Amateur radio: it can be more than just a hobby

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WORLD Amateur Radio Day was celebrated on April 18. I would like to address my greetings to my fellow Malaysian amateur radio operators. Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a popular activity and service around the world.

Some of my young friends only vaguely know what I mean when I say I am an amateur radio operator, while most are completely confused and tell me that they have never heard of such a thing.

My interest began when, as a child sitting in a taxi, I observed how a taxi driver operated his two-way platform installed in his vehicle. I then took this fascination with amateur radio a step further by taking the Amateur Radio Exam organized by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, and eventually obtained my Amateur Radio Operator’s License wearing the l ‘call sign 9W2 KYU.

Now ham radio is not just a hobby. He has been of great assistance in the field of communications, particularly in search and rescue operations. I know of passionate amateur radio clubs, such as the Malaysian Amateur Radio Emergency Service (MARES), who have assisted with emergency radio communications during several major disasters in the country.

I urge the public to get involved in the world of amateur radio. Get in touch with clubs such as the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitter Society and MARES, and learn about the different types of radio equipment.

You could fall in love with amateur radio the same way I did, and you could also immerse yourself in the world of Morse code.

Amateur radio may be losing its appeal these days. However, I urge everyone not to let the “old devotees” disappear into the setting sun, as ham radio is much more than a hobby.

The slogan “Amateur radio works when all else fails” will always ring true when needed.

YEAP MING LIONG, Associate Captain of Civil Defense Malaysian Amateur Radio Call Sign: 9W2 KYU

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