building next to Medan Sate MPKj, which is adjacent to Stadium Kajang MRT station and opposite Stadium Kajang proper. Here's the address of the current RTM Kajang office: Seksyen Teknikal Rangkaian RTM Kajang, Jalan Stadium, 43000 Kajang, Selangor.