The Star's retired regional associate editor Anna Cheah sitting where her desk used to be in The Star Pitt St office in George Town, Penang.
Built in 1906, The Star Pitt St has a storied past, with many more chapters to be written ahead.
The Star Pitt St is a reporter’s second home. And that's why any journalist who's done time there will feel a pang of nostalgia when they return. In the hallowed halls of this venerable building, innumerable dilemmas, events and incidents were received and transmitted to the public. There was no Internet then, so before the streets went wild over something important, journalists at the old Star building would go wild first.
“This was where I sat!” says retired journalist Anna Cheah, 67, while standing in a spot in front of an art gallery wall. Cheah joined The Star in 1977 – The Star started in 1971 – and rose up the ranks from feature writer to sub-editor to chief sub-editor to regional associate editor, before she threw in the towel (and before labour law made her retire) at age 60.
“The Star started poor,” she recounts while walking through the first floor where the Newsdesk was located over 20 years ago but is now an art exhibition space.
“We sat on coffee shop chairs to type out our stories. Many of the chairs were broken, and some reporters resorted to tying the good chairs to their tables with raffia string to deter colleagues from pinching them. We worked so hard to make the paper a success, and now I feel so happy to see this building being used for the promotion of arts and culture,” Cheah says, choked up with emotion.