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The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

Background

In 2005 the Malaysian Government approached the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to seek approval to present their new medal, known as the Pingat Jasa Malaysia, to British veterans and others who served in operations in Malaya/Malaysia between August 1957 and August 1966. This was not a matter for the Ministry of Defence. On behalf of the Government, the FCO is responsible for administering the policy relating to the acceptance and wear of non-British awards by British citizens. They arranged for the matter to be considered by the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals, (known as the HD Committee). This is a non-political, pan-Departmental committee, Chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, which advises The Queen on such matters. The Committee considered the matter of the PJM in the light of the rules governing the accepting and wearing of non-British awards and made recommendations to The Queen. As a result, on 31st January 2005 the Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Mr Ian Pearson made a Written Ministerial Statement to the House of Commons as follows:

Written Ministerial Statement, 31 January 2006

"The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) is a commemorative medal which the Government of Malaysia would like to award to eligible British citizens, for their service in Malaya or Malaysia between 31August 1957 and 12 August 1966.

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (the official committee which advises Her Majesty The Queen on matters of honours policy) has recommended that an exception to two of the long-established Rules governing the accepting and wearing of foreign (including Commonwealth) awards be made, to enable the Malaysian Government to present the PJM. Her Majesty The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve this recommendation.

This exception to the Rules means that all of the many thousands of eligible former members of the Armed Forces/Veterans, and others, may receive the PJM. This will be in addition to the British General Service Medal (with appropriate Malaya/Borneo clasp) that many veterans will have been eligible to receive for their service in Malaya/Borneo. Permission to wear the PJM will not, however, formally be given. It is long standing Government policy that non-British medals will not be approved for events or service:

  • - that took place more than 5 years before initial consideration, or in connection with events that took place in the distant past (e.g. commemorative medals);
  • - if the recipient has received a British award for the same service.

However, Her Majesty's Government welcomes, and believes it is important to recognise, the generous gesture by the King and Government of Malaysia, and their wish to acknowledge the service given by veterans and others in the years immediately after Malaysian independence. The exception recommended reflects this and our strong and important relationship with Malaysia.

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals reviewed the 5-year and double medalling rules, and considered that, while there were sound reasons why they should be retained, there will be occasions when specific circumstances require exceptions to the rules to be recommended. When such exceptions are contemplated, the Committee will consider each request on a case by case basis, taking into account any special circumstances at the time. The fact that a similar request has been approved in the past will not mean that permission will be granted in future cases.

Applications for the PJM, and its subsequent distribution will essentially be a matter for the Malaysian authorities, in collaboration with the relevant British Government Departments. Large numbers may be involved. It will take some time for the applications to be processed and for the medal to be distributed. The Malaysian High Commission and the relevant British Government agencies will work together to determine eligible applicants. Veterans' organisations and Service and Regimental Associations will also be involved."

Update on the rules for wearing the PJM

On 8 August 2007 Her Majesty granted permission for the medal to be worn during the main independence celebrations in Malaysia.

The relevant period is 15 August 2007 to 9 September 2007.

November 2011 - Unrestricted Permission to receive and wear the PJM

A statement to the press was published on the 6 Nov 2011 by the MOD which outlined that for the first time British Veterans could wear the PJM during Remembrance Events from 11 November 2011. The full statement is as follows
VETERANS TO WEAR MALAYSIA MEDAL OFFICIALLY FOR FIRST TIME

British veterans awarded the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal have been given permission by Her Majesty The Queen to wear it for the first time during Remembrance events next Sunday.

The Government of Malaysia introduced the medal in 2005 and awarded it to British and Commonwealth veterans who served in the conflict in Malaya in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Approval is not normally given for foreign medals to be accepted if British recognition for a campaign has already been presented. Previously, veterans had been able to accept but not wear the medal. It has now been agreed they can both accept and wear the PJM.

This was done to recognise the generous gesture by the King and Government of Malaysia, and their wish to award the PJM in recognition of service given by many veterans in the difficult years leading up to and following Malaysian independence.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
"I am delighted that Her Majesty The Queen has given approval for veterans to formally wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal in recognition of service given in the difficult years leading up to and following Malaysian independence. This timely decision is particularly welcome for veterans who will, for the first time, be able to wear this medal with pride on Remembrance Sunday."

Applying for the Medal

As from 1 May 2011 all new applications for the PJM should be sent to the Malaysian High Commission, London.
Only Applications supported by documentary proof of service will be considered.
You can download an application form from www.nmbva.co.uk
After completion please send your application to:
Office of the Defence Advisor
Malaysian High Commission
45 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8QT

Do you qualify?

The following qualifying criteria were provided by the Malaysian High Commission in London:

TERMS GOVERNING THE AWARD OF PINGAT JASA MALAYSIA (PJM)

1. For distinguished service and sacrifices towards the involvement of the Armed Fortes and security groups from the communion countries who had served in this country during the 2nd Emergency and Confrontation time period, the Malaysian Government has approved to ordain a recognition for this award to be conferred to any entity. This decoration shall be named as Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM).

2. This award is conferred in considering the involvement of the Armed Forces or security group from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Fiji and citizen of any other country who served in any peace operations in Malaya or Malaysia, aimed to upholding the peace and sovereignty of this country. For the purpose of conferring this award, the period of service is from 31st August 1957 (after the independent of Malaya) to 12th August 1966 (end of Confrontation).

3. Terms and Service Qualification applies for this award are as follows:

a. Person Eligible. This medal can be awarded to any entity from Peacekeeping Group (Armed Forces, Semi Armed Forces, Police and Security Civilian Staff) from the communion countries either man or women whoever has served in Malaya or Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) during the determined period. (For service stationed in Singapore, please see paragraph e below).

b. The Exact Dates of Operational Service. For the purpose of conferment of this award, the Malaysian Government has declared that the exact dates of Operational Service is from 31st August 1957 to 12th August 1966 only. This medal cannot be offered for period prior to 30th August 1957 (before the independence of Malaya) or after 12th August 1966). (However, if their service does not cover the above mentioned dates, consideration shall be given based on Additional Qualification; please refer to paragraph f below).

c. Type of Services. In order to qualify for this medal, any personnel from the Armed Forces, Semi Armed Forces, Police and Security Civilian Staff service with or attached to any Armed Forces units or security organizations from the said countries or group either involved directly or indirectly and performed their duties in upholding the peace and security of this country, in any type of security operations with Malaya or Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak), within the time period as determined above are eligible for the award.

d. Number of Days of Service. Any security personnel from the said organizations and countries fulfilling the qualification below, are eligible for the award;

(1). Any security personnel who directly involved (in the face of enemy) in any operation for the period of three (3) months or more in any Armed Forces or Security Organizations from the said countries or group, stationed in Malaya or Malaysia during the predetermined time period;

(2). or any security personnel who had indirectly served not less than six (6) months as supporting elements in any operation served in any Armed Forces units or security organizations from the said countries or group, stationed in Malaya or Malaysia during the predetermined time period;

(3). or any security personnel attached or posted to any Armed Forces units or security organizations from the said countries or group, stationed in Malaya or Malaysia and performed their duties directly (in the face or enemy) in any operations not less than three (3) months during the predetermined time period;

(4). or any security personnel attached or posted to any Armed Forces units or security organizations from the said countries or group, stationed in Malaya or Malaysia and performed their duties indirectly as supporting element in any operations not less than six (6) months during the predetermined time period;

(5). or any security personnel from the said countries of Armed Forces or security organizations or attached to it, stationed Malaya or Malaysia, who had involved directly or as supporting element, throughout the service despite yet to fulfil the determined period, killed, wounded. or disable due to, performing tasks against the enemy, can be considered for this award.

e. Service in Singapore. if the security personnel from Armed Forces or security organization from the said countries or group, stationed in Singapore and performing tasks against the enemy in upholding the sovereignty of this country, their service should be for the period of 31 August 1957 until 9 August 1965 (Independence of Singapore). Other than period stated are not eligible.

f. Additional Qualifications. Despite the predetermined period (the exact dates of operational service and the number of days of service as mentioned earlier, other Additional Qualifications can be considered based on the following circumstances:

(1) the security personnel from any Armed Forces or security organizations from the said countries or group who had served In Malaysia, must be sent by their Government before 12th August 1966; and

(2) after 12th August 1966, he or she must be in or attached to any remaining Armed Forces unit or Security Organisation from the said countries, stationed only in Malaysia and perform their duties during the so called �cooling period"; and

(3) the above service are counted until 31st December 1966 only.

(4) therefore, any entity who fulfil these additional qualifications (paragraph (1), (2) and (3) above eligible for this award.

g. Geographical Land Area. The geographical land area service are defined as the land of Malaya or Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) only.

h. Service At Sea. Area Service at sea area are defined as: �the naval ships must be located in the sea area of Malaya or Malaysia and involved throughout in supporting any operation for Malaya or Malaysia. If the ships are located in Singapore coastal area, the service period should be from 31st August 1957 until 9th August 1965 (independence of Singapore).

i. Flying into and Out. Flying into and out of Malaya or Malaysia on an air force flight as air crew or supernumerary aircrew does not count as qualifying service for the award. However, if the parent unit (the Air Force bases) is stationed in Peninsular of Malaya or Malaysia during the predetermined period, are declared as service for Malaya or Malaysia. However, if the parent units are stationed in Singapore, the service are declared from 31st August 1957 until 9th August 1965 only.

j. Posthumous Awards. This award can be conferred posthumously.

Further advice about claiming, or replacing, campaign medals can be obtained from the Veterans UK Website