MARTS – How it started

After the winding up of the numerous amateur radio societies in Malaya at that time, the hams started to consolidate and looked toward a central body to serve and looked after their interests. The founding of MARTS was the work of the following hams, who remained in office for many years after is formation: Eu Khuan Kew, VS2BS, J.E. Hemphil, VS2CR, S.A. Faulkner, VS2DB, and C.E. Salton, VS2DV. Call sign prefixes used then were VS1 for Singapore, VS2 for Malaya Federated States, VS3 for Malaya Non-Federated States, VS4 for Sarawak, VS5 for Brunei, and ZC5 for British North Borneo. 

Full membership was opened to radio amateurs in the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo, Brunei, Sarawak, and Christmas Island. Total membership was less than 100 members, and the society’s registered address was PO Box 600 in Penang.

Radio communication was confined only to the HF bands using the AM and CW modes only. After the Emergency period, the VHF band was opened to the hams. And from then on the introduction of repeaters came about, after VHF FM amateur radio communication gaining popularity among the members. In 1975, The first VHF repeater, 9M2RUK, was installed by MARTS on Gunung Ulu Kali in Genting Highlands for covering the Klang Valley, and its surroundings. Subsequently it was followed by the setting up of the 9M2RBB repeater on Penang Hill in 1984, Gunung Ledang repeater 9M2RGL, Kuala Lumpur’s 9M2RKK and 9M2RKL also followed suit. In 1989, the Gunung Pulai repeater 9M2RGP was put up, and one year later te Kangar repeater 9M2RMK was installed.