One day a few years ago, I received a phone call, asking me if I would like to come to Portsmouth to receive the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal (Malaysian Service Medal). I was very surprised.
I told them I would be delighted. The presentation took place in 2010. On the day there were some 400 veterans to be presented by Brigadier General Othman bin Jamal, on behalf of the Malaysian Embassy. I had a short chat with him and his lovely wife after.
It felt good to know that we veterans from so long ago were not forgotten by Malaysia.
My first posting abroad: Malaysia
I joined the army in 1964 – The Green Jackets (KRRC), and was demobbed in 1986.
My first posting abroad was to Malaysia, stationed on Penang Island, an absolute paradise, not knowing the hard graft that was to come.
For starters, we patrolled up and down the Malay peninsular, then on to Borneo for six months patrolling the borders daily, living in the jungle bases allotted to us.
Patrolling mountain regions in Sarawak
Back to Penang for six months, lots of training for the next tour, Sarawak, where the duties were the same but the terrain was harder to get around, so it was by river or helicopter.
Experiencing the monsoon season in those jungle bases was not what we called fun but we got on with it.
Kuching was another base we stayed at, patrolling the mountain regions.
Royal Green Jackets for 22 years
On our time off we visited Singapore and Hong Kong and went to Kuala Lumpur for the annual Motorcycle racing. A good time was had by all.
Then all too soon, it was 1967, we left Penang for England in May, having had a change of regiments name to The Royal Green Jackets, with whom I stayed until February 1986, and back to civilian life after 22 years.
An afterthought – I was in Johore Baharu for jungle training when we first arrived in 1965.
This picture below shows you my Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM), mounted with General Service Medal (GSM) and Accumulated Campaign Service Medal (ACSM).
I served in Malaysia for two and a half years. It was a wonderful place to be.
I hope my Pingat Jasa Malaysia would inspire more people to tell their own story.
Read my other post: My Passion For Woodwork