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Royal Malay Regiment
Cap Badge of the Rejimen Askar Melayu DiRaja
Active 23 November 1932-
Branch Malaysian Armed Forces
Type Line Infantry
Role Mechanised Infantry (one battalion)
Light Infantry (22 battalions)
Elite Parachute Infantry (two battalions)
Size 25 battalions
Part of Malaysian Army
Nickname Malayan Gurkha
Color of Beret Army green
Engagements Second World War:Malaya 1941-42
Malayan Emergency 1948-1960
Congo 1960-1963 - UN Peacekeeping
Confrontation 1963-1965; Confrontation with Indonesia
Namibia 1989-1990 - UN Peacekeeping
Cambodia 1992-1993 - UN Peacekeeping
Battle of Mogadishu 1993-1995
Colonel in Chief Yang di-Pertuan Agong
The Royal Malay Regiment (Malay: Rejimen Askar Melayu DiRaja) is one of two infantry regiments in the Malaysian Army. The regiment is the premier unit in the Malaysian Army. At its height, 27 battalions of the Malay Regiment were formed. At present, two battalions of the Malay Regiment are parachute trained and form a component of the Malaysian Army Rapid Deployment Force. Another battalion has converted into a mechanized infantry battalion. The remaining battalions are roled as standard light infantry battalions.
The 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment is the ceremonial battalion for the King and is usually accompanied by the Central Band of the Malay Regiment.
As its name suggests, it only recruits ethnic Malays to its ranks.
• 1 History
o 1.1 Battle of Pasir Panjang Ridge
o 1.2 Battle of Bukit Chandu
o 1.3 Post war
• 2 The Malayan Emergency
• 3 Serving The United Nations
o 3.1 Malayan Special Forces In Congo
o 3.2 Somalia
o 3.3 Bosnia-Herzegovina
• 4 Indonesian Confrontation
• 5 Regimental Crest
• 6 Royal Guards
• 7 Battle honours
• 8 Alliances
• 9 Battalions
o 9.1 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
o 9.2 5th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
o 9.3 6th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
o 9.4 17th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
• 10 Heroes
o 10.1 Leftenan Adnan Bin Saidi
o 10.2 Kapten Hamid Awang
• 11 See also
• 12 References
Men of the Malay Regiment, recruited from local native volunteers, at bayonet practice on Singapore Island, October 1941
Since 1902, The Malay Rulers led by Sultan Alang Iskandar Shah (Sultan of Perak), Tuanku Muhamad Ibni Yam Tuan Antah (Negeri Sembilan), Raja Chulan (Perak Royal Family) and Dato Abdullah Haji Dahan (Undang Luak Rembau) have urged the British Colonial office for the formation of an army regiment raised from the local population. Previously, various British and Indian Army battalions (including the Burma Rifles) provided security for the Malay States.
On 23 November 1932 the British War Office gave approval for the formation of the Malay Regiment as a locally raised regiment of the British Army. On 23 January 1933, the Federal Consultative Council passed the Malay Regiment Act, as Act No. 11. The Federal Legislative Council also approved an allocation of $70,000 for the purchase of the Kong Sang Rubber Estate in Port Dickson for use as the Recruit Training Centre.
The regiment can trace its origins back to the 1st Experimental Company in 1933. This was a company of native Malays established as the beginnings of a native military force in Malaya. On 1 February 1933, 25 young Malay locals were chosen from the initial 1000 applicants as suitable to be recruited for the new regiment. Formed on 1 March 1933 in the Haig Lines, Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, this Experimental Company started off with the chosen 25 recruits. The Commanding Officer was G. Mc Bruce, and Captain K. G. Exham appointed Adjutant. The Regimental Sergeant Major was A. E. McCarthy and E. Oldfiled served as Quartermaster Sergeant.
The company was designated "Experimental" because at this stage, the "Company" was only an attempt to "find out how the Malays would react to military discipline." (Major-General G. Mcl. S. Bruce, O. B. E. M. C. (retired). (Excerpt from article "Trying it out with No. 1 Squad" in Pahlawan, Vol. 1, Kuala Lumpur, 1952.) On 1 January 1935, the Experimental Company became The Malay Regiment with a complement of 150 men. Recruitment speeded up. With another 232 recruits, two rifle companies were started and an HQ wing that included a Vickers machine-gun platoon, a Signalling Section and a Corps of Drums. On 1 January 1938 the 1st Battalion Malay Regiment had a complement of 17 British officers, 6 Malay officers, 11 Warrant Officers and 759 non-commissioned officers and other ranks.
As the shadow of war loomed larger, training was intensified. Long route marches and exercises at battalion and brigade levels became frequent. The regiment also began training with mortars and anti-tank weapons. In August 1941, a Bren gun carriers platoon was formed. Under Captain R. R. C. Carter, it trained with the British 2nd Loyals Regiment.
In March 1941, the Colonial Governor of the Straits Settlements, authorised the increase of the regiment's strength to two battalions. The 2nd Battalion was established in 1941, and the two battalions of the Malay Regiment along with the 2nd Battalion The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) formed the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade and went on to play a major role in the defence of Malaya during the Second World War.
Company A of 2nd Battalion was the first Malay Regiment unit to engage the Japanese forces landing at Kampung Salak in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan. Outnumbered, the unit withdrew to Kuala Krai and later to Singapore.
 Battle of Pasir Panjang Ridge
In the Battle of Pasir Panjang, one of the frequently championed in the Malay Regiment Adnan bin Saidi, who is often viewed as the personification of patriotism and honourable death in duty for the country.
The first battle between the Malay Regiment and Japanese soldiers occurred on 13 February at around 1400 hrs. The Japanese 18th Division started to attack the south-western coast along the Pasir Panjang ridge and astride of Ayer Rajah Road. The Japanese 56th Infantry Regiment, supported by a considerable force of artillery, attacked the ridge during the morning. One of the units defending the line was the B Company of 1 Malay. Under the heavy fire of Japanese troops supported by artillery and tanks, B Company was forced to retreat to the rear. However, before all of them could retreat, the Japanese army succeeded in breaking through B Company's position. In the battle, B Company troops fought hand-to-hand combat using bayonets against the Japanese. A few from "B" Company managed to save themselves while others were captured as prisoners-of-war. This penetration led to the withdrawal after dark of both 44th Indian and 1st Malaya Brigade to the general line Mount Echo (junction of Ayer Rajah and Depot Road) Buona Vista.
 Battle of Bukit Chandu
On 14 February, the Japanese again launched a heavy attack at 0830 hours, supported by intense mortar and artillery fire, on the front held by the 1st Malaya infantry Brigade. The fighting included bitter hand-to-hand combat, and losses from both sides were heavy. At 1600 hours, an attack supported by tanks eventually succeeded in penetrating the left, and the defenders on this flank were forced back to a line from the junction of the Ayer Rajah and Depot Road through the Brick Works and along the canal to Bukit Chermin. Owing to the failure of units on both its flanks to hold their ground, the 1st Malaya Infantry Brigade withdrew at 1430 hours. It was at this point that C Company of the Malay Regiment received instructions to move to a new defence position Pt. 226, Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill).
On this hill, 7 Platoon, C Company of the 1st Bn Malay Regiment, led by Lt Adnan Saidi, made their famous final stand against the Japanese attack. Lt Adnan Saidi's bravery was exemplified in the battle and he was killed together with many of his Malay Regiment soldiers in the last defence battle at Pasir Panjang. His motto "Biar Putih Tulang Jangan Putih Mata" is still proudly remembered. The translation loosely means, it is better to die fighting than to live crying in regret till the eyes becomes blind. In other words, Death Before Dishonour.
Opium Hill was situated on high ground overlooking the island to the north and had the Japanese gained control of the ridge, it would have given them direct passage to the Alexandra area. The British army had its main ammunition and supply depots, a military hospital and other key installations located in the vicinity.
C Company's position was separated from D Company by a big canal. Oil was burning in the canal, which flowed from Normanton Depot. The burning oil prevented C Coy soldiers from retreating further south. C Company was under the command of CPT Rix who died during the early part of the engagement on this hill. Command had automatically passed to Lt Adnan Saidi.
The Japanese troops pressed their attack on Opium Hill in the afternoon. Under the guise of a deception, they sent a group of soldiers, dressed in Punjabi uniforms, passing themselves off as Punjabi soldiers from the British army. But Lt Adnan Saidi saw through this trick. British soldiers march in threes and Japanese soldiers march in fours. When the disguised soldiers reached the Malay Regiment's defence line, C Company's squad opened fire on them with their Lewis machine guns. Some of the Japanese troops were killed and the rest badly wounded. Those who survived rolled and crawled downhill to save themselves. Point to take note, in the previous years military competition held in Singapore, the four top marksmen went to the very same men of this regiment.
Two hours later, the Japanese launched an all-out assault in great numbers. The Japanese were in point blank location to the Australian artillery. In order to save ammunition, the Australian artillery did not fire on the Japanese. This very move surprised the Japanese army. Those same artillery round that was "saved" by the Australian artillery was handed over to the Japanese army on the next day when General Percival surrendered Singapore to General Yamashita.
Soon the attack overwhelmed the Malay Regiment. Greatly outnumbered and short of ammunition and supplies, the Malay Regiment continued to resist the Japanese troops. It was reported that 2LT Adnan manned a Lewis machine gun against the Japanese troops. Some soldiers engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat using bayonets. Yet, they stood their ground frustrating their enemy. 2LT Adnan was seriously wounded but he refused to retreat and instead encouraged his men to fight to the last. It was this disregard of danger that inspired the company to stand up gallantly. 2LT Adnan was captured and tortured before being bayoneted to death.
In another incident on 28 February 1942, eight Malay officers who were taken prisoner of war were executed in Pasir Panjang by the Japanese Army for refusing to remove their British Army uniforms. They were Leftenan 8 Ariffin Hj Sulaiman, Leftenan 29 Abdul Wahid Jidin, Leftenan 57 Abdullah Saad, Leftenan 12 Ibrahim Sidek, Kapten Raja Aman Shah Raja Harun Ar-Rashid, Leftenan Abbas Said, Leftenan Abu Bakar Umar, and Leftenan (Dato’ Naning) Usman Kering. Leftenan Ahmad Noordin, ‘A’ Company 1st Bn was executed 15 February 1942 while Leftenan Muhammad Isa Mahmud, HQ Company, 1st Bn was executed on 12 February 1942.
For the entire Malayan Campaign, but largely on 12, 13 and 14 February 1942 in Singapore, the Malay Regiment suffered a total of 159 killed (six British officers, seven Malay officers, and 146 other ranks) and a large but unspecified number wounded. But not all were convinced that the Malays were a martial race (Ashmore, et al.) (War and Memory in Malaysia and Singapore By Patricia Pui Huen Lim, Diana Wong, pg 151).
 Post war
In 1946, the British Military Administration recommended a quick reconstruction of the Malay Regiment and mooted the idea of opening recruitment of the Malay Regiment to all races. This would create a racially integrated regiment, along the political lines of fusing the states of Malaya. A multi-racial Malay regiment was seen as a unifying force in post war Malaya. (Defence & Decolonisation in South-East Asia By Karl Hack). This proposal was met with bitter opposition from the Malay Rulers and the Malay population, and was seen as a link to British efforts to erode Malay supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu) which was a key feature of the Malayan Union.
By mid 1946, the idea of a multi-racial Malay Regiment was dropped. The all-Malay Malay Regiment would be part of a Federation Army of one division strength freeing up British regiments for other (more strategic) duties. The British strategy of developing a strategic reserve of three brigades held in Britain would require the raising of more local regiments.
By 1947, the Overseas Defence Committee endorsed a gradual expansion of the Malay Regiment to six battalions by 1950 where the Malay Regiment would be used mainly for internal security, with multi-racial formations in the supporting arms. (Hack, pg. 112), (Patricia Pui Huen Lim, Diana Wong pg 151)
 The Malayan Emergency
By 1948, the British Army had 7 partially reformed Gurkha battalions in Malaya, in addition to 2 battalions of the Malay Regiment. In mid 1948, only 3 British battalions were in Malaya providing security to the Federation. The Malay Regiment also played a major role against the Communists during the Malayan Emergency when an eventual 7 battalions served during the Emergency, with the 3rd battalion raised in 1948.
In 1960, the regiment gained the 'royal' prefix, becoming the Royal Malay Regiment and by 1961 had a strength of 11 Battalions.
Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Michael Klinegardner, a member of the Beachmaster Unit (BMU) One, detachment Western Pacific's craft control team, explains his role in landing craft, air cushioned (LCAC) operations to landing force members of the Royal Malay Regiment (RMR)
 Serving The United Nations
 Malayan Special Forces In Congo
The 4th Bn Royal Malay Regiment under the command of Lt Kol Ungku Nasarudin formed the core of the Malayan Special Force that served under UN command in the Congo in 1960. In turn the 6th Bn Royal Malay,7th Bn Royal Malay and 2nd Bn Royal Malay served in the Congo under UN command. 2nd Bn Royal Malay ended the Congo deployment on 28 April 1963 and returned home.
The 19th Bn Royal Malay Regiment (Mechanised) was part of the United Nations deployment in Somalia UNOSOM and started deployment of its 870 members on in Mogadishu from 18 June 1993. The battalion was involved in the combat rescue of US Army Rangers during the Battle of Mogadishu, where the Battalion provided the Radpanzer Condor armoured personnel carriers for the QRF force from the 10th Mountain Division that effected the rescue. One member of the battalion, a driver of one of the APCs, Private Mat Aznan (posthumously promoted to Corporal) was killed and 4 APCs were destroyed during the rescue.
23rd Bn Royal Malay and 3rd Armor formed MALBATT I as part of the United Nations Protection Force and started deployment in September 1993. 23 Bn Royal Malay served until August 1994 and replaced by MALBATT II comprising 5 Bn Royal Malay and 2nd Armor. MALBATT III (28 March 1995 until November 1995) was formed from 12 Bn Royal Malay and 1st Armor. Malcon 1 (2 Royal Ranger Regiment & 4th Armor), Malcon 2 (18 RMR & 2nd Armor), Malcon 4 (2 RMR & 1 Armor)
 Indonesian Confrontation
During the Indonesian Confrontation, the Royal Malay Regiment were also deployed in Sabah and Sarawak. It was during this deployment that the Kalabakan incident happened on 29 December 1963. An outpost in Kalabakan in Tawau, established and manned by members of C Company of the 3rd Battalion under the command of Maj Zainal Abidin bin Haji Yaacob was ambushed by "volunteers" of the North Kalimantan Army while performing their Maghrib prayers. The company however reacted and stood to, and were finally able to repel the attacking force. However, 7 members of the company, including Major Zainal Abidin were killed and 16 others were wounded.
 Regimental Crest
The Regiment's crest was designed with a pair of tigers, supporting an Oriental Crown. Within the circle of the crest are a kris and a scabbard with the Regimental motto "Ta'at Setia" written in Jawi, meaning "Loyal and True". Major G. McI. S. Bruce and Captain K. G. Exham, the founding officers of this Regiment, designed the crest.
Three colours were chosen- green (the Muslim colour), yellow (for Malay royalty) and red (for the British Army influence).
 Royal Guards
• Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur
 Battle honours
• Second World War:
1. Battle of Malaya 1941-42
2. Battle of Singapore 1942
• Dharurat 1948-1960 - The Malayan Emergency
• Congo 1960-1963 - UN Peacekeeping
• Konfrontasi 1963-1965 - Confrontation with Indonesia
• Namibia 1989-1990 - UN Peacekeeping
• Cambodia 1992-1993 - UN Peacekeeping
• Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia 1993-1995
• Battle with Serbia, Bosnia, Ethnic Cleansing by Serbia 1993-1998
• Australia - The Royal Australian Regiment
• United Kingdom - The Royal Anglian Regiment; 1st Bn
• United Kingdom - The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's Lancashire and Border); 2nd Bn
• United Kingdom - The Royal Welsh; 4th Bn
• United Kingdom - The Royal Scots Borderers; 5th Bn
• United Kingdom - The Rifles; 6th Bn
• New Zealand - The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment; 7th Bn
The RAMD has a total of 25 battalions. 20 of these are standard light infantry battalions, with 2 roled as mechanised infantry and 2 as parachute infantry. The final battalion is a support unit.
 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
The 1st Bn Royal Malay is the most senior infantry battalion of the Regiment. This was also the battalion group which Lieutanent Adnan Bin Saidi was posted to. In 2008, the 1st Battalion became the first overseas unit to provide the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace from a nation that was not a Commonwealth Realm.
 5th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
5 Bn Royal Malay regiment is an Allied regiment of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Regiment of the British Army. The Alliance was formed during 1st Bn KOSB’s service in Malaya during the Malayan Emergency. Several traditions of KOSB are retained by 5 Bn. The shoulder flash of officers and men of 5 Bn follows the regimental colours of KOSB.
5 Bn also maintains the tradition of having a bagpipe platoon. The tradition started when an officer of KOSB was seconded to 5 Bn Royal Malay in 1953. 5 Bn have just then formed a pipe platoon. The Scottish officer introduced the bagpipe and helped train the pipers, and the bagpipe platoon was formed. To this day, the bagpipe platoons of both battalions maintained their alliance. The bagpipe platoon has, in the past, been invited to attend the Edinburgh Festival. The last time 5 Bn attended the festival was in January 1990, celebrating the KOSB’s 300th anniversary. 
 6th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
The 6th battalion, Royal Malay Regiment was formed on 1 May 1952 and later deployed to Quetta Camp in Kluang, Johor on 3 November 1952. Though formed on 1 May, the official date for the formation of the battalion is recorded as 3 November 1952. On its formation, the 6th Battalion had British officers from the 1st Battalion of the Dorset and Devonshire Regiment seconded to form the command core of the battalion.
The seconded officers were gradually replaced by Malay officers and in early 1954, 21 of the 26 officers of the battalion consisted of Malay officers replacing their British counterparts. Jeneral (Rtd) Tun Ibrahim Ismail was the first Malay Commanding Officer of the battalion, taking command from 11 August 1958 until 14 June 1960. He later went on to become the first Malay Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces (now called Chief of Defence Forces)
The battalion is a Standard Infantry Battalion of the Malaysian Army. The battalion has participated in the Kris Mere exercises with the New Zealand Army the battalion was also deployed to The Congo as part of the Malayan Special Force serving under the United Nations Command.
 17th Battalion Royal Malay Regiment
The 17th battalion, Royal Malay Regiment was formed on 1 August 1970. 17 RAMD is the elite forces and one of the PARATROOPER from 10 Brigade Airborne Paratrooper in the Malaysian Army. On 10 October, 1994 - 17th PARA undertakes a rapid deployment exercise, supported by elements of the Malaysian Special Forces Group (Gerup Gerak Khas) and PASKAL and with operational support provided by the Royal Malaysian Navy and Royal Malaysian Air Force. The exercise centres around a scenario of the retaking of Langkawi International Airport from an invading force by the Rapid Deployment Force spearheaded by THE PARA. See http://www.17ramd.co.cc  for more info.
 Leftenan Adnan Bin Saidi
Adnan Bin Saidi led a 42-strong platoon from the Malay Regiment Bukit Chandu (Opium Hill) area on February 12-14, 1942. Although heavily outnumbered, Adnan refused to surrender and urged his men to fight until the end. They held off the Japanese for two days amid heavy enemy shelling and shortages of food and ammunition. Adnan was shot but carried on fighting. After the battle was lost, the wounded Adnan was taken prisoner by Japanese soldiers, who tied him to a cherry tree and bayoneted him to death. According to some, he was also slashed and his body parts were burnt. Adnan epitomises the bravery and tenacity of the Malay Regiment. Because of this, he is considered a hero by many Malaysians and Singaporeans today.
 Kapten Hamid Awang
Based on intelligence gathered indicating that a force of 40 to 50 communist terrorists would converge on Gunung Pueh, “D” Company of 2 Royal Malay Regiment led by Kapten Hamid was tasked in a search and destroy mission.
On 7 April 1973, Kapten Hamid and his company detected a Communist Terrorist encampment. Kapten Hamid organised his company for an assault on the camp. Kapten Hamid fired an M79 grenade round to mark the start of the attack and rushed into the Communist Terrorist camp. In the heat of battle, a communist terrorist tried to shoot down one of Kapten Hamid’s man. Kapten Hamid immediately rushed to the terrorist and hit the terrorist in the back of the neck with the M79 grenade launcher.
Kapten Hamid’s company scored 3 kills and captured 3 enemy weapons, as well as ammunition and assorted equipment. Kapten Hamid’s company suffered 1 KIA. Kapten Hamid was awarded the SP on 6 June 1973.
Ambush at Sungai Semur
 See also
• Royal Ranger Regiment (Rejimen Renjer DiRaja)