A Broadcasting History of Malaysia: Progress and Shifts

  •  Roslina Abdul Latif    
  •  Wan Amizah Wan Mahmud    
  •  Ali Salman    


This paper aims to delve into the history of broadcasting in Malaysia since the 1980s. We will go down memorylane and see the inception of the first private television station in the country - Sistem Television MalaysiaBerhad (STMB) or better known as TV3 which received its licensed in 1983. This paper also looks at thequestion of ownership as there are strong political and economic ties between the government and the media.While privatization is a goal in the business sector, a free press without government restrictions is not. Thegovernment controls the presses and the publishing enterprises throughout Malaysia. Privatization of thistelevision station was one of the initial efforts to transfer media ownership from the government to the privatesector. That was in the initial stages of development. Now TV3 sits under Media Prima Berhad, a company listedon the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia and is Malaysia’s leading integrated media investment group. It currentlyowns 100 per cent equity interest in TV3, 8TV, NTV7 and TV9. In addition, Media Prima now owns more than96.85 per cent equity interest in The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) (NSTP) Berhad, one of Malaysia’slargest publisher which publishes three national newspapers; the New Straits Times, BeritaHarian and HarianMetro. It also owns three radio networks, Fly FM, Hot FM and One FM. This paper also looks at Malaysia’s firstcable network popularly known as ASTRO. ASTRO is the brand name of the Malaysian direct broadcast satellitepay television service. It transmits digital satellite television and radio to households in Malaysia and Brunei.Astro is an acronym for All-Asian Satellite Television and Radio Operator. Astro is owned and operated byMEASAT Broadcast Network Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks. The other entityunder study is Radio Televisyen Malaysia or better known as RTM, a government owned television network.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.