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.

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. It is part of a large Malaysian conglomerate owned by Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary. For the first time, MPH becomes a wholly Malaysian-owned company.

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 Bookstores currently has 27 outlets in Malaysia: 17 in the Klang Valley, 3 in Johor, 2 in Negeri Sembilan, 1 each in Perak, Pulau Pinang , Melaka, Kedah and Sarawak operating under the MPH Bookstores brand name.

Business Name: MPH Bookstores Sdn Bhd
Business Address: Lot 1, 3rd Floor, Bangunan TH, No. 5, Jalan Bersatu, Section 13/4, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Online Store URL:
Domain Name Admin. Address: Suite 12.01, 12th Floor, Kompleks Antarabangsa, Jln Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur 50250 MY
Merchant Email:
Merchant Contact No.: 1300-888-674
Years in e-business: Since 16 Oct 1999
Business Category: Books & Stationeries
Payment methods: PayPal, CIMB Clicks, Maybank2u, Visa, MasterCard, cash at outlets, direct bank in / fund transfer (Maybank)
Shipping methods: Malaysia: Not stated

International: Not stated

Shipping charges: West Malaysia: RM7 per shipment (for orders of less than RM50) and free delivery (for orders of more than RM50 but limited to book items,CDs & gift vouchers only).

East Malaysia: RM12 per shipment (for orders of less than RM100) and RM18 per shipment (for orders of more than RM100). Every book ordered will be charged RM3 as handling fee

International: Please refer to

Shipping period: Malaysia: 3 – 5 business days

International: within 2 weeks

Website developed by: N/A
Return / Refund policy: The merchant accepts returns from customers for purchases sent back and received by them within 7 days of receipt of the shipment on the following conditions (a) Incorrect or defective item(s) delivered; and (b) The items returned to us is in its original condition.
Alexa Ranking (updated on 23/12/12): 131,698 (MY: 937)
Sites linked in (updated on 23/12/12): 444
Facebook Fans (updated on 23/12/12): 53,259
Has this site hosted malware (checked on 23/12/12): No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

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Author: VSDaily Editor

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