NOSTALGIC - THE GOLDEN AGE OF HAM RADIO
WRITTEN BY 9M2AR
I have a fuzzy memory on my past ham radio activities especially the timeline of my contacts and chats with fellow Malaysians. But I know it was a nostalgic period, the golden age of amateur radio in this country.
If only my log book was not destroyed by the termites, I could trace and track the past and put back the pictures of the daily activities. The past is totally vanished. Penang, Perak and Johor where active hams were vocal with words and chirping of the Morse are dead. The guys from Penang were either dead or migrated to Australia; Malcom, Leong and Eustace made the VK land their home. The CW man, 9M2CF, is in Kuala Lumpur but the interest disappeared.
Perak was once as dominant as Penang and Selangor with at least 4 hams on the band each day is now diminished. Where are the rest beside Nadesan, Hock and Ari who left us for the next world ? Never heard and never know what happen to them now.
The number of hams were small then, about 300 in numbers but the percentage who were active were high on the local band. The spoken language had been English as ham radio was regarded as international and the exam was in English of essay type. The best English speaker was 9M2FZ, Leong, an English teacher from Penang Free School.
From time to time I heard Eshee talked in Japanese with Idris. We laughed and enjoyed the fun. Both of them and Rajamani and Tunku Archibald, 9M2AT, were in a team. Ari would be late everyday joining the group.
Council meetings were run on 40 meter band on Sunday. The rest would be listening to the discussions and decisions. Nothing was a secret. We listen with solemn and commented nothing when the meeting was over and opened for any comment. Again it was in English.
I can't compute the phase of the demise of Tunku and Azkan's sprang up as a ham. 9M2AT belonged to Tunku and later owned by Azlan. Again only the log can tell.
The later group were Chew (9M2HC), Rusli (9M2RB), Aziz (9M2AU), Lim (9M2LC) and Zainal (9M2ZA), Selva (9M2SD). Both Chew and Rusli were in Alor Setar before and I got to know them while they were SWLs. And Rusli later married my 5th college mate, Robetoh to my surprise.
Stations that I don't remember of their first existence were 9M2FZ, 9M2MP, 9M2SB, 9M2DS, 9M2SH, 9M2RS and a few others.
I began to fade from the ham radio starting in 1982 and came back later in 2002, to discover the shock of my life, MCMC has replaced the Telecom, license B and national repeaters were almost alien to me, and my regular buddies had passed away.
With the new system and people which are better and smarter no amount of re-creation will bring back the golden age of Malaysian ham radio.
The additional factor of the joy was the long excellent band condition. I started with a dipole but the local and DX communications were superb. That low dipole took me to the edge of the world.