MELAKA: What began as a simple call among the amateur radio operator community has grown into a long-standing friendship between two friends of different races that continues to this day.
It all started about 10 years ago when Mansur Abdul Muien, 42, made a call through a repeater looking for an amateur radio operator with a Class A license to sign a certification document for the license. equipment.
Mansur, then a young resident of Taman Tasik Utama, Melaka Tengah, did not expect his call to be answered by Chong Wee Long, 48, who then provided personal information that helped resolve the case.
“After the brief introduction to the repeater, I then met Chong, who resided in Taman Bukit Cheng, who was not far from my home, and we have become friends ever since.
“Although we don’t meet often due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our bond of friendship remains strong. Thanks to amateur radio, ”he said during a meeting with Bernama recently.
Mansur, originally from Kampung Sungai Bedaun, Labuan, and who has stayed in Melaka since 2005, said amateur radio promotes the spirit of muhibah, or goodwill, among the races, as operators must follow three main rules, not to talk about politics, not to promote any form of business and not to be racist.
The multiracial bonds formed within the amateur radio community are unique, where introductions are made through communications over radio channels.
“Operators should also avoid spreading rumors and should confirm any news before sending it to other operators, which helps us prevent the spread of rumors.
“In fact, radio amateurs can also talk to friends who are abroad and find out how they are there. When we speak, we actually become ambassadors for Malaysia because everyone in the world can listen and monitor what we are saying, ”he added.
Sharing his personal journey with amateur radio, Mansur said it started after falling victim to the 2004 tsunami while working at a resort in Langkawi, Kedah.
When the tsunami struck, telephone communications were cut off, forcing rescuers to use walkie-talkies to communicate.
“Since then, I started to learn amateur radio and a lot of technical things about this mode of communication. From this hobby I have managed to make many friends abroad, especially those who use the same channel to communicate, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Chong said he made the most of amateur radio by channeling aid to any family who were short of food throughout the first phase of the national stimulus package, particularly in Melaka now.
“For example, we found out that someone needed help in Bemban (Jasin), so we contacted other operators in the neighboring area to help the individual.
“Although it is only a communication tool, amateur radio is widely used. We can carry out various activities using it, including fox hunting, calls in conjunction with national holiday, among others, ”said Chong, repeater manager Melaka MARTS.
He said the best part about amateur radio is that users only have to pay for an annual license and can communicate on fixed channels with friends using the same method all over the world.
“Compared to smartphones, we use commercial stations and have to pay for the services we use. But amateur radio is free, you only need to pay for an annual license.
“There is no racism when we communicate over ham radio. In fact, we use it frequently to monitor our friends, especially during this pandemic, ”he added.