Fr P. M. Lynch planted the mustard seed in what was then Malaya. From Malate in the Philippines, he launched a personal apostolate that ranged from Canton to Borneo. In 1921, he preached missions and retreats in the peninsula of Malaya ending in Singapore. Further campaigns were preached from Malate in 1926 and from Baclaran in 1934. It was this contact that led to the foundation in Singapore in 1935.
Singapore was the base for a wide ranging apostolate in Malaysia and Burma.
Frs Jim Wallace and Tom Creede gave a two week mission in the parish of Ipoh, 1959. Fr George Lee, who was parish priest at St Michael’s, Ipoh, showed the two Redemptorists a house for sale on Tambun Road. After much dialogue and consultation, permission was given on June 28, 1959 for purchase of the property.
It was April 9, 1960, when a two-car caravan carrying Frs Dobson, McGrath and Whiting, set out from Singapore bound for the new house in Ipoh. The first Mass was celebrated on April 22 and the first Novena on May 14.
The local work and the wider mission work unfolded through 1961 and 1962. It was constant missionary labour. Typically, the Novena flourished, drawing many Catholics and non-Christians. Much work was devoted to instructions in the faith for coverts from other faiths. To mark the one-hundredth day of the Novena, the bishop preached the devotions on April 28, 1962.
The region was elevated to the level of Vice-Province on May 30, 1967. Fr Jim Wallace, whilst remaining the local superior in Ipoh, was also named the first Vice-Provincial.
The Redemptorists were approached about moving from Tambun Road to establish a parish in the developing area of Ipoh Garden. Before things were finalised, there were long and sometimes agonising negotiations, working towards a contract with the diocese. It all worked out in the end.
The first public Mass in the new church at Ipoh Garden was celebrated on April 9, 1972, and on April 15, Archbishop Gregory Yong opened and blessed the shrine. The parish staff consisted of Fr Wallace (Parish Priest), with Fr Campos (responsible for Chinese work) and Fr John Martin (responsible for English and Tamil work). Later, Fr Brian Doro covered the Chinese work.
The adjoining community centre was opened in April 1978 and great work was done in building up the parish.
In 1986, the parish of Dalat in Sarawak, East Malaysia was accepted. The parish serves non-Malay tribes, many of whom are recent converts. There is a central church and ten outstations, most of which are accessible only by water. In recent times, it has become an international community with confreres from the Philippines and Indonesia assisting local Redemptorist Fr Pat Massang.