Sunday 18 October 2009


We all loved watching the telly in Singapore and Malaya. My favoutite programme was 'Samurai' which was a Japanese programme dubbed into English. The hero, Shintaro, would be attacked every week by Ninjas who would fly through the air and jump backwards into trees. Their use of deadly five pointed Ninja stars had all the kids making their own out of old Coke tins which they would fling at bits of board. They were quite dangerous at the time as the old Coke tins were made of thick metal and nothing like the aluminium ones you get today. There was a talent show on every night. The prizes weren't up to much and nearly every contestant either sung, 'Fly me to the Moon' or 'I came to your wedding.' I remember the presenter announcing the week's prize as, 'a lawnmower, ideal for mowing lawns!' As a boy, I loved watching cartoons such as Marine Boy, Gigantor and the Flintstones. The Flintstones was enjoyed by adults at that time also. In the evening, there was a whole variety of programmes, mainly from America. These included Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Star Trek, Mr Terrific, Lost in Space, I love Lucy, I dream of Jeannie and Bewitched. Just hearing the tune of Bewitched takes me back to living at Jalan Wijaya. All the tvs were rented and there were no remote controls and it had to be tuned on a dial to get the programme. I think that there were two tv channels at the time. When we first got our telly, we were watching the Flintstones in the front room and we turned around when we heard giggling and all the Chinese kids were sat on the gate at the front of the house watching it. They'd never seen the telly before and their families were probably too poor to afford to rent one. When I see any of the programmes repeated nowadays, it instantly reminds me of living in Singapore and Malaya. It seemed the golden age of television, I have to admit that I hardly watch it at all nowadays!


  1. In the 70's the channels were 5 (english) and 8 (chinese) based in Singapore and 3 (malay) and i forget the other one based in Malaysia. The afternoon sessions would start with greetings using the 4 languages (chinese, malay, tamil and english). The Malay channels would start with the afternoon Muslim prayers (which we memorized :)) and then the National Anthems (which we also memorized)the martial...Mari kita rakyat Singapura...and the love song...Negaraku

  2. Thanks JC for all the extra info. I think that we used to pick up one channel in Johore Bahru but some people could pick up an extra one broadcast from Singapore. When we arrived in 1965, we'd never had a television before so it was all pretty new to us.

  3. Lynn Gard (was Hughes)4 December 2009 at 07:25

    I remember one phrase from the television language programmes. I think it was..."Belaja behaser kebangsaan untok hari ini" (excuse spelling!) It meant "Learn your national language daily!" Unfortunately that was all I learnt :D