3°6′40.0″N 101°40′13.9″E / 3.111111°N 101.670528°E / 3.111111; 101.670528

Radio Televisyen Malaysia
Department of Broadcasting, Malaysia
Company typeCrown corporation
IndustryMass media
Predecessors
  • Radio Malaya (later Radio Malaysia; 1946–1969)
  • Televisyen Malaysia (1963–1969)
Founded1 April 1946; 77 years ago (1946-04-01)
HeadquartersAngkasapuri, ,
Area served
Nationwide
Asia (via satellite)
Key people
Suhaimi Sulaiman (Director-General)
Products
Services
  • Television
  • radio
  • online
OwnerGovernment of Malaysia
Number of employees
4,000[1] (2021[1])
ParentMinistry of Communications and Digital Malaysia
Websitewww.rtm.gov.my

Radio Televisyen Malaysia (Jawi: راديو تيليۏيشن مليسيا‎; English: Radio Television of Malaysia, abbreviated as RTM, stylised as rtm), also known as the Department of Broadcasting, Malaysia (Malay: Jabatan Penyiaran Malaysia; Jawi: جابتن ڤڽيارن مليسيا‎) is the national public broadcaster of Malaysia, headquartered at Angkasapuri, Kuala Lumpur. Established on 1 April 1946 as Radio Malaya, it is the first and the oldest broadcaster in the country.[2] After Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, Radio Malaya was renamed Radio Malaysia. On 28 December that year, television service in Malaysia began with the establishment of Televisyen Malaysia. In 1969, Radio Malaysia and Televisyen Malaysia merged to form the present-day broadcast department.[3] As of 2021, RTM employs over 4,000 staff in total, with a larger part of them are in public-sector broadcasting, including part-time, flexible as well as fixed contract staff.

It forms part of the mass media triopoly in the country along with Media Prima and Astro. RTM monopolised the free-to-air television until 1984 and also radio until 1989, when private television and radio stations such as TV3 and Best FM began operations. Currently, it operates 6 television channels and 34 radio stations nationwide.[4] Unlike the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which is a statutory corporation with a royal charter, RTM is a department under direct government control via a ministry.[5]

Since its formation in 1946, RTM has played a prominent role in Malaysian life and culture.[1][6] Much like the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), RTM also commissioned a large number of TV programmes and contents for its TV channels, but produced by third parties apart of produced by RTM itself. It also owns Orkestra RTM, which was established in 1961 and touted as the oldest musical orchestra in Malaysia. In 2019, RTM became the most trusted media organisation in Malaysia ahead of Astro Awani, TV3 and Malaysiakini, according to a survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.[7]

History

1921–1946: The birth of local broadcasting

History of local broadcasting in Malaysia began in 1921 when an electrical engineer from the Johor Government, A.L. Birch, brought the first radio set into British Malaya. He then established the Johor Wireless Association in 1923 and commenced broadcasting through 300 meter waves. Similar associations were also established in Penang (Penang Wireless Association) in 1925 and in Kuala Lumpur (Malayan Wireless Association) in 1928.[8][9]

In 1930, Sir Earl from the Singapore Port Authority commenced its short wave broadcast every fortnight either on Sundays or Wednesdays. The same effort was emulated by the Malayan Wireless Association, broadcasting from Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, via 325 meter waves. Penang Wireless Association led by Khoo Sian Ewe launched Station ZHJ – Malaya's first radio station on 24 August 1934, which operates out of George Town, Penang. British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation (BMBC) was formed on 21 July 1935 and awarded a broadcasting license by the British crown on 1 June 1936 as a radio network.[10] On 1 March 1937, Sir Shenton Thomas opened the BMBC Studio and its transmitter at Caldecott Hill in Singapore. The corporation was taken over by the Straits Settlements Government in 1940, subsequently nationalised and reorganised as the Malaya Broadcasting Corporation and was placed under the British Department of Information.[11][12]

During World War II in 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied British Malaya and used the existing radio channels in Penang, Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Singapore to transmit Japanese propaganda. Malaya Broadcasting Corporation was renamed Syonan Hoso Kyoku ('Light of the South' Broadcasting Corporation), the local counterpart to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (Nippon Hoso Kyokai, NHK for short). Meanwhile, the Radio Station in Penang was renamed Penang Hoso Kyoku (Penang Broadcasting Corporation).[13] After the war, the British came back into power and reclaimed the radio station, with the station managed by the interim government – British Military Administration (BMA).[14]

1946–1969: Early history

On 1 April 1946, Radio Malaya or Department of Broadcasting of Malaya was established at Caldecott Hill in Singapore.[15] Apart from its headquarters in Singapore, it also had broadcast stations in cities and towns across Malaya such as Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Malacca. Radio Malaya consists of five language services – Malay, Aslian, English, Chinese and Tamil language, the latter three became known as the Blue, Green and Red Networks in 1959.[16] Blue, Green and Red Networks were also used to refer to regional stations and programmings and radio broadcastings were done using amplitude modulation (AM) or short and medium wave transmissions during those times.[17][18][19]

In the British Crown Colonies of North Borneo (now Sabah) and Sarawak, Radio Sarawak was launched on 7 June 1954, while Radio Sabah was launched on 9 November 1955 after test broadcast since 1952. These two radio stations offers language services in Malay, Chinese and English, in addition to the native languages of Iban for Sarawak and Kadazan for Sabah.[20][21]

With the independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957, Radio Malaya was split into two separate stations: the original studios in Singapore were taken over by a new station called Radio Singapura and Radio Malaya moved to Kuala Lumpur going on air from the new location – the 5th to 6th floor of the Federal House on 1 January 1959.[22] It would be later renamed Radio Malaysia on 16 September 1963, with the transmissions beginning with its trademark words Inilah Radio Malaysia (This is Radio Malaysia) on the day the Malaysia of today, a federation which consists of the States of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore (until 1965) was born. On the same day, Radio Sabah, Radio Sarawak and Radio Singapura became part of the Radio Malaysia network as state stations for Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore listeners respectively. Radio Malaysia's flagship international shortwave radio service, Voice of Malaysia (Malay: Suara Malaysia, VOM) was launched on 15 February the same year to promote the country, with three languages in the beginning: English, Mandarin and Indonesian.

Television services under the name Televisyen Malaysia or Malaysia Television (Malaysia TV) started on 28 December 1963 in time for the national New Year celebrations in Kuala Lumpur and regional telecasts in the Klang Valley in Selangor state, with its first studios being located in Jalan Ampang.[23][24][25][4] The then 10-month-old Television Singapura (launched on 15 February 1963) became part of Televisyen Malaysia in January 1964 as its state station for Singapore viewers, a role served until 1965, when Singapore became independent. During its time as part of Malaysia, Singapore like its three other partners–Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya had its own radio network, but it was the only state to have its own television network. The state's radio and television broadcast right were included as an annex in the Malaysia Agreement, which it garnered autonomy in this area, among others.

Upon joining Radio Malaysia, Radio Sabah consisted of two language networks: the main Malay language network and the Blue Network for Kadazan, Murut, Dusun, Bajau, English and Mandarin language. Radio Sarawak on the other hand, consisted of four language networks: the main Malay language network, the Blue network for Bidayuh language, the Green network for Iban and Kayan/Kenyah languages and the Red network for English, Mandarin, Bisaya and Murut language programming.[20][21]

The then-Information and Broadcasting Minister, Hamzah Abu Samah announced in May 1969 that the radio and television services would be merged create a new public broadcasting department in August.[26][27] In August 1969, he confirmed that the merger will be took place in October or will be finalised by the year-end.[28]

1969–2001: Merger and expansion of radio and television operations

Radio and Television operations merged on 11 October 1969 as the new Angkasapuri headquarters was inaugurated. Thus Radio Malaysia and Televisyen Malaysia's identities merged to become Radio Televisyen Malaysia, abbreviated as RTM.[29][30] A second TV station, which was first mooted by then-Information and Broadcasting Minister, Senu Abdul Rahman,[31] opened on 17 November in the same year as its rebranding.[4][15] On 19 April 1971, Radio Malaysia's Malay language unit became the first radio station to broadcast 24 hours a day nationwide, thus becoming National Network (Malay: Rangkaian Nasional) in the process. On 5 November 1973, RTM launched a radio station named Radio Ibu Kota (Capital City Radio) specifically for the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. On 20 June 1975, Radio Malaysia's first Stereo FM format radio station went on the air, mainly broadcast pop music and initially focus on the Klang Valley area.[32][33]

By 31 August 1978, Voice of Malaysia had expanded its broadcast to include 5 other language services namely Thai (1 January 1972), Arab (1 November 1972), Tagalog (22 October 1973), Burmese and Malay. On 17 April 1995, an international Islamic service called Voice of Islam was added to the Voice of Malaysia network and broadcasts in English and Malay languages.[34][35] All language services were transmitted from Kajang, Selangor, except for Tagalog service which was transmitted from Tuaran, Sabah.

Radio Malaysia went off the air for a few days during the recent floods.[36]

In March 1972, RTM's television channels (known as TV Malaysia) began airing weekly local 30-minute dramas and monthly local hour-long dramas.[37]

In December 1972, RTM planned to have colour television in 1975, starting with foreign programmes, local programmes in colour by 1978 when colour television is extended to Sabah and Sarawak and to have TV2 in colour by 1980.[38]

To smoothen the transition to colour television, RTM began producing documentaries in colour in mid-1978.[39] RTM began transmission tests of colour television in early September 1978. The two outdoor broadcasting vans, imported from the United Kingdom, arrived in mid-September 1978.[40] RTM would also air monthly live programmes in colour in 1979, aimed at a youth audience.[41]

RTM began planning on "decentralising" television production to regional centres in Penang, Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in 1979, aiming to better highlight the problems of the people in those regions. Each centre would have a recording facility and an audiotorium.[42]

Following the construction of earth satellite stations in Beserah, Kuantan, Pahang and Kinarut, Papar, Sabah for communications and television broadcast via the Indian Ocean Intelsat III satellite, TV1 was introduced to viewers in the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak on 30 August 1975 (just in time for the 18th anniversary of Hari Merdeka). RTM began broadcasting in colour since 28 December 1978 in Peninsular Malaysia and 31 August 1980 in East Malaysia. TV1 was the first channel to broadcast in colour, followed by TV2 on 7 May 1979. RTM used to have a third TV station solely for Sabah which was launched on 28 December 1971. However, it ceased to air by mid-1985 after TV2 made its debut in East Malaysia on 31 August 1983.[43] Between 1972 and 1999, Televisyen Malaysia shared time with TV Pendidikan – the national education channel in the daytime. TV1 introduced daytime transmissions on 1 March 1994,[44][45] thus resulting in TV Pendidikan ceased broadcasting on TV1, while TV2 introduced daytime transmissions in 2000.

In February 1980, the broadcaster allows any Malaysians to appear in its ads under the new code for advertisements.[46] Effective March 15, adverts depicted alcoholic beverages and any liquor products was banned from airing on RTM.[47][48] Voice of Malaysia extended its reach to Indochina countries, Japan and Europe in May.[49] In June, RTM prohibited non-Malaysians or Caucasians and their voices from appeared in its ads.[50]

In 1981, under the Fourth Malaysia Plan, RTM was allocated RM 120 million to improve its services.[51] RTM planned to produced more programmes in colour format at the Filem Negara Malaysia's soundstage which to be the television studio by the mid-1981.[52]

In early 1982, RTM's Malay television news broadcasts moved to 9 pm.[53]

In 1982, a viewer preference survey reported that viewers in Johor prefer to watch RTM's Malay programmes than its news programmes, which "still lacks professionalism". Meanwhile, Malay viewers in Singapore were satisfied with entertainment programmes provided by RTM compared to Singapore's SBC's Malay offerings.[53]

Advertising on RTM as of 1982 was up to five minutes an hour on television and seven minutes on radio. At that time RTM only air commercials between programmes.[54]

In mid-1982, RTM began allowing private companies to sponsor feature films.[55]

RTM began introducing a new format for its television news broadcasts on 18 October 1982, introducing a two-newscaster format, aiming at improving news presentation.[56]

RTM had problems acquiring old Malay films from Cathay Organisation and Malay Film Productions in 1983 due to "prohibitive price tags".[57]

While RTM had used to one advertiser sponsoring programmes, it planned to introduce "multiple-sponsorship" sometime in 1984, where one or more advertisers sponsor a programme.[58]

In February 1984, RTM's television channels began to air a digital time display which appear at the bottom-left of the screen.[58]

RTM's news division was reorganised in 1984. It also had plans to give journalism training for its staff,[59] sending them to the United States.[60]

RTM was still airing operas for the minority of its viewers in 1985.[61]

Drama Swasta, a slot for dramas produced by private companies, debuted in 1985. The slot is aimed to revive the then-ailing local film industry. It aired on Monday evenings.[62]

In a viewership study carried by Survey Research Malaysia in September and October 1985, RTM's entertainment programmes made to the top 10 shows thanks to the position of being aired at 8:30 pm where viewers were mostly at home. Notably, the Malay movies slot was in the first place of the top 10 list with 3.754 million viewers. The number of viewers of RTM's television channels were 4.197 million in September and 4.563 million in October respectively.[63]

Plans for FM mono transmissions in Sabah and Sabah were considered in late 1985.[64]

Due to the launch of TV3, RTM lost RM 5 million and RM 11 million in advertising revenue for 1984 and 1985 respectively. Plans to privatise RTM's advertising division in 1986 were in the works,[65] where the Information Ministry would appoint an agency to handle RTM's advertising system.[66]

In August 1986, RTM decided to buy RM4.5 million worth of satellite receiving equipment, drafted in the amendment of the then-Broadcast Act. At that time, RTM was using the Telecom Departments' satellite receiving equipments where it had to pay RM1.7 million annually to the Telecom Department.[67]

RTM began introducing national, regional and international news programmes in mid-1987.[68]

The amount of local programming on RTM's TV1 and TV2 in 1986 were 65%.[67]

On 14 June 1987, RTM slightly reduced the broadcasting hours of its television channels, particularly removing the midnight movie slot, saving the broadcaster about RM 2 million a year.[69]

Over 200 million people tuned in to RTM's broadcasts in Asean countries in 1987.[70]

RTM's Voice of Malaysia shortwave broadcasts were upgraded in 1987.[71]

In late 1987, RTM began airing local productions produced on videotape instead of film to reduce the high costs of film productions and the then-current limited film market.[72]

RTM began producing locally produced Tamil dramas in 1988 as an effort to increase Tamil programming, despite the lack of advertisers and sponsors.[73]

RTM spent RM 12 million in upgrading FM stereo radio broadcasts in 1988. It also had plans have other languages broadcast in FM in the near future.[74]

On 11 September 1988, RTM aired the 1988 Sport Aid, consisting of a 24-hour telethon starting at 7 am, a marathon event (Sport Aid Malaysian run and Race Against Time run) and the First World Carnival charity concert at 12 am. RTM contributed 15 minutes of the charity concert coverage and 7 minutes of marathon footage for the worldwide Race Against Time broadcast through a satellite link to London.[75]

RTM aired the 1988 Summer Olympics through its two television channels, with TV2 taking the morning and afternoon coverage from 7 am to 5:30 pm and TV1 airing the main events at 7 pm. Evening summaries which consist of delayed broadcasts were aired at 8:30 pm.[76]

The earth-satellite complex in Angkasapuri opened on 17 December 1988, costing RM 3 million. It marked the start of RTM's entry into "direct satellite broadcasting".[77]

The advertising revenue for RTM in 1987 was at RM 57 million,[78] becoming RM 60 million in 1988[79] and increasing to RM 140 million in 1989[80] after outsourcing their advertising sales to GT Consultants.[78]

In April 1989, the government approved a project to improve television and radio broadcasts, set to be handled by Transponder Services Sdn Bhd. The project, which cost RM 50 million and planned to start in phases from next year, involved setting up parabolic antennas to feed radio and television broadcasts, including RTM's two television channels. The project would be completed in phases starting in mid-1990.[81]

Radio 4, 5 and 6 began broadcasting 18 hours a day instead of 10 hours in 1990.[82]

In January 1990, RTM was working on an agreement to supply news footage to CNN and One World Channel.[83] It was later finalized.[80] It would renew the contract with the former in July 1994 for another three years, allowing RTM to remove material not for local broadcast.[84]

As of 1990, RTM's television channels were being seen through the Palapa satellite, reaching viewers in Asean countries, Papua New Guinea and Australia.[80]

In 1990, RTM was having problems recruiting staff who are proficient in Mandarin for Radio 5 and TV2 due to a lack of suitable candidates, and had resorted to use part-timers.[85]

RTM had plans to transform itself into a corporation, first in 1983,[86] and later revived in 1989, aimed to enhance its "effectiveness in nation-building".[87] A cabinet proposal was presented in 1989.[88] It was also going to conduct studies through an "independent party",[89] completed around August 1991.[90] RTM planed to be privatised in stages in 1993,[91] going under the name Penyiaran Nasional (PEN) and to be established on 1 September 1993.[92][93] The plan was scrapped in March 1993, to "maintain contact with the people" and continue to spread "government information".[94] However, RTM revived the plan again in late 1997, "to maintain ratings" of its television channels.[95] It may also look to go corporatised and later privatised.[95]

RTM's gross advertising revenue in 1991 was around RM 200 million; by this time RTM was able to become self-sufficient and no longer rely on government funds.[79]

RTM introduced a new service called Subscription News Service (SNS) which provides information and entertainment news in 1991.[96][97]

As part of the expansion of Radio 3, a mobile radio station was set up during the Information Ministry's Family Day held on 29 December 1991, with mobile radio stations planned to be added in more states later.[98]

In 1992, the amount of local programming on RTM's TV1 was at 80%, with TV2 at 35%. The former had achieved the government's target of 80% locally produced content by the year 2000.[99]

In July 1992, RTM announced that it will introduce different formats for its television channels, catering to its viewer's taste. The news formats would be different as well.[100]

RTM's five radio stations across Malaysia began to broadcast in FM in late 1992, in an effort to refrain Malaysians living in border areas from listening to radio broadcasts from neighbouring countries.[101] Radio transmitters would also be replaced.[101]

On 1 December 1992, RTM made a major reshuffle which involves 23 of its senior officials as a preparation to be corporatized.[102]

In 1993, the prime time slots on TV1 and TV2 were extended to 11:30 pm in stages instead of 7 pm to 10 pm.[103]

In January 1993, RTM have generates revenue of RM257.4 million in total from radio and TV adverts throughout 1992.[104] It also ruled that it would not prioritised international programming and focused on local content instead.[105]

The then-Information Minister, Mohamed Rahmat said that there will be the major revamp on his ministry's senior officials on 4 February 1993,[106] while stating that about 80% of RTM's employees will transferred into the new entity when RTM will privatized as Penyiaran Nasional in September.[107]

RTM restructured and reorganized program schedule for its television and radio stations gradually in mid-April 1993.[108] At the same time, RTM was in talks with the French broadcasting corporation, Canal France International Broadcasting (CFI) to expand their broadcasting partnership internationally.[109]

In May 1993, RTM planned to prioritise airing of films with positive moral values. It already has a rule to stop broadcasting films that contain sex and violence.[110][111] RTM also decided to reduce the airplay of rock and rap songs which it considers to be "street culture".[111][112]

Apart from its headquarters at Angkasapuri, RTM has branches in every state of Malaysia (except Selangor which is based in Angkasapuri) and the Federal Territory of Labuan. In addition to managing radio stations, RTM state branches also produced shows and news content for television broadcast. The Peninsular States began to have their own state radio stations by the early 1990s, with Perlis being the last to do so on 1 June 1991. In East Malaysia, the territorial radio station of Labuan was established on 31 August 1986.[113] RTM began to gradually replace Amplitude Modulation broadcast with Frequency Modulation broadcast since the 1980s (a process which still continue to this day) and adopted numbering system for its Radio Stations in 1993. The names of the radio stations were as follows:

Original Malay Melody Radio service (Malay: Radio Irama Melayu Asli, RiMA), precursor of present-day Radio Klasik began broadcast on 11 March 1998.[114][115]

In August 1993, RTM plans to added three broadcast transmission from its overseas SNS service by 1994.[116]

RTM was responsible for the Highway Radio project along with local private company Time Engineering in 1993.[117] Both parties were also responsbile for Radio Tourism, a temporary radio station based in Langkawi which would be launched in November 1993 for the Visit Malaysia Year 1994.[117] A science and technology radio, Radio Teknologi, was planned to start in 1994.[118]

As of 1993, RTM's overseas service Voice of Malaysia broadcast in Malay, English, Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar, Tagalog, Mandarin and Arabic, with plans to start broadcasting in Japanese, Khmer, Vietnamese and Lao.[103]

In March 1994, RTM partnered with oil and gas conglomerate Petronas to produce a special radio programme titled Memandu Bersama Petronas (Driving With Petronas), which aired on four RTM radio stations. The programme provides tips and reminder to listeners on road safety.[119]

RTM ended the BBC World Service Television news broadcast in May 1994, with the BBC demanding that it would stop supply their content to Malaysia and should air their content without cuts.[120] RTM decided that it will seek other news providers, including CNN and ABU.[121]

In November 1994, RTM was ordered by the Ministry of Information to setup the Television Detector Unit to oversee all contents in satellite television in Asia.[122]

RTM introduced sign language in its television news broadcasts in late 1995. RTM had attempted sign language broadcasts in 1990 but ended due to "a lack of skilled people".[123]

The RTMNet website was launched on 27 December 1995, becoming the first broadcaster in Asia to broadcast over the internet with six national radio stations streaming over the service.[124] It would also became the first broadcaster in Asia to stream the Budget on the internet on 25 October 1996, partnering with local computer company MCSB Systems.[125]

The gross revenue for TV1 and TV2 in 1996 was reported to be at RM 57 million.[95]

RTM planned to start an "information radio" station set to launch in 1996, using the broadcast spaces of Radio 7.[126] The station was given the name "Radio Penerangan", launching on 25 September 1997 and air for eight hours a day in the Klang Valley area.[127] Other radio stations planned include RiMA, then only described as a "24 hour" "Malay traditional music and songs" radio station,[128] Radio Konsumer, a consumer radio,[129] Radio Wanita, a women's radio[129] and a tourist radio station for Langkawi.[129]

In June 1996, RTM intended to open a broadcasting museum in Malacca, which was to be the first of its kind in Malaysia, in collaboration with the Malacca State Government. However, due to unknown reasons, the plan was abandoned.[130] RTM also collected a gross revenue of RM366 million from radio and TV advertising with a 300% of increase.[131]

RTM began transmitting from the Kuala Lumpur Tower in August 1996.[132]

In December 1996, RTM acquired 60% of its programming content from Bumiputera production companies that registered with the Federal Treasury,[133][134] which was welcomed by local film producers.[135]

In March 1997, RTM negotiating partnership with several private companies to added its terrestrial channels, TV1 and TV2 on its official website.[136] Later, in August, RTM improved its payment procedures to TV producers, to avoid them having financial difficulties.[137]

RTM began broadcasting its Malay and English Suara Islam radio to Malaysian listeners in late 1997.[128] Plans for the launch began in 1995.[138] In August, the broadcaster had plans to use technical and production expertise from TV New Zealand to upgrade its services.[139]

In December 1997, RTM reduced its annual spending on programmes by 20% due to the then-ongoing financial crisis.[140] RTM began collaborating with the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) in 1998 to telecast crime prevention slogans via TV1 and TV2.[141]

It was announced in 1999 that RTM will be corporatized on what would have been its 55th anniversary in April 2001 in order to "disseminate information and knowledge about government policies in an effort to create an informed society".[142] However, due to unknown reasons, the plan was later scrapped again.

In February 2000, RTM banned programmes and dramas that using Bahasa Rojak, a mixture language between Malay and English, from airing on its radio and television services after the Information Ministry expressed its concern that its widespread usage could dwarfed Bahasa Malaysia as the official language of Malaysia.[143] The decision received positive feedback from many parties.[144]

In October 2000, RTM signs a memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreement with Japanese broadcasting company, Fuji Television for the TV programs and news exchanges.[145]

RTM announced in January 2001 that it would reduce broadcast time for entertainment programs from 50 to 42 hours while broadcast time for Islamic-themed programs were increased from 42 to 50 hours.[146]

2001–2015: Rebranding and transformation

In 2001, RTM reorganized and restructured scheduling time for TV1 and TV2 to adapt with current situation.[147] It also planned to introduced a new formula to allocate broadcast time to 54 production companies by 2002.[148]

In 2002, RTM planned to launch two more channels, as TV1 and TV2 could not accommodate its ever-increasing programming.[149] It also announced that it would launch a specialty channel dedicated to sports and recreation, which would later become Sukan RTM.[150] RTM also planned to produce a special programs on English learning in order to increased knowledge of English as the country's second language.[151]

In 2003, RTM revived its corporatization plan and expected to be corporatized as Radio Televisyen Malaysia Berhad (RTMB) with the name and logo change took effect in March, but later postponed to June and August. However, the plan was abolished as RTM remains a government-owned.[152][153]

RTM allocates RM385 million and the addition of 1,659 staffs to upgraded its radio and television services in April 2004.[154]

In June 2004, RTM reorganised its broadcast operations, in line with "fast, precise and compact" concept.[155]

By July, RTM announced that it would expand its broadcast operations overseas in the future. This came after the Information Ministry have managed several technical matters.[156] It also have setup its target to air 60% of local content and more imported programs by 2005.[157]

RTM signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MiTV Corporation in February 2005 in which the latter agreed to aired RTM's programs on its platform.[158]

In conjunction with its 59th anniversary on 1 April 2005,[159][160] RTM's radio stations underwent rebranding and renaming.[161]

RTM began to banned advertisements that portraying sexy images and Western influences that does not reflect on Malaysian values from airing on TV1 and TV2 in June 2005.[162][163]

Following its rebranding exercise, RTM's ads revenue for the first 10 months of 2005 decreased by 10% to almost RM60 million.[164] The broadcaster signed a contract with Telekom Malaysia on 26 January 2006 in which the latter provide a network and maintenance service for RM150 million over three years.[165]

On 1 April 2006, in conjunction with its 60th anniversary, RTM began its non-stop broadcast for 60 hours and airs programs in selected locations on its radio and TV networks.[166][167]

On 12 August 2006, Nasional FM merged with Klasik FM to form Klasik Nasional FM,[168] and broadcast classical Malay music together with its main program 24 hours a day.[169][170][171] However, the merger survived for only five years, as the station began losing listeners to sister stations and private competitors such as Hot FM, Sinar FM and Era FM, as well as then-upstart Bernama's Radio24 which took over the frequencies of Klasik FM. Thus, Klasik Nasional was demerged on 4 January 2012 at midnight and split into the original two radio stations, with Nasional FM using the same frequencies as the former Muzik FM (discontinued in late 2012) and Klasik Nasional became Radio Klasik.[172] Owing to the diminished effectiveness of a shortwave radio service over time with changing technology and media consumption habits, Voice of Malaysia was dissolved on 31 August 2011. Prior to this, the Arab, Burmese and Thai language services ceased broadcast by 1 May 2009.[173]

In September 2006, RTM implemented trial period of digital broadcasting, which lasted for six months.[174][175]

In 2007, RTM dominates 17% of television viewership market in Malaysia, after Media Prima (54%) and Astro (29%).[176]

In 2008, RTM through its two free-to-air channels, TV1 and TV2 gained the increasing of viewership ratings and revenue in the last six months.[177][178] It also launch a global television channel that caters to the Malaysian diaspora worldwide, named RTM World and set to begin broadcast in April 2008.[179]

In September in the same year, following the restructuring of its operations, RTM planned to incorporated digital broadcasting system entirely within three years.[180] In December, RTM considers its idea to setup the new channel that focuses on the live broadcasts of Parliament conferences, which later became RTM Parlimen.[181] Later, RTM launched a Disaster Unit to broadcast and gathers news reports related to disasters through its radio and TV stations.[182][183]

In January 2009, RTM restructured contents on its two main terrestrial channels, TV1 and TV2.[184][185][186] Two months later, in March, RTM planned to developed five new channels as part of its effort to pivot towards digital broadcasting by 2015.[187]

In 2010, RTM was in talks with Media Prima to working on several areas, which includes news exchange and joint production.[188]

TV1 broadcast overnight many times since the early 1990s, but daily 24-hour transmissions did not come until 2003, which was later cancelled. Permanent 24-hour broadcasting was introduced on 3 April 2006 on TV2 and on 21 August 2012 on TV1.

On 28 December 2013, RTM celebrated 50th anniversary of television in Malaysia.[189]

In 2014, RTM planned to launch a free-to-air children's television channel which targeted to preschoolers and older children. However, the plan was abandoned.[190] It also collaborated with the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) for idea sharing and expertise in mass media.[191]

2015–present: Transition to digital

In 2015, RTM implementated a transformation program through the implementation of its strategic initiatives.[192][193] The broadcaster also had plan to launch its own TV news channel, which eventually become Berita RTM.[194]

In 2018, it was announced that RTM and Bernama will merged to form a standalone public broadcasting corporation as part of the government's efforts to reduce operation costs. However, the merger plan was abandoned.[195]

On 1 April 2019, RTM launches a visual radio, collectively known as Conty News in conjunction with its 73rd anniversary.[196][197]

In November the same year, the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia announced that it would introduce a new channel through RTM, with programs on these channels being documentaries that would provide information to the public.[198][199][200]

Three new TV channels were launched during the digital television broadcasting era: TV Okey on 21 March 2018,[201][202] news channel Berita RTM on 25 June 2020[203] and sports channel Sukan RTM on 1 April 2021.[204] TV Pendidikan returned to RTM on 6 April 2020 and began to air on TV Okey.[205][206]

On 1 April 2021, RTM celebrates its 75th anniversary and unveils its new corporate logo.[1] A special stamp was launched in collaboration between RTM and Pos Malaysia to commemorate with RTM's 75th anniversary.[207]

On the midnight of 30 April 2022, the Voice of Malaysia's Tagalog service ceased broadcasting after nearly 50 years.[208][209]

Upon its 77th anniversary in April 2023, RTM implemented two main plans, namely the 2021–2025 Strategic Plan and the 2021–2023 Transformation Plan which involving four pillars.[210][211]

In November 2023, RTM signed an MoU agreement with the Indian public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati during the 6th India-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in New Delhi, India. The MoU was approved by the Indian cabinet.[212][213][214]

Governance and structure

Unlike the BBC, ABC and NHK, which is a statutory corporation funded by television licence fees, RTM is technically not a statutory corporation, but rather a department with a direct government control under the Ministry of Communications and Digital, with operations and activities being overseen and regulated by its Director-General of Broadcasting through its Broadcasting Ethical Code.[215][216] Its current Director-General is Suhaimi Sulaiman.[217]

Director-General of Broadcasting

Name Term of office
H.W. Jackson 1946–1955
David Little 1955–1959
Albert Read 1959–1969
Dol Ramli 1969–1975
Abdullah Mohamad 1975–1986
Zain Mahmood 1986–1987
Jaafar Kamin 1988–1999
Ali Musa Sulaiman 1999–2003
Abd Rahman Hamid 2003–2009
Ibrahim bin Yahya 2009–2011
Norhyati Ismail 2011–2014
Abu Bakar Ab. Rahim 2014–2018
Abdul Muis Shefii 2018–2019
Nor Yahati Awang 2020–2021
Ruzain Idris 2021–2022
Che Roslan Che Daud 2022–2023
Suhaimi Sulaiman 2023–present

Board members

As of 2023, the board members of RTM are:[218]

Name Position
Putri Joliana Yaacob Deputy Director-General (Broadcast Operations)
Nasaruddin Abdul Mutalib Deputy Director-General of Broadcasting (Strategic)
Khairim Shahril Mat Khalid Director of Management Service Division
Saifuzzaman Yusop Director of Radio Programme Division
Abdull Hadi Mohd Yusoff Director of Television Programme Division
Ahmad Afandi Abu Hasim Director of Multichannel Network Control and Broadcast Centre Division
Ismail Sulaiman Director of Technical Service Division
Mokhzani Ismail Director of Music Service Division
Ismail Seman Director of Facility Development Division
Sharimah Abu Bakar Director of Production Technology Division
Kamal Roslim Director of Marketing and Promotion Division
Nor Sanusre Ramli Director of Public Relations Division
Ivan Toh Swee Ming Director of Interactive Digital Media Division

However, as of 2023, the Director of Strategic Development Division and Director of News and Current Affairs Division posts is vacant.[218]

State directors

The state directors of RTM were responsible for the daily operations of the broadcaster's branch in every states of Malaysia. As of 2023, the state directors are:[219]

Name Position
Noriza Salleh Director of RTM Selangor
Azman Hashim Director of RTM Johor
Salmah Hashim Director of RTM Sabah
Wan Azhan Wan Hamat Director of RTM Sarawak
Nur Hafizoh Idris Director of RTM Kedah
Sabri Mansor Director of RTM Terengganu
Shaheezam Said Director of RTM Kelantan
Fathilhidayat Ghazali Director of RTM Perlis
Arifin Awang Director of RTM Pahang
Suhana Suratman Director of RTM Negeri Sembilan
Siti Nurbaini Khairi Director of RTM Melaka

However, as of 2023, the directors of RTM in three states in Malaysia - Labuan, Penang, Perak and director of RTM Langkawi posts is vacant.[219]

Divisions and units

RTM has the following in-house divisions and units covering its output and operations:

Properties and facilities

Headquarters and branch offices

Name Location Television services Radio services Other
Angkasapuri Kuala Lumpur TV1, TV2, TV Okey, Sukan RTM, Berita RTM Nasional FM, KL FM, Selangor FM, TraXX FM, Ai FM, Minnal FM, Asyik FM, Radio Klasik Headquarters of RTM, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Tun Abdul Razak Institute for Broadcasting and Information (IPPTAR) and Selangor State Broadcasting Department (RTM Selangor). It houses RTM's Radio, Television and News divisions and main TV Show and News production studios.
Tuanku Syed Putra Broadcasting Complex Kangar, Perlis Perlis FM Perlis branch office (RTM Perlis).
Sultan Abdul Halim Information and Broadcasting Complex Alor Setar, Kedah Kedah FM Kedah State main office (RTM Kedah). Also known by address: Jalan Kuala Kedah.
Kuah Tabung Haji Building Langkawi, Kedah Langkawi FM Langkawi branch office (RTM Langkawi).
Penang State Broadcasting Department George Town, Penang Mutiara FM Penang branch office (RTM Pulau Pinang). Also known by address: Jalan Burma (Burmah Road).
Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Complex Ipoh, Perak Perak FM Perak branch office (RTM Perak). Also known by address: Jalan Raja Musa Mahadi (formerly Dairy Road).
Kelantan State Broadcasting Department Kota Bharu, Kelantan Kelantan FM Kelantan branch office (RTM Kelantan). Located in Wakaf Che Yeh Suburb. Site of Kelantan FM transmitter.
Terengganu State Broadcasting Department Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Terengganu FM Terengganu branch office (RTM Terengganu).
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Broadcasting Complex Kuantan, Pahang Pahang FM Pahang branch office (RTM Pahang).
Tuanku Muhammad Broadcasting Complex Seremban, Negeri Sembilan Negeri FM Negeri Sembilan branch office (RTM Negeri Sembilan).
Malacca State Broadcasting Department Malacca City, Malacca Melaka FM Malacca branch office (RTM Melaka). Also known by address: Jalan Taming Sari.
Sultan Iskandar Information and Broadcasting Complex Johor Bahru, Johor Johor FM Johor branch office (RTM Johor). Also known by address: Jalan Tasek Utara.
Kuching RTM Building Kuching, Sarawak TV Okey Sarawak FM, Red FM, Wai FM Iban, Wai FM Bidayuh Sarawak State main office (RTM Sarawak). It houses the state's TV Show and News production studios. Also known by address: Jalan P. Ramlee.[21]
Sri Aman Broadcasting Department Simanggang, Sarawak Sri Aman FM Sri Aman branch office (RTM Sri Aman).
Sibu Broadcasting Department Sibu, Sarawak Sibu FM Sibu branch office (RTM Sibu). Also known by address: Jalan Abang Haji Openg.
Old Bintulu Development Authority Building Bintulu, Sarawak Bintulu FM Bintulu branch office (RTM Bintulu).
Miri Broadcasting Department Miri, Sarawak Miri FM Miri branch office (RTM Miri).
Limbang Broadcasting Department Limbang, Sarawak Limbang FM Limbang branch office (RTM Limbang).
Labuan Broadcasting Department Labuan Labuan FM Labuan branch office (RTM Labuan). Also known by address: Jalan Tanjung Taras.
Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Integrated Complex Kota Kinabalu, Sabah TV Okey Sabah FM, Sabah V FM Sabah State main office (RTM Sabah). It houses the state's TV Show and News production studios. Located in Kepayan suburb along Jalan Lintas.
Keningau Federal House Keningau, Sabah Keningau FM Keningau branch office (RTM Keningau).
Sandakan Federal Building Sandakan, Sabah Sandakan FM Sandakan branch office (RTM Sandakan).
Tawau Broadcasting Department Tawau, Sabah Tawau FM Tawau branch office (RTM Tawau). Also known by address: Jalan Chong Thien Vun.

Local stations

List of RTM local stations by establishment date
No. Name Establishment date Notes
1  Penang 1 April 1946 The first branch station of RTM. Initially headquartered at Chinese Recreational Club, it moved to United Engineers Building at Bishop Street in 1948, the Sepoy Lines Road in 1955 and the present building at Burmah Road in 1961, which was opened on 30 October 1965.
2  Malacca 1 April 1946 The second branch station of RTM. Initially stationed at the Stadthuys, it moved to a wooden building in Downtown Malacca in 1948 and the present building at Jalan Mata Kuching (now Jalan Taming Sari) in 1961, which was opened on 17 August 1965.
3  Sarawak 7 June 1954 The first and main station of Sarawak and the first station in East Malaysia.
4  Sabah 9 November 1955 The first and main station of Sabah and the second station in East Malaysia. Initially headquartered at Brace Hill in Kota Kinabalu, it moved to Wisma Radio at KM 2.4 Jalan Tuaran in 1963, and later the Ministry of Communications Complex in 2012.[20]
5  Kelantan 16 November 1963
6  Johor 4 June 1966
7  Perak 13 May 1967
8  Pahang 10 February 1968
9 Sarawak Limbang 17 April 1971 The second station in Sarawak.
10  Terengganu 1 March 1973
11 Sarawak Sibu 7 December 1974 The third station in Sarawak.
12 Sarawak Miri 2 September 1975 The fourth station in Sarawak.
13  Kedah 31 August 1979 The first and main station of Kedah. Initially housed at Alor Setar Federal House, it moved to the Sultan Abdul Halim Information and Broadcasting Complex in 1992.
14 Sarawak Sri Aman 21 October 1982 The fifth station in Sarawak.
15  Labuan 31 August 1986
16 Sabah Tawau 31 August 1987 The second station in Sabah.[20]
17  Negeri Sembilan 16 August 1990
18  Selangor 16 August 1990
19  Perlis 1 June 1991
20 Sabah Sandakan 5 January 1992 The third station in Sabah.[20]
21 Kedah Langkawi 1 November 1993 The second and latest station in Kedah.
22 Sabah Keningau 1 January 2009 The fourth and latest station in Sabah.
23 Sarawak Bintulu 12 April 2011 The sixth and latest station in Sarawak.

Services

Radio

RTM offers 34 FM radio channels – 6 national and 28 local stations, which are collectively known as Radio RTM or Radio Malaysia. Each station has different frequencies, depending on the area of coverage.

Nationwide

Station Frequency (FM) Language
Nasional FM 88.5 MHz Malay
TraXX FM 90.3 MHz English
Ai FM 89.3 MHz Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew and Hakka)
Minnal FM 92.3 MHz Tamil
Radio Klasik 87.7 MHz Malay
Asyik FM 91.1 MHz Malay and Aslian (Semai, Jakun, Temiar and Temuan)

Local

RTM's local radio network, formerly known as Radio 3, offers localised services to listeners across their respective states and federal territories. Most stations operate from 6:00 am to midnight daily, with simulcasts of Nasional FM taking place during downtime. Others like Sabah V FM, take simulcasts from another national radio network overnight. KL FM, as well as Sarawak FM, however, operates 24 hours a day. The logos of the local radio stations display colours that match those on Malaysia's individual state or territory flags.

Regional radio stations
Station Frequencies (Area/Transmitter)[221][222] Language
Perlis FM 102.9 MHz (Perlis/Pauh) Malay
Kedah FM 97.5 MHz (Alor Setar/Mount Jerai)
95.4 MHz (Gulau/Gulau)
105.7 MHz (Langkawi/Gunung Raya)
90.5 MHz (Baling/Bukit Palong)
88.5 MHz (Selama and Bandar Baharu/Bukit Sungai Kecil Hilir)
105.1 MHz (Sik/Bukit Dedap)
105.1 MHz (Sintok/UUM)
Malay
Mutiara FM 93.9 MHz (North Penang/Mount Jerai)
90.9 MHz (Balik Pulau/Bukit Genting)
95.7 MHz (South Penang/Bukit Penara)
Malay
Perak FM 94.7 MHz (Cameron Highlands/Mount Brinchang)
97.3 MHz (Changkat Rembian/Changkat Rembian)
96.2 MHz (Gerik/Gerik)
95.6 MHz (Ipoh/Gunung Kledang)
102.9 MHz (Lawin/Lawin)
94.2 MHz (Lenggong/Bukit Ladang Teh)
104.1 MHz (Taiping/Bukit Larut)
89.6 MHz (Tanjung Malim/Bukit Asa)
Malay
Kelantan FM 107.2 MHz (Dabong/Dabong)
92.0 MHz (Gua Musang/Bukit Chupak)
90.0 MHz (Jeli/Bukit Tangki Air)
102.9 MHz (Kota Bharu/Teliput)
97.3 MHz (Machang/Bukit Bakar)
88.1 MHz (Paloh/Paloh)
107.1 MHz (East Kelantan/Bukit Bintang)
Malay
Terengganu FM 96.2 MHz (Besut/Bukit Bintang)
90.7 MHz (Chukai/Bukit Kemuning)
97.7 MHz (Dungun/Bukit Bauk)
90.0 MHz (FELDA Cerul/FELDA Cerul)
88.9 MHz (FELDA Tenang/FELDA Tenang)
88.7 MHz (Kuala Terengganu/Bukit Besar)
Malay
Pahang FM 88.0 MHz (Bandar Muadzam Shah/Bukit Sembilan)
100.3 MHz (Cameron Highlands/Mount Brinchang)
107.2 MHz (Damak/Bukit Botak)
95.5 MHz (Gambang/Bukit Sulai)
92.7 MHz (Jerantut/Bukit Istana)
104.1 MHz (Kuantan/Bukit Pelindung)
92.0 MHz (Maran/Bukit Senggora)
96.8 MHz (Tioman Island/Tioman Island)
102.2 MHz (Raub/Fraser's Hill)
91.9 MHz (Rompin/Rompin)
107.5 MHz (West Pahang/Mount Ulu Kali)
Malay
Selangor FM 99.8 MHz (Hulu Langat/Hulu Langat)
100.9 MHz (Selangor/Mount Ulu Kali)
Malay
KL FM 97.2 MHz (Kuala Lumpur/Kuala Lumpur Tower) Malay
Negeri FM 92.6 MHz (Central Negeri Sembilan/Bukit Telapa Burok)
107.7 MHz (Gemas/Mount Ledang)
95.7 MHz (Tampin/Bukit Tampin)
Malay
Melaka FM 102.3 MHz (Malacca/Mount Ledang) Malay
Johor FM 101.9 MHz (Johor Bahru and Singapore/Mount Pulai)
92.1 MHz (Mersing/Bukit Tinggi)
105.3 MHz (Northern Johor/Mount Ledang)
Malay
Sarawak FM 88.1 MHz (Lambir Hills/Bukit Lambir)
88.9 MHz (Kuching/Mount Serapi)
89.9 MHz (Mukah/Mukah)
91.5 MHz (Sarikei/Bukit Kayu Malam)
92.7 MHz (Kapit/Bukit Kapit)
93.7 MHz (Bintulu/Bukit Setiam)
94.4 MHz (Betong/Spaoh)
94.7 MHz (Bintulu/Bukit Ngabau)
94.8 MHz (Serian/Bukit Ampangan)
95.1 MHz (Setapong/Bukit Singalang)
95.7 MHz (Song/Bukit Song)
97.1 MHz (Suai/Bukit TT844)
97.5 MHz (Lawas/Bukit Tiong)
100.0 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Sagang Rudang)
100.3 MHz (Miri/RTM Miri)
100.3 MHz (Sri Aman/Bukit Temunduk)
101.5 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Mas)
101.5 MHz (Sibu/Bukit Lima)
105.4 MHz (Belaga/Belaga)
Malay and Melanau
Red FM 89.2 MHz (Sarikei/Bukit Kayu Malam)
89.9 MHz (Kapit/Bukit Kapit)
90.7 MHz (Lambir Hills/Bukit Lambir)
91.9 MHz (Kuching/Mount Serapi)
92.3 MHz (Mukah/Mukah)
92.7 MHz (Kapit/Bukit Kapit)
97.2 MHz (Serian/Bukit Ampangan)
97.8 MHz (Betong/Spaoh)
99.0 MHz (Song/Bukit Song)
100.5 MHz (Bintulu/Bukit Setiam)
100.5 MHz (Lawas/Bukit Tiong)
101.1 MHz (Setapong/Bukit Singalang)
104.1 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Mas)
104.1 MHz (Sibu/Bukit Lima)
106.3 MHz (Miri/RTM Miri)
106.3 MHz (Sri Aman/Bukit Temunduk)
107.7 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Sagang Rudang)
107.8 MHz (Belaga/Belaga)
English and Chinese (Mandarin, Fuzhounese and Hakka)
Labuan FM 89.4 MHz (Labuan/Bukit Timbalai)
103.7 MHz (Labuan/RTM Labuan)
Malay
Sabah FM 89.7 MHz (Lahad Datu/Mount Silam)
89.9 MHz (Kota Kinabalu/Bukit Lawa Mandau)
89.9 MHz (Gadong/Gadong)
90.3 MHz (Tenom/Bukit Sigapon)
92.9 MHz (Sandakan/Bukit Trig)
95.7 MHz (Tawau/Mount Andrassy)
95.9 MHz (Kudat/Bukit Kelapa)
97.1 MHz (Kota Marudu/Langkon)
97.9 MHz (Sipitang/Bukit Tampalagus)
101.5 MHz (Kota Belud/Bukit Pompod)
104.1 MHz (Felda Sahabat/Felda Sahabat)
104.5 MHz (Central Sabah/Mount Kinabalu)
Malay
Sabah V FM 91.1 MHz (Kota Marudu/Langkon)
92.5 MHz (Lahad Datu/Mount Silam)
92.6 MHz (Gadong/Gadong)
92.7 MHz (Kota Kinabalu/Bukit Lawa Mandau)
93.1 MHz (Tenom/Bukit Sigapon)
93.3 MHz (Labuan/Bukit Timbalai)
96.1 MHz (Sandakan/Bukit Trig)
98.7 MHz (Kudat/Bukit Kelapa)
99.3 MHz (Tawau/Mount Andrassy)
102.9 MHz (Sipitang/Bukit Tampalagus)
104.1 MHz (Kota Belud/Bukit Pompod)
106.7 MHz (Felda Sahabat/Felda Sahabat)
107.1 MHz (Central Sabah/Mount Kinabalu)
English, Kadazan, Chinese (Mandarin and Hakka), Dusun, Bajau and Murut
Specific-localised radio stations
Station State Frequencies (Area/Transmitter)[221][222] Language
Langkawi FM Kedah 104.8 MHz (Langkawi/Gunung Raya) Malay
Wai FM Iban Sarawak 101.3 MHz (Kuching/Mount Serapi)
106.9 MHz (Serian/Bukit Ampangan)
Iban
Wai FM Bidayuh 101.7 MHz (Serian/Bukit Ampangan)
106.1 MHz (Kuching/Mount Serapi)
Bidayuh, Kayan and Kenyah
Sri Aman FM 89.5 MHz (Sri Aman/Bukit Temunduk)
99.5 MHz (Betong/Spaoh)
Malay
Sibu FM 87.6 MHz (Sibu/Bukit Lima)
94.3 MHz (Kapit/Bukit Kapit)
94.6 MHz (Sarikei/Bukit Kayu Malam)
98.7 MHz (Mukah/Mukah)
99.8 MHz (Song/Bukit Song)
102.1 MHz (Setapong/Bukit Singgalang)
103.0 MHz (Belaga/Belaga)
Malay, Chinese (Mandarin) and Iban
Bintulu FM 95.3 MHz (Bintulu/RTM Bintulu)
97.5 MHz (Bintulu/Bukit Setiam)
Malay
Miri FM 95.7 MHz (Lambir Hills/Bukit Lambir)
98.0 MHz (Miri/RTM Miri)
Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), Iban, Kayan and Kenyah
Limbang FM 94.5 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Sagang Rudang)
101.1 Mhz (Lawas/Bukit Tiong)
104.9 MHz (Limbang/Bukit Mas)
Malay, Bisaya and Lun Bawang
Keningau FM Sabah 94.7 MHz (Tenom/Bukit Sigapon)
98.4 MHz (Keningau/Federal House)
Malay, Murut and Dusun
Sandakan FM 90.1 MHz (Sandakan/Bukit Trig) Malay
Tawau FM 93.6 MHz (Lahad Datu/Mount Silam)
99.1 MHz (FELDA Sahabat/FELDA Sahabat)
100.1 MHz (Tawau/Mount Andrassy)
Malay

Television

RTM offers six terrestrial TV channels in Malaysia: TV1, TV2, Okey, Berita RTM, Sukan RTM and TV6. While Malay and English are main languages used for its programmes, three out of six channels also offer vernacular language programmes for its non-Malay native population (widely known as Bumiputera), as well as Chinese and Indian minorities. TV1 and TV2 carry commercials, whereas TV Okey, Berita RTM, Sukan RTM and TV6 does not.

Name Availability Language Programming 24-hours
TV1 Free-to-air, Satellite, IPTV Malay and English News, culture, entertainment and children Yes
TV2 Free-to-air, Satellite, IPTV Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Indian (Tamil and Hindi), Korean and Turkish News, culture, entertainment and children Yes
TV Okey Free-to-air, Satellite Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Indian (Tamil and Punjabi), Bajau, Dusun, Kadazan and Iban News, culture, entertainment, children and education Yes
Berita RTM Free-to-air Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), Indian (Tamil), Bajau, Dusun, Kadazan and Iban News Yes
Sukan RTM Free-to-air Malay and English Sports Yes
TV6 Free-to-air Malay Films, entertainment, variety and drama series from the RTM archives No

Digital platforms

RTM Klik logo.

RTM Klik (formerly MyKlik and RTM Mobile, launched on 18 April 2012) is RTM's Over-the-top media service (OTT). It covers viewers across multiple devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones.[223][224] The service's website contains all RTM television channels and radio stations, as well as online parliament streaming channel RTM Parlimen and audio podcasts.[225]

RTM Parlimen, launched on 1 July 2013, broadcasts the parliamentary session from Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 1 pm or late in the morning session and from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm or late in the evening session. Apart from RTM Klik, RTM Parlimen can also be watched through the RTM Parlimen page channel.[226]

Music ensemble

Orkestra RTM is RTM's broadcasting orchestra which was established in 1961 as Orkestra Radio Malaya, later renamed as Orkestra Radio Malaysia in 1963 before assumed its present name in 1969. It produces and performs orchestra-based entertainment programs as well as performs in various music events in Malaysia and abroad. Renowned music conductor, Mokhzani Ismail is the orchestra's music director since 1999. In 2011, Orkestra RTM received recognition from The Malaysia Book of Records as the longest-running musical orchestra in Malaysia.[227][228][229]

Flagship programmes

Some of RTM's flagship programmes include:

Cultural significance

Until the development and establishment of television in Malaysia, radio was the broadcast medium upon which people in Malaysia relied. It "provides services and information to its faithful listeners".[4] RTM became the only television broadcaster in Malaysia until 1984 when TV3 was established and began operations. Further, it also was the only legal radio broadcaster in the country until 1989 when Best 104 began operating. RTM is among the earliest media brand that launches the web streaming service in 1996.[4]

Despite the advent of commercial television and radio, with competition from Media Prima, Astro and TV Alhijrah as well as digital service providers,[231] RTM has remained one of the main elements in social and cultural history of Malaysia through its obligation to produce radio and TV programmes for mass audiences, inline with the "government's policy and the nation's aspiration".[4] However, when TV2 came to exist, it allowed the RTM to produce programmes that encompassed various genres like drama, documentaries, religious programming, current affairs, entertainment, and sport. Examples cited include the television series Simfoni Alam, Gerak Khas, My Travel Sight, Mat Despatch, Opah, Forum Perdana Ehwal Islam and Bicara Rakyat. Some of RTM shows also have a direct impact on society. For example, Ikon Siarawan is credited with strengthening interest in broadcasting, with its objectives to shaping the younger generation's broadcasting career while soaring them to a greater heights,[232] while Opah is known to have a social impact on the Malaysian Malay community as it revolves on a grandmother's love towards her children and grandchildren.[233] RTM also became host of major sports events which took it "to a new level of technical excellence". For example, it hosted the 16th Commonwealth Games, collectively known as SUKOM 98 in 1998[234] and 21st SEA Games in 2001.[235] This enable RTM have the chance "to handle an international sporting event with multiple live telecasts and intensive coverage".[236] Longest-running RTM shows include: Selamat Pagi Malaysia, broadcast on TV1 since 1985.[237] Most of RTM programmes were produced by its in-house units or production companies that commissioned by RTM.[238]

The Anugerah Seri Angkasa was first broadcast on RTM in 1972 to recognized the industry players who contributed for the radio and television programming.[239] Many of Malaysian household stars have their breakthrough success at RTM. Bintang RTM, the broadcaster's reality singing competition, have produced many of its notable contestants who first got their fame such as Sudirman Arshad, Jamal Abdillah, Ramlah Ram, Izwan Pilus, Siti Sarah and Ernie Zakri. RTM also produced other reality shows like Bintang HMI, Bintang Gala 2 and Golden Teen Search where artistes like Siti Nurhaliza, Dayang Nurfaizah and Liza Hanim making waves in Malaysian entertainment industry.[236] RTM's radio services also has creates many significant achievements in recent years. One of its radio service, Radio 4 (later known as Traxx FM) became the first radio station in the country to broadcast the birth of a baby, a boy live on air, where it received recognition from the Malaysia Book of Records as "The First Baby Born Via a Live Radio Broadcast" in 2001.[240][241]

Like any other agencies, RTM also keeping up in defending its dignity on emphasizing ethical proper use of Bahasa Malaysia as its official language.[242][243] It also known for airing a large number of public service announcements (PSA), with most of these ads were from government agencies or RTM itself, especially PSAs that produced during the Mahathir Mohamad's era as the fourth Prime Minister. From its humble beginnings, RTM has fulfilled its mandate to be the "loyal companion" of Malaysians[236] and being more "media-friendly".[244] It also has its own "advantages both from the point of view of experience", with its "role as the state-owned broadcaster and having a partnership network with various ministries and other government agencies".[245] Nevertheless, it also become more inclusive in "help shaping a progressive community" and "nurturing the values of positive spiritual and attitude" in order to reflect the diversity of Malaysia.[246]

Public response

RTM's legacy as a national public service broadcaster in the country is much praised and lauded by many parties, despite received much criticism. Former sports journalist Ahmad Faisal Mohamed Fiah, in his column written in Sinar Harian, observed that RTM's contribution to the broadcasting industry is completely "undeniable" and "continued to move forward with the nation's development and progress".[238] Intan Soliha Ibrahim of Universiti Malaysia Sabah points out that RTM had serves as a "government mouthpiece" and a "watchdog between the government and the community".[247]

Former Menteri Besar of Perak, Ahmad Faizal Azumu said that RTM "is as relevant as ever in the New Malaysia". He also praised the broadcaster for "playing well its role of disseminating accurate news".[248] Former Communications and Multimedia Minister, Gobind Singh Deo described RTM as a "professional and mature" broadcasting corporation and insisted that it "is an institution". He also noted that RTM had always "made decision based on experience" it obtained and "support any government policy".[249] During RTM's 70th anniversary in 2016, former Prime Minister, Najib Razak said that RTM has played an integral role "in promoting unity among the people of various races" and also "fostered national development" as well as "cultivated the image of a government elected by the people".[15]

The Ambassador of Turkey to Malaysia, Emir Salim Yuksel during his official visit to RTM in Angkasapuri on 18 October 2022 said: "RTM is one of the most crucial channel in delivering news to the community and so does with other production houses under its umbrella".[250]

Identity

Corporate logos

Slogans

Criticism and controversies

Reports on Dili shooting incident

On 23 September 1992, a broadcast of segment on the 1991 Dili shooting incident in East Timor, Indonesia on TV1's 10pm news have caused outrage and sparked protests in Indonesia. The segment shows the Indonesian soldiers opened fire into a group of demonstrators and killing 50 people. It also reported that the republic have raided the East Timor islands and the troops opened fire to local residents.[251]

The then-Information Minister, Mohamed Rahmat explained that the RTM's airing of the segment "was a mistake", while claiming that it is "not intended to embarrass the Indonesian Government". Furthermore, Indonesia has strongly objected over the incident's footage while also claiming it as an "insult" to them.[252][253] On 27 September, RTM submitted the footage at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur for further investigation.[254] Later on, the investigation of footage's airing was completed and Mohamed said it was made by staffs from RTM's news division who was responsible for the telecast in which he said it is "upon their own consideration".[255][256] He also said that the Dili incident airings does not reflect the government's stance on the issue.[257] Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security, Sudomo assessed that the issue was "considered closed".[258]

Corruption scandals

In 2019, three including two RTM senior officials was arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission due to misappropriation of money belongs to a zakat institution for the broadcaster's paid programs. They remanded for four days, but the remand custody period for two RTM senior officials were extended to five days.[259][260][261]

On 14 November 2023, Suhaila Md Zaini, a producer of RTM's Radio News Section of the News and Current Affairs Division was charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court for receiving RM10,000 from a company owner in 2018. Six days later, on 20 November, she was charged again for receiving RM18,000 from a 41-year-old women between 17 April and 5 June 2019. She, however, pleaded not guilty on these charges.[262][263]

Hamas as 'militant' in Mandarin news

On 11 May 2021, the Mandarin news segment shown on Berita RTM broadcast a report of Israel's airstrike against Palestine, which the news presenter mistakenly labelling Hamas as a 'militants'. Following the incident, two RTM Mandarin news editors have been called to give an explanation and have been issued a show-cause letters.[264][265] RTM later issued an apology in its Twitter account over the incident.[266]

Awards and accolades

Year Award-giving body Category Recipient Result Ref.
2023 Malaysia Public Relations Awards 2023 PRCA Malaysia Leadership Award Radio Televisyen Malaysia Won [267]
Medical Travel Media Awards 2023 Best Health Travel Editorial Team Won [268]

See also

References

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Further reading