Remembering Rediffusion: Malaya

The KL Rediffusion Building c1960

Rediffusion (Malaya) Sdn Bhd
17, Jalan Pahang
53000 Kula Lumpur
Malaya    Tel : 603-4424544

The Rediffusion Building at Jalan Pahang when opened in in 1949

On the 4th of August 1949, Rediffusion services started in Kuala Lumpur and by the end of 1949 the subscriber total was well over 6,000. Both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which commenced operation three days earlier,  had specially designed new headquarters buildings which contained all the studios, etc. necessary for the origination of programmes. In both places dual programme services operated, being known as the Silver and Blue networks, and as with Hong Kong, commercial programmes were  a successful feature of the services. Quoting a paragraph from the ‘Malay Sunday Tribune’ reporting the opening of ‘K.L.’

“This new service will become more and more popular in this country, it entails perfect listening for all communities at an almost negligible cost and we wish good luck to K.L. and Singapore in getting their services successfully established”.

Four years later, in 1953 Rediffusion were to extend their service to Penang.

Some early views of the buildings in Malaya

Groundwork on the KL Rediffusion site 1947
The KL Rediffusion Building c1960
The KL Rediffusion Building c1980
The Rediffusion Penang Building 1953
Frederic Pacey was the Chief Engineer with Rediffusion in Penang.

The bright yellow Rediffusion signboard has been there for 46 years since the establishment of Rediffusion’s first office in Malaya 20 years after the idea originated in England. With its initial base in Kuala Lumpur and a substation in Penang,  Province Wellesley and Ipoh followed some 11 years later.

Managed wholly by the British Company, Overseas Rediffusion, subscribership grew steadily reaching 55,000 in 1984 when 55 per cent of the company was divested to Tan Sri Asman Hashim, who was the first Malaysian to hold a stake in Rediffusion Malaya Sdn Bhd. However the company still retained British expertise and Management. BET disposed of its remaining 45 per cent share to local corporations Vital Fortune Sdn Bhd (30 per cent) and Kemas Murni Sdn Bhd (15 per cent) in 1989, making the establishment a wholly Malaysian company.

With Azman at the helm, the company changed Its name to Rediffusion Cable Network Sdn Bhd (RCN) in July 1991 to reflect Its broadcasting business.

In 2003 Rediffusion was acquired by STAR Publications and renamed Star Rfm Sdn Bhd.

Some early views of Rediffusion KL Malaya

Gordon Adler, General Manager
A Malayan announcer
The Control Desk at ‘K.L.’ for Silver and Blue Networks
‘KL’s’ Main Control Room

Original article published as part of the Remembering Rediffusion Limited 1928-1988 website created by Gerald Clode.

The website is tribute to Rediffusion and the many thousands of staff worldwide who worked for the organisation. It includes historical information and images of all aspects of the Group’s businesses.

Associated Companies in over 175 towns in Great Britain and in Barbados, Bermuda. Canada, Ceylon, Guyana, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Malaya, Malta, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and West Africa etc.

Original material remains © and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the author.

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Comments: 2

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  1. Hi I’m desperately trying to find out the title of the intro song when the Chinese channel was about to play the classifieds.

    Any help would be much appreciated

  2. Hi was wondering about an old rediffusion box I found in my home. It has a striking pattern on its front like an S with an interlocking upside down L though it. I haven’t seen anything like it on the net although I looked. Anyone here can give me any info? Thanks