My Johor Stories featured on BFM Radio


It all started from a message I received on January 22 that read like this:


Juliet Jacobs in action recording our interview
for BFM Radio programme, Live & Learn

“Hi Peggy, my name is Juliet Jacobs and I’m a producer/presenter with the radio station BFM89.9.


My colleague, Sharaad Kuttan, formerly of Astro Awani, passed your number to me…”


She continued: “I was hoping to chat with you about My Johor Stories, for a radio interview on one of the segments I host called, Live & Learn.


We are doing coverage on the coronation of the Johor Sultan as the new Agong, and thought it might be nice to talk about Johor, its history and share some stories on the state, in conjunction with the coronation.”


Logo for BFM Radio on 89.9 FM frequency

As I read her message, my thoughts flashed to the meet-up with Sharaad who came to Johor Baru to cover the Johor Elections in 2022.


With all eyes on Johor for the Elections, he also wanted to talk to Johoreans to share more about social and environmental issues as well as culture and heritage.


This was why he got connected to My Johor Stories to do an interview with me for the English TV programme, Let’s Talk, that was aired on Astro Awani in April 2022.


Due to the global pandemic, mask-wearing was still mandatory so Sharaad and I were both wearing masks for this show. It was a pity because viewers probably saw the cover designs of My Johor Stories books more clearly than my face.


My view of the screen in our Zoom meet-up

At that time, I was still working on the manuscript for the third and final instalment of My Johor Stories, so when Juliet of BFM Radio reached out to me, I thought that it was timely to share more about Johor at such a significant moment in Johor history.


Later I thanked Sharaad for introducing me and My Johor Stories to his colleague and his encouraging reply read like this: “It was such a pleasure interviewing you that I had to share the experience with Juliet.”


When he told me that Juliet was also Johorean and who studied at the Johor Baru Convent School, it was good to know that we shared the same alma mater in Johor Baru.


Juliet Jacobs made me feel comfortable 
in our online interview

Even though BFM Radio is not broadcast nationwide but limited only to the Klang Valley for listeners to tune into the 89.9 FM frequency, I am familiar with BFM Radio.


This is because BFM Radio produced a video that featured our Aunty Sylvia, a National and International sports personality, to commemorate International Women’s Day in 2o18.


I replied Juliet’s message with a request for more information about this interview and was pleased to learn that it will be pre-recorded, ready for broadcast later.


Juliet then prepared some questions and a framework to share with me, to let me prepare my replies.


View from the screen at BFM Radio

When I received her list of questions, I scrolled down and took a deep breath when I saw that she had given me 22 questions, some of which were two-part questions. Whew!


Many of her questions were inter-related and quite broad, deliberately kept open for me to elaborate and share what I liked best. This meant that we probably would not be able to cover every single question on her list.


Keen to start on my prep work, I quickly replied with thanks and asked Juliet to tell me which questions on her list that she most wanted me to answer so that I may focus on those.


Her prompt reply was, “I want to ask you EVERYTHING.”


With more time, I could certainly answer everything too but I knew that the time allocated for her Live & Learn show, was limited.


Then she continued more seriously with: “OK let me whittle it down.”


Juliet said that there was about 48 minutes in total for the whole interview so we had to squeeze everything into that space of time.


When she managed to whittle the number down to 15 questions, I reviewed each question and saw that we could combine some of the replies quite comfortably.


We also arranged an appointment on Monday, January 29 for a chat via Zoom to record the interview for the recording to be broadcast on Tuesday, January 30, at 3pm, a day ahead of the coronation of the Johor Sultan as the next Agong.


As I pondered over my replies to the questions, I felt deeply humbled for such a privilege to talk about Johor culture and heritage in relation to the Johor Sultanate and its royal legacy in Johor.


Readers who are familiar with My Johor Stories, know that I started sharing my stories on Johor culture and heritage, first published in the Travel Times, a pull-out section of The New Straits Times dedicated to Travel.

Then my stories were also published in Johor Streets, the Southern section of this newspapers, along with opinion pieces from the column called, Your Johor Stories, which readers fondly called, my grandfather stories.


Over the years, I accumulated a collection of Johor stories that were well-accepted by readers. Looking back, it was indeed a combination of circumstances that developed organically and resulted in the birth of the My Johor Stories series of books.

This, plus opportunities given to me, the support of readers and the collection of my dad's old photos, that encouraged me to publish My Johor Stories.


No one expected it, least of all me, that when My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage was launched on 15 July 2017, this title went to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers list on the first week of its launch.


This book stayed on the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers list for consecutive weeks and months, and by December, my book was counted among The Best of MPH 2017.


Photo from 24 November 2018,
a screenshot from Instagram
A book sequel, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, followed in 2018 and to me, the most significant moment happened on November 24.


As you may know, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim has a tradition of building bonds with his rakyat through an annual Kembara Mahkota tour, since he was Crown Prince, to visit various districts in Johor.


The 2018 Kembara Mahkota happened to coincide with His Majesty’s birthday and during an event in Muar, District Officers presented His Majesty with birthday gifts.


My sister-in-law, who follows the Official Sultan Ibrahim Instagram page on social media, shared with me a photograph with info which showed His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim holding a copy of my book, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People!


The contents of this book included stories on Heritage Traders who are still doing the businesses started by their forefathers as well as stories about inspirational people in various districts in Johor like Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang, Kulai, Kelapa Sawit, Desaru and Johor Baru.


Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that my book had literally reached the hands of His Majesty the Sultan of Johor, among the many birthday gifts he received.


The trilogy of My Johor Stories
published by MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur

Meanwhile, I know that a copy of my My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, was presented to Her Majesty Permaisuri Johor, soon after the book was launched in 2017.


And at an event in November 2023, the complete trilogy of My Johor Stories, along with the final instalment of My Johor Stories 3: Proudly Johor, Then and Now, was presented to the Johor Princess, Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim.


My appointment with Juliet via Zoom went on smoothly but I guessed she could not have anticipated the bulk of information that I was about to share with her listeners.


We knew that it was virtually impossible to share the wealth of Johor culture and heritage in such a short time together, so we did our best to cover as much as possible and touched on a few topics that were close to my heart.


Juliet opened the interview with a brief introduction like this:


Author Peggy Loh, who has written extensively about Johor through her My Johor Stories series, which include personal accounts of her own family life, but also stories of former and current personalities who have left their own mark in Johor.”


The old idiom that, Time flies when you are having fun, certainly rang true for Juliet and I.


We chatted on comfortably – had two commercial breaks – until she indicated that our time together was running out. Oh dear!


In the recording studio with Juliet Jacobs

This, unfortunately, exerted a bit of pressure on me to rush through the last bit because there was much, more I wished to share but did not have time to do so.


It was regretful but I was glad that I mentioned a few names to credit the people who have helped me with historical references and resources, and the friends who guided me to learn about different cultural traditions so that I could write in English.


According to schedule, on Tuesday, January 30, at 3pm BFM Radio broadcast the Live & Learn show that featured My Johor Stories.


Listeners outside the Klang Valley – like me – tuned in to listen live online at:


Juliet assured me that once the interview had aired on radio, a podcast will be available and she will send me the link once it was ready.


Here is the link for readers’ listening pleasure:

Thank you, Juliet Jacobs, for the privilege to share My Johor Stories with BFM Radio listeners in conjunction with the coronation of the Johor Sultan as Agong.


Note: While all the MPH bookstores in Johor Baru are now closed, My Johor Stories books in hardcover and softcover versions, are available from MPH bookstores nationwide and online from mphonline.


With permission from MPH, a small stock of My Johor Stories books is available from two (2) outlets in Johor Baru:


1] Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation or JARO, at No. 18 Jalan Sungai Chat, Sri Gelam, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor. Open from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Closed on Friday and Saturday.


2] YSpace Johor Baru, located at No. 2 Jalan Yahya Awal, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor. Open 11am to 10pm. Closed on Thursday. 


  1. Anonymous1/31/2024

    I hv been following yr progress Peggy & am immensely impressed & yr achievements meeting Royalty, my fave radio station & many other known personalities... yet promoting Johor's dear culture & history

  2. Wonderful Peggy. Great attainments & immense help to promote culture & history of Johor. Your hard-working attitude pays off

  3. wow-- so nice-- congratulations

  4. Kim Hock2/03/2024