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The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal


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30.8. 2007

An Army veteran from Runcorn who received a medal for 'the meritorious acts and supreme sacrifices' he made more than 40 years ago has been told that he is not allowed to wear it. :speechless1:

Christopher Threlfall, of The Knoll, Palacefields, received the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal at a presentation ceremony in Stockport alongside more than 200 former soldiers.But the medal can only be worn in very limited circumstances - between August 15 and September 9, during the main independence celebrations in Malaysia.

Malaysia became an independent country 50 years ago tomorrow, on August 31, 1957.

Permission to wear the medal at any other time, including Remembrance services and other military parades, will not be given. Mr Threlfall said: 'I think it's unfair that the British Government said we can't wear it because it is a foreign medal.

'No-one is going to stop me wearing it.

'A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'It is long standing Government policy that non-British medals will not be approved for events or service that took place more than five years before initial consideration or in connection with events that took place in the distant past, or if the recipient has received a British award for the same service.

'Mr Threlfall said: 'I joined the Army in 1959 when I was 17.

My first overseas posting was to Malaya in 1962 and there were riots in Singapore when we first arrived.'We were basically a radar section but we also had to go out in the jungle on patrol.'He said: 'It was one continuous stint from 1962-65.'The years in the army were the best years of my life.'

The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) is a medal given by the King and Government of Malaysia. The name translates into English as the "Malaysian Service Medal". It was created in 2004 and is awarded to British and Commonwealth forces who served in Malaysia during the Malayan Emergency and the Malaysian-Indonesian Confrontation periods. The award is in recognition of their "distinguished chivalry, gallantry, sacrifice, or loyalty" in contributing to the freedom of independence of Malaysia. The medal can be conferred and accepted posthumously by next of kin.

Eddie.

Edited by Taz
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1957 is

"The Distant Past" ?????? :speechless1::speechless1::speechless1::speechless1::speechless1:

I guess that's why the 1956 Suez Medals are ... waiting for everyone eligible to be dead? :banger:

OK, THAT aside, I can see some bureaucratic point. After all, there is Australia busily creating DUPLICATE awards (horrible designs, but that's another issue) for past wars and campaigns for which "British" medals (and the Australian-issue Viet Nam Medal) were already awarded. That DOES get into 2-for-the-same-thing sorts of situations.

It does seem, however, Quite Rude at a diplomatic level. Failure to grant permission to wear the Saudi Medal for the Previous Gulf War comes to

Non-Distant Past mind.

On the other hand, in recent crowd photos of British veterans I see as many tarted-up, PHONY, commercially SOLD gew-gaws (and quite expensive too, which is nice for the flim-flam artistes SELLING them) being worn as by their American former brothers in arms, these ignorant and foolhardy days.

So, push comes to shove, what is anybody going to "do" about it?

One is mindful of the Monty Python "Church Police Sketch." :catjava: Is the Foreign Office Police going to plant undercover agents in crowds to wrestle old warriors to the ground and rip their medals-- real OR imaginary--off them, before taking them in tumbrils to The Tower?

Must be nice, the bloke who has the job of being paid to "worry" about such infinitely miniscule niceties. Bet he gets a nice medal himself with HIS pension. :rolleyes:

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Until very recently, it has been British policy that you got one clasp or medal for a campaign, period. (Unless, of course, it was something like WWII.) This especially applied as far as foreign awards were concerned, where general campaign permissions have almost never been extended. (You got one from your monarch, that's enough.) While this policy has been sloppily applied, it still informs the policy.

Additionally, it has been policy not to go back and review long-past campaigns to add new awards just because the veterans think they deserve more more medals (and more medals) and whine to get them. (The retrospective 19th century awards -- MGS, NGS, AoI -- are in no way a reasonable parallel case.) The "Canal Zone" business was a major (and, some may argue, very unfortunate) lapse in this long-established policy

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Strange isn't it,

The main reason for it not being allowed is that the GSM 1918- 1962 had the "Brunei"

Bar and the GSM 1962 the "Borneo" and "Malay Peninsular" bars which were for this conflict. And rules state that no medal can be worn for an action in which a British medal has been issued.

And of course not forgeting that it is a commemorative Medal, remember the fuss about the Soviet 40 years of Victory (1945-85) jubilee medal?

With regards to the Suez medal here is part of a letter written by lord Bach (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence)

We are pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously agreed to the institution of the Naval General Service Medal 1915 to 1962 and the General Service Medal 1918 to 1962 with the new clasp "Canal Zone" for service in the Suez Canal zone. Command Paper No 5999 is laid before Parliament today detailing the criteria for this award. My department's medal offices will now commence the award to eligible Suez veterans.

Tony Blair confirmed the servicemen - sometimes called the "Forgotten Army" - would finally be recognised with a general service medal and a new commemorative "clasp"

By the way, the wear of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal was approved in 2005 by the Australian, New Zealand and Fiji govenments.

regards Eddie.

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What hacks me off about the award of this medal is that no-one who served in Malaya prior to 1957 is entitled to it, when funnily enough thats when the bulk of the fighting was done. Not that it would bother him, as he died seven years ago, but my old man was out there with the Grenadier Guards during the Emergency from September 1948 to August 1949 and although he does have the G.S.M. with the 'Malaya' clasp, it would have been a nice gesture if the Malayan Government had extended it's issue to all Malaya veterans.

Graham.

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What hacks me off about the award of this medal is that no-one who served in Malaya prior to 1957 is entitled to it, when funnily enough thats when the bulk of the fighting was done. Not that it would bother him, as he died seven years ago, but my old man was out there with the Grenadier Guards during the Emergency from September 1948 to August 1949 and although he does have the G.S.M. with the 'Malaya' clasp, it would have been a nice gesture if the Malayan Government had extended it's issue to all Malaya veterans.

Graham.

HMG doesn't make the rules. The independent government of Malaysia does. Maybe, for some, that may be one of the problems in accepting awards from "foreigners" (sniff, snarl)?

"[T]he bulk of the fighting was done" -- by whom?? Maybe, just maybe, the independent Malaysian government made the rules the way they wanted them.

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The Malayan Campaign from 1954 to 1960 was regarded as the 'Mopping -Up' period, with the Communist Terrorists regarded as a spent force. The number of killed from C.T. activity from 1948 to 1950 were;-

863 civilians.

323 Policemen.

154 Soldiers

For 1951

532 civilians.

381 Policemen.

108 Soldiers,

For 1952

342 civilians.

207 Policemen.

77 Soldiers.

For 1953

84 civilians.

29 Policemen.

34 Soldiers.

I'm no tactician, but going off these Government figues alone it show's the campaign had peaked long before 1957 and was in a run down period from 1954, due to the success of those who actively took part in eliminating C.T. units. There again "ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die", when others make up the rules for gongs.

Graham.

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Actually, thinking about this, maybe the medal is intended (sensibly enough) to reward service commencing from the date when Malaysia became independent from British imperial domination. A rather logical dividing line, isn't it??

(And shouldn't this thread be moved to South-East Asia, where it rightfully belongs?)

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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The figures themselves actually come from H.M.Government and were used in Gregory Blaxlands "The Regiments Depart - A History of the British Army 1945-1970", which is possibly one of the best books I've ever read on the post WWII British Army and it's subsequent campaigns.

British and Gurkha casualties for the Malayan Campaign 1948 - 1961 are also given as;-

British units;-

Killed

60 officers & 280 O/R's.

Wounded

77 officers & 536 O/R's

Gurkha units;-

Killed

20 officers & 149 O/R's

Wounded

30 officers & 278 O/R's

Graham.

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I'd say it belongs here, Ed, since only British entitlement (or not) is under discussion. It would be interesting--if possible-- to see what the rules and regulations are for Malaysian citizens. That's completely unknown at this point so off the British-viewpoint.

But back to the Official Permission problem again. What CAN "they" do about it? EX-servicemen do not fall under the military disscipline that serving soldiers would. ARE there actually penalties, or is it all just bureaucrats huffing and puffing and frowning mightily at disobedient little persons?

In the United States there ARE criminal civil penalties for wearing our OWN awards which have not been earned

sporadically and exceedingly selectively enforced (always the nub, innit?)

but NO impediment whatsoever to strutting around as self-proclaimed holders of anything FOREIGN.

So just wondering what "teeth" there are in this "permission" business, beyond some overly attentive Duke sucking in horrified and disdainful breath at a Buckingham palace soir?e.

Neither of our governments seems to be doing rat's buttocks about halting the rash of commercial frauds with high sounding "official" names being peddled, and worn. I should think THEY should come in for some sort of action. Les? majest? frinstance. :catjava:

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This isn't the US. Here, we can wear what we want to wear if we aren't government employees (postmen, State Department, military, etc.).

In the UK, any "Crown Subject" needs permission from Her Nibs to wear Anything not given by Her. No one in power has taken on all the fraudulent "commemorative" medals, but they ought to.

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However, while in theory every UK citizen should have official permission to wear foreign awards, such a rule is only enforced if you are a serving member of the armed forces in uniform. There is nothing - except custom - to prevent a UK civilian from wearing whatever he pleases.

Naturally, the likes of ex-service associations may choose to impose regulations (such as no commemoratives!) on people attending their events... but those don't have the force of law either. All they can do is ask you to a) take 'em off or b) leave.

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However, while in theory every UK citizen should have official permission to wear foreign awards, such a rule is only enforced if you are a serving member of the armed forces in uniform. There is nothing - except custom - to prevent a UK civilian from wearing whatever he pleases.

Naturally, the likes of ex-service associations may choose to impose regulations (such as no commemoratives!) on people attending their events... but those don't have the force of law either. All they can do is ask you to a) take 'em off or b) leave.

Absoulutely, and it is the same throughout the Antipodes. Once you have left the fold of the military you can wear what you want and some do. Personally I see no point to all the "bling".

Australia has officially said that it can be worn. I can only think of one person still in the RAN who might be eligible to wear the Malaysian medal (his first gong was the GSM 1962 with Malaya clasp :speechless1: ). Most who served there are now long departed from the military, so even if it wasn't officially adopted it would make little difference.

Regards;

Johnsy

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  • 4 weeks later...

I doubt if Australia asked her? While not yet a republic, they do not ask (or, it seems, need) permission for everything.

Yes and no. The Governor General signs off on these things as the Queens representative. I'm not sure how much external input he accepts or is required to seek.

I would however point out that all our medals are still subject to a Royal Warrant.

Regards;

Johnsy

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Times

7 November 2007

Veterans barred from wearing medal

LONDON - Thousands of veterans of the war in Borneo in the 1950s and 1960s who have recently received special medals from the Malaysian Government will be barred from wearing them at Remembrance Day services this Sunday.

Last week alone, hundreds of ex-soldiers who fought communist rebels in the jungles of Borneo were presented with the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal, right. Under a longstanding ruling, veterans are not allowed to wear two medals for the same campaign and they were previously awarded a General Service Medal for their service in Borneo.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2821106.ece

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An interesting article in Novembers issue of Medal News titled 'Last Parade' which refers to General Sir Jeremy Moore KCB, OBE, MC who died on September 15th 2007, his last parade took place on Sunday September 8th during the Royal Marines Association Parade at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone in Devon. The last paragraph of the article reads "The attached photo is of interest as it shows General Moore wearing below his "official" medals, the Pingat Jasa Medal, to which he was entitled having served during the Malaya campaign in the early 1950s and later in Brunei in 1962; during the campaigns of which he was awarded two MCs."

My own opinion on this is, official/unofficial they will be worn, I attend armistace parades, association parades and dinners, although there will always be the official requirement of government, veterens will do what they want, and they do, I don't have a problem with this do you? :rolleyes:

:beer:

Best regards

Geoff

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Contrary to my post on an earlier US Cold War medal thread, it seems reasonable to me that UK soldiers shoud be permitted to wear the medal. I understand that this is contrary to British policy and tradition, but, for example, I'm allowed by the US to wear campaign medals from both the US and Viet Namese governments for that service, and I can't see that the British uniform would be demeaned by a similar policy, should they choose to change.

What seems inappropriate to me is the award of two medals to the same individual by the same government for the same service, as in the proposed US Cold War Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Duplicative and excessive.

How's that for an opinion? As the saying goes, it's one of two things we all have...

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