As Malaysia commemorates its 40th anniversary on August 31, 1957, it also marks the 45th year of the Malayan Amateur Radio Transmitters Society (MARTS), unofficially established in the mid-1950s. In this article, we delve into the historical tapestry of MARTS, tracing its origins, pivotal moments, and enduring legacy in Malaysia’s telecommunications landscape.

Origins and Founding:
MARTS traces its roots to a group of passionate amateur radio enthusiasts, including VS2BS (Eu Khua Kew), VS2DB (S.A. Faulkner), J.C. Pearhouse (VS2DG), and VS2DV (Charles Sulton). Their vision and dedication culminated in the establishment of MARTS around 1952, with Penang serving as its birthplace. Inspired by the activities of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), these enthusiasts convened to form a radio amateur club, registering it as the Malayan Amateur Radio Transmitters Society.

Early Days and Expansion:
During its nascent years, MARTS attracted predominantly European members, reflecting the colonial demographics of the time. Despite initial challenges, including dwindling memberships post-independence, MARTS persevered, adapting to changing times and demographics.

Transition and Growth:
The post-independence era saw significant shifts in Malaysia’s telecommunications landscape, including the transition from colonial call signs (e.g., VS2) to the modern 9M2 prefix. MARTS embraced these changes, welcoming a diverse membership base that reflected Malaysia’s multicultural fabric. The society’s commitment to inclusivity and innovation propelled it forward, fostering a vibrant community of amateur radio enthusiasts across the country.

Technological Advances and Innovation:
Throughout its history, MARTS has been at the forefront of technological innovation in amateur radio. From salvaging World War II surplus equipment to embracing digital modes and software-defined radio (SDR), members have continuously pushed the boundaries of the hobby. The society’s emphasis on education, training, and skill development has empowered enthusiasts of all ages to explore new frontiers in amateur radio.

Legacy and Future Outlook:
As MARTS celebrates its 45th anniversary, it stands as a testament to the passion, dedication, and resilience of its members. The society’s legacy extends beyond mere radio communication; it embodies the spirit of exploration, collaboration, and community building. Looking ahead, MARTS is poised to embrace the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, leveraging emerging technologies to further enrich the amateur radio experience in Malaysia.

The journey of MARTS is a testament to the enduring appeal and relevance of amateur radio in Malaysia. From its humble beginnings to its current stature as a leading amateur radio society, MARTS has left an indelible mark on the nation’s telecommunications landscape. As we celebrate its 45th anniversary, let us honor the past, embrace the present, and chart a course for a vibrant and inclusive future of amateur radio in Malaysia.


An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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