The Brief History of Society of Photographers-MALAYSIA.

In early 1995, a group of Malaysian photographers visited Yunnan Province, China in conjunction with the 2nd Yunnan Province History Photography Gathering. The participated photographers were from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and other Asian countries. After attended the said function, the participants from Malaysia realized that during that time, there was no photographic organization that could represent Malaysia photographic art within the international arena.

Upon their return to Malaysia, this group of photographers from Kuala Lumpur and Penang then decided to establish a non-profit organization called ASIA PHOTOGRAPHIC RECREATION CENTRE (APRC). These photographers took the initiative where a Pro-tem Committee was established to invite photographers in Malaysia to participate in this newly establish organization. The Pro-tem Committee members were: Mr.Foo Kok Kin, Mr. Soong Jin Tek, Mr. Lai Ah Hin, Mr. Leong Kee Seong and Mr. Yuen Kok Leng. It was in early 1996, The ASIA PHOTOGRAPHIC RECREATION CENTRE (APRC) was officially registered with the ROS as a non-profit organization with the initial membership of 27.

Since its establishment, APRC had successfully organized a number of national and international photographic competitions and seminars in Malaysia. At the same time, a Coffee Table Book was published with the selected work from members to inaugural its formation.

These initial successes and achievements, with the growing pace of photographic art in Malaysia had encouraged APRC members to re-look into its initial formation objectives. It was after many brainstorming sessions and discussions that were unanimous decided to establish a more significant photographic organization, which could represent Malaysia and be recognized internationally. With the initiative and objective, the formation of Society of Photographers-MALAYSIA (SPM) was proposed. The Pro-tem Committee for the formation of SPM was established. Mr. Au Kam Wah was appointed to draft the Rules and Constitution, after which SPM's application was submitted to ROS.

On 19 September 1999, SPM received the official approval and registration from ROS. Subsequently, on 9th July 2000, we were honored to invite YB Dato Tan Chai Ho, the then Deputy Minister of Energy, Post, Telecommunication and Multimedia to witness the Swearing-in Ceremony of the first Management Committee of SPM which was held at Genting Highland Resorts. This ceremony marked the new milestone of SPM in its effort and objective to promote photographic art in Malaysia and internationally.

The SPM Management Committee had continuously organized many photographic related activities to develop photographic art in Malaysia. One of the activities was to organize and support photographic competitions, which were to encourage participations from photo enthusiasts and to provide an avenue for them to gain exposures of the photographic standard, both locally and internationally. In the areas of providing the knowledge and latest trends of photography to the photo arena, renowned local and international photographers were invited as speakers and conducted seminars and workshops which were organized by SPM.

The Management Committee had made regular visits and networking to foreign photographic organizations to establish the continuous rapport with these establishments. Our healthy relations with these organizations had provided an avenue for SPM to participate many photographic activities overseas.

SPM had invited and sponsored many foreign photography masters to hold exhibitions in Malaysia. Indeed, these exhibitions had provide the platform for SPM to promote photographic art and as well as opportunities for the Malaysia photographers to gain exposure in the international Photography arena.

Currently, the total membership of SPM stands at 185.