Friday 29 February 2008

A Cultural Black Hole in Malaysia


Absence of Classical music radio stations in Malaysia.

"Where ignorance is bliss

Why educate the masses

When people follow like sheep

Why awaken them from their sleep"

In Malaysia folks are living in a cultural black hole, since most Malaysians have absolutely no chance to hear classical music on their radios.

The only broadcaster offering classical music is ASRTO, the monopolistic subscription only censored satellite broadcaster. The classical music station named 'Opus' is not available on FM Radio, it is only available to ASTRO subscribers on Channel 862, there is also a jazz station on channel 865, creatively named 'Jazz', (both are available through a Digital Satellite Receiver) and "Opus' however also can be listened to via the Internet.


ASTRO Radio Opus does feed classical music 24/7, but in a 'no-brainer' sort of way, just an excerpts of a pieces of music, one after another, with no presenter to set the scene, and explain the piece of music, or introduce the orchestra performing, as well as to give background information about the composer.

In many developing counties in Asia, as well as in South America, Africa and throughout the developed world, there are numerous radio broadcasters which have dedicated radio stations which broadcast 'free-to-air' classical music to appreciative audiences.

In Malaysia, only those fortunate few, with a computer with access to the internet are able listen to classical music broadcast from around the world, however, for everyone else, there is no opportunity whatsoever to enjoy such stimulating music, in their own homes, or when travelling, except if one buys it on a CD.

Those residents of the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia, in the state of Johor, are a little more fortunate, as they can always tune their radios to a Singapore radio station, and be entertained with classical and jazz music on 'Symphony FM 92.4'.

This excellent radio station provides wonderful classical music, each piece is fully introduced and explained by someone who is knowledgeable about the music being broadcast, and who can help the listener fully appreciate it.

Imagine what the potential benefits of listening to classical music could be, road bullies could be soothed, dangerous drivers could be calmed, peace and harmony could prevail, if tension and frayed nerves could be soothed by delightful classical music.

The lethargic could be woken from their stupor, perhaps even “Tidak Apa-thy” (couldn't care less attitudes) could be converted to positive thinking and public mindedness, the possibilities are endless!

For the disabled, especially the visually impaired, radio is an ideal entertainment media, and classical music would fill an intellectual void which exists in their lives today in Malaysia.

It is too much to ask?
Just that simple step of introducing a good 'free to air' classical radio programme broadcast in Malaysia.
This would be absolutely invaluable to blind and visually impaired persons (VIP's) in particular, and to the entire population in general.

The time is ripe for an intellectual revolution, classical music on demand for everyone in Malaysia, is surely not beyond reach.



Classical Music (No introductions and no commentary, 'no-brainer' programme)

ASTRO Channel 103, subscriber only satellite broadcasts and via the internet only




FM 97.6 - 98.9


Shanghai Media Group



Classical / Jazz

Symphony 92.4

Symphony 92.4FM appeals to the sophisticated audience who enjoy classical music. Playing the best from great composers as well as today's rising talents in the classical arena,
Symphony 92.4FM is also an ardent supporter of the local music and arts scene.


Philharmonic Radio Taipei


E Classical

on FM 99.7

Philharmonic Radio Taipei, with Real Audio and net show services for net broadcasts. It includes the largest on line classical music database in Taiwan which is searchable in the English or Chinese Languages. An on line discussion forum is open for classical music lovers in Taiwan.



Shonan Beach


azz, Classical Music, etc.



Classical, News, Jazz (CNJ) Radio

on 99.90 MHz


All India Radio

AIR Classical Music Channel

on FM101.1


1 FM

on FM93.1

Classical Music

is "a channel of Korean Broadcasting System working exclusively on classical music".



Filarmonia Radio

Lima, Peru

on FM 102.7

The cultural Radio of Peru (La radio cultural del Perú). Thanks to the initiative of a group of people interested in the promotion of the culture and the broadcasting of serious music, by the end of 1983 the Cultural Association Filarmonía was constituted , a non profit organization, whose primary aim is to establish a cultural radio in Peru with the best of classic music, along with educational and cultural programs. Filarmonia has more than 28,000 hours of recordings, and is an important part of the cultural patrimony of Peru.



Sodre CX-6

Sodre CX-6 became the first Institution of cultural activity of Uruguay. With just short- and medium wave transmitters, the Internet stream is the first stereo broadcast in 75 years. Recordings of their own Symphony Orchestra (Ossodre) , choir and vinyl records are being played.


Radio Nacional Clásica
Buenos Aires, Argentina

The classical broadcaster for Buenos Aires RNA clásica

on FM 96.7



on FM

HJCK is, since 1950, the only commercial cultural broadcaster of Colombia. Besides Blues, Jazz, Bossa Nova and Son Cubano it brings a lot of classical music. 24/7




Classical FM

Classical Music

on FM 102.7


100+ radio stations around the world, live-broadcasting classical music on the Web, with descriptions and AudioLinks.

The above list is by no means comprehensive, but gives an overview of what is available throughout the world.

Happy Listening!


zorro said...

Great piece Captain.Well researched. Yep gone were the days of alan zackaria, connie haslam, patrick teoh, yasmin yusof, bosco d'cruz, yahaya lonchek, faridah merican just to name a few friends.
I stopped listening to radio 4 when they took out country music.
What do you expect when those up there are there because of who they know and not what they know (about the wire media). Sad indeed. Vote barisan Rakyat could be the answer. Yes?

mindful mariner said...

Thanks Zorro, it has been said that
“Without culture, there can be no democracy”
Yes, I fully agree that Barisan Rakyat may well be the answer, Malaysia needs much more culture and a real democracy.