Friday, September 13, 2013


Picture above is taken from a tiny book about Sarawak entitled " Memperkenalkan Serawak",
written by R.M. Jasmi and  published by Sinaran Bros, North Borneo in 1958.
The picture shows the Sarawak Radio Building which produced and broadcasted radio programmes and also radio lessons for schools throughout Sarawak.  The broadcast reached Bintulu in fairly clear reception in 1963.

EMS ( Educational Mass Media Service )
Building in 1970's.  During colonial time
the building was called 'The Pavillion'.
 Just months before Sarawak became independent from the British colonial government and its forming the Federation of Malaysia on the 16th of September in 1963, I was a Primary Six student at St.Anthony's School, Bintulu. During those days the whole school curriculum was taught in English.  But the learning of English did not end in the classrooms. I participated in the school drama called 'The Black Basin', sang songs and debated in English.  It was really nostalgic for me to know that 16 years later I was to head the Educational Radio section of the Educational Mass Media Service arm of the Sarawak Education Department in the years 1978 -1979 in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. .  At the inset is the picture of my office while I was in charge of the school's broadcasting programmes.  I occupied a big room at the building and from it our radio producers created radio programmes in many languages like English, Malay, Chinese and Iban for schools in Sarawak. In 1963 however I was very keen to write to the School Broadcasting Officer to inquire about many general knowledge questions.  I wrote four letters and below is one letter I received from Alan Moore dated 1st July,1963.  In those days, primary school students really looked forward to listening the  radio lessons broadcasts to learn how to speak the language correctly and listened to the replies of their letters on air from Kuching.

Above is the broadcasting schedule of the school's broadcast in 1979, days of broadcast and time of broadcast included
Note the subject "Anna and Abu" - this was the broadcast for the learning of English for Primary 5 students, produced by Reg Salisbury, a Colombo Plan expert for the teaching of English through radio..

Picture shows Reg Salisbury taken by me while having lunch at a food stall in Miri.

During my short stint at the Educational Radio I was most fortunate to work with Reg Salisbury who was from the BBC and acted as a Colombo Plan expert in the teaching of English by way of radio lessons.  We went around Sarawak to promote the 'Anna and Abu' programme together with printed teaching aids to teachers as remote as Bario in the Kelabit Highlands and little known places like  Awat-Awat near Limbang.
While working together in Kuching I managed to get Reg Salisbury read my poems and recorded them in the studio of RTM (Radio and Television Malaysia) in Kuching.  Here is one of my poems read by Reg Salisbury called " Hasyimah"....of which I think the BBC voice is just superb.  Check out the reading here...>>>>

Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!!

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