A Passage Through Time - A Brief History of MPH

That a brief history of MPH should start with a missionary may seem strange, but it sets the motion to the train of events, that, eventually led to the establishment of MPH.

In 1807, Robert Morrison was the first Protestant missionary sent by the London Missionary Society to work in China. He translated the New Testament and Old Testament into Chinese with the help of an eager young missionary, William Milne. After being in Macau for two years, Milne chose to set up a printing press in Malacca in 1815. Among his achievements in his first few years there were to start up the Malacca Anglo-Chinese College and print the first Chinese edition of the Old Testament.

A Passage Through Time - A Brief History of MPH

In 1890, Captain W.G. Shellabear arrived in Singapore to establish a printing press known as the Amelia Bishop Press. The aim of the publishing venture was the printing of Christian literature, and eventually, the setting and printing of secular work was taken up.

Amelia Bishop Press moved to Raffles Place in 1893 and changed its name to the American Mission Press. The Book Room was established to sell publications of the Mission Press, school books and other supplies for the Mission’s schools.

Shellabear is recognised as the founder of the Malaya Publishing House whose far sightedness in bringing modern printing techniques to Singapore contributed to the growth of the Southeast Asian publishing industry. Methodist Christians know him as one of the founders and early leaders of Methodism in Malaya, and as a translator of the Bible and many other religious texts into Malay. Among old Malay classics reprinted by Shellabear include Sejarah Melayu and Hikayat Abdullah.

In 1900, Rev. William T. Cherry arrived and helped turn the foundations built by Shellabear into a multi-faceted organisation - printing, publishing, bookselling, and book distribution. The American Mission Press changed name to the Methodist Publishing House in 1906, from which the acronym MPH was derived. It was in 1908 that the Methodist Publishing House moved into its new building at the corner of Stamford Road and Armenian Street. The company became a public stock company in 1927 with an experienced Board of Directors and the Publishing House was officially incorporated as Malaya Publishing House Limited.

In 1928, Frank Cooper Sands became the Managing Director of the new Malaya Publishing House. The company was carrying on its business as ‘proprietors and publishers of and dealers in newspapers, journals, magazines, books and other literary works and undertakings.’ Frank Sands reopened the publishing house in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, which left most of the printing equipment removed or destroyed, and the building on Stamford Road badly deteriorated.

In 1963 the Malaya Publishing House changed its name to Malaysia Publishing House and began operating as a wholesale book department. The retail side, under the name of Malaysian Books Limited, had new bookstores opening at Selangor Mansion in Kuala Lumpur, Beach Street in Penang and at Jalan Laksamana in Malacca. At Stamford Road, the ground floor was turned to general bookselling.

1966 saw the Malaysia Publishing House failing financially. The company was bought over and set up under a consortium headed by Masagung, a sixth-generation Chinese Indonesian. Under the new management, there were 4 subsidiaries: MPH Books, MPH Printers, MPH Publications & Lian Tak MPH (producing exercise books & paper products). Despite its problems in the 1960s, the company continued to publish a range of old and new titles.

In 1972, Jack Chia Holdings (Hong Kong) bought over MPH. As Jack Chia-MPH Limited, its various subsidiaries were divided into the Books and Publications Division, the Consumer Products Division, the Timber Division, the Hotel Division and the Services Division. The Books and Publications Division took on new activities like publication of magazines.

The company was publicly listed and bought over in 1999 by Singaporean entrepreneur Simon Cheong and changed its name to MPH Ltd in March 2000.

In 2002, the MPH brand with its book retail and book distribution arm, MPH Bookstores and MPH Distributors respectively, was bought over by a Malaysian company, Jalinan Inspirasi Sdn Bhd.

Recently, the MPH Group restarted its printing and publishing arm; MPH Group Printing and MPH Group Publishing respectively. Jalinan Inspirasi is now known as the MPH Group, which owns MPH Bookstores (Malaysia and Singapore), MPH Distributors (Malaysia and Singapore), MPH Group Printing and MPH Group Publishing.

MPH Group of Companies

The emerging trend of online shopping has encouraged many organizations to assess various new opportunities to promote their products and services through the virtual space. To many – it is more than just an online marketplace – it is becoming another essential channel to maintain brand awareness and loyalty, as well as an intuitive platform for customer retention and relationship building.

For MPH Bookstores Malaysia, the e-commerce unit has been in operation since year 2000. With an extensive collection of book titles across various topics and categories supported with easy-to-search function for online browsing, and bundled with next business day arrival for local delivery as well as international address doorstep delivery service, it has served customers from different parts of the world since then.

In late 2006, with new talents and resources, its operation team is re-organized as an independent business unit and the web store is re-branded with a new identity as MPH Online.com. It is part of MPH Bookstores’ commitment to embark on greater challenges by offering wider selection of titles in order to meet the growing demand and expectations from the market and particularly the Internet community.

Special Offers

MPH Online.com leverages the MPH brand to offer its online customers exclusive deals and promotions as well as regular communication through electronic newsletter covering latest events and happenings in the book scene and special activities for arranged for booklovers at the stores. For loyal customers, every purchase made at MPH Online.com qualifies for point collection through MPH Readers’ Circle program.

Online Transaction Security

MPH Online.com recognizes that online transaction security is a primary concern for customers. Therefore, the web store is fully equipped with industry standard encryption technology verified by leading digital security infrastructure provider as a commitment to establish a completely secure and protected environment for customers to shop online confidently.

To further enhance its online shopping experience, customers are offered several payment options including credit cards, direct debit from banking accounts (through Maybank2u.com), cash and cheque deposits to cater for different customer’s needs. In addition, its credit cards payment facility is also simplified and safeguarded with the latest security features such as Verified by Visa® and MasterCard SecureCode® to protect against online identity theft.

Customer Service

MPH Online.com strives for excellent customer support and service throughout every customer dealings and our friendly and courteous customer service team is ever ready to provide top-notch support and service to all customers. Many positive feedbacks from customers testified that MPH Online.com appreciates and values customers support at all time.

MPH Online.com strives for excellent customer support and service throughout every customer dealings and our friendly and courteous customer service team is ever ready to provide top-notch support and service to all customers. Many positive feedbacks from customers testified that MPH Online.com appreciates and values customers support at all time.