A Brief History of CB in Malaysia

CB radio or  it's full name Citizen Band Radio was first 'legally' introduced in Malaysia in 1998, but was used 'illegally' for many years before then.

Initially a licence fee was charged for all the CB user this licence fee is only given to the commercial sector. Such as vessels, boats, surveyor and some government agencies that was during Jabatan Telekom Malaysia. The used of CB is very restricted.

I remember using CB radio (Handy Type) under the brand name SONY in Pulau Langkawi in 1984. Oppps I am not illegal user at that time…we used this CB radio to give report on pumping  Diesel oil from the vessel to LLN Teluk Ewa Pulau Langkawi.

I remember at one time, that was early 90’s some CB’s from overseas reported they work Malaysian CB’s at that time. And some hams at that time wrote back to those outside Malaysia saying that CB is illegal in Malaysia. At that time some group of radio enthusiast in Malaysia operating on CB quietly.

I remember one evening early 1998 two radio hams 9M2ZA & 9M2DU was having QSO on 7.040Mhz, I heard them talking about CB and 9M2ZA mention that this is illegal in Malaysia. When I heard that I just broke in and say CB is now Legal according to the new LAW CMA 1998 so happen  at that time I have with me the New CMA 1998 I read through over the air.. “under Section 169 (Act 588) under First Schedule Class Assingnment for Citizen Band. This class assignment  authorises any person to operate a CB communication device subject to some condition such as only certified CB device shall be used or operated…..”

After reading it over the air a few station broke in and say where can they get the CMA 1998 and they also ask a few question. After that the news was spread everywhere in the 9M land. CB's operate on 40 channels within the 27MHZ airwaves band.

As far as we know the legal CB’s set are with SIRIM approval there are a few in the market. The twist in the tale was that these some local cb's were still illegal because they are using Ham equipment which tx more than the required power output.

Despite these problems, and the extra expense in buying new equipment, the CB craze really took off and many enthusiast starting springing up in towns and cities all over the country.

But still due to our communication system is so good not many peoples taking up this CB’s. I remember at one time one class B Ham operator try to influence some hams to register with one international CB Club and they will be given CB callsign I remember this guy took RM150 for the processing if I do remember. The funny things some of our hams register….we can’t understand why a ham can downgrade themselves to become CB as they are fully licence. In US & UK some of the radio hams start from CB and upgrade themselves to Ham Radio. In this country we go the other way.  A few years ago….I only heard a few local CB with callsign Sugar Delta and Mike Bravo…….

In some country
Of course, some users weren't satisfied with the low power transmissions and used 'burners' to boost their signals which giving QRM to some other services. These problems hadn't been such an issue when CB was illegal, maybe because it's users  tried to be kept low key because you wouldn't want a visit from plod to confiscate your equipment - but now that anybody and everybody could get their hands on one it was inevitable it would start to get misused.

Whilst still popular today, the boom time eventually ran it's course, especially when mobile phones became cheaper and as new phone masts got put up so more CB aerials disappeared from back gardens.

Citizen Band Radio still retains its users though, and as always it's the truckers who lead the way. In fact, recent statistics say it's back on the rise, though will never replicate the frenzy of the early 1980's.