Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Straits Echo: Times of Malaya & Pinang Gazette, May 27, 1969

This was by far the most unusual newspaper in the stack of papers I bought at the flea market last year. This was an English-language newspaper for Pinang, one of the largest island provinces in Malaysia. The audience was primarily English, Australians and Americans who were living there. This newspaper, which as it's title indicates was a merger of two separate papers, operated from 1946 to 1972.

Two weeks earlier, the capital city of Kuala Lumpur was rocked by widespread violence, with post-election tensions between Malays and ethnic Chinese leading to riots, leaving hundreds dead. Pinang saw some minor violence, and presumably that is what caused the implementation of curfews.

Otherwise things were pretty much business as usual, including lots of movies. No late shows of course, but you could catch everything from a Jacqueline Bisset film to kung fu films to a Bollywood comedy that will "steel your heart and make you crazy".
A lot of this newspaper had a tabloid-like feel with lurid crime stories and profiles of young ladies like the "Perfect Dream from Taiwan".
Everything from a reminder to register your children for school, to a turkey thief, to Andy Capp.
Yes there is a sports page! No baseball of course - the headline sport is high school water polo. Cricket, soccer and tennis are also covered.


  1. "US Girls Give The Aussies Another Blow" is a fascinating-sounding headline out of context!

  2. "40 hurt as 7,000 soccer fans storm pitch" - yep, sounds like soccer. I've been reading a history of soccer, and there's a LOT of violence.

    Very cool!

  3. Cool piece of history. I like the idea of owning old newspapers, but find they take up a lot of space. I have accumulated a small stack that I have stored in a box in the garage, but rarely add to it.