Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Sin Chew Daily
SHAH ALAM -- There is this unusual magazine collector who finds great passion in keeping old movie magazines published in the 1950s.
Liew Jun Cheng, who has been collecting old magazines since 1995, now boasts thousands of magazines in his home collection. All these magazines have been acquired by himself and he has lost count how much he has spent on them.
Most of the old magazines come in complete sets except for a few which have one or two issues missing. Even though such magazines are very hard to come by these days, Liew will never give up looking for the missing issues.
As a magazine enthusiast, Liew did not regret having spent RM60 on one single magazine ten ears ago. Instead, he felt it was worth the money.
"I would travel to KL, Melaka, Penang or Ipoh just to look for those magazines. Usually, such old magazines could only be found in flea markets, second-hand book stalls, old magazine collection centres or antique shops."
Besides magazines, Liew also keeps the photographs of various artistes as well as song books.
Calendar posters released by Sin Chew Daily many years ago have also become a part of his collection.
Liew pointed out that there were a lot more entertainment magazines published during the 1950s than today with the and Hong Kong Films being the more popular ones.
Among the contents are biographies of artistes, movie synopsis, beauty, fashion and lucky draws. These magazines were principally geared towards the publicity of movie stars and were therefore relatively devoid of advertisements.
"The major pastimes during the olden days were watching movies or listening to music. As such, the publication of handy song books became a popular trend back in those days. Since the Internet was not available yet, people could only look up the lyrics of their favourite songs from these song books."
Liew added that entertainment magazines were selling well in those days not only because of their contents, colourful printing but also the free posters that came with them.
Liew, who has just moved into his new house, plans to create oversized book shelves to keep all his magazines.
"People find me weird keeping all those useless, outdated magazines, some wondering why I would collect rubbish."
Liew said he did not feel lonesome not having any like-minded friends to share his joy; instead he enjoys flipping his magazines in solitude. At times, Liew is found sitting around the books and browsing through his old magazines, feeling a sense of satisfaction and achievement for his collection.
Liew once intended to fork out RM500 to acquire the inaugural issue of a vastly popular magazine but unfortunately the owner was reluctant to sell it.
Treating old magazines as treasure, Liew said he would not dispose of any of his magazines no matter how much has been offered. To him, collecting old magazines is a hobby he has developed not so much for showing off but for his personal satisfaction.