Pingat Jasa Malaysia

Defence written statement – made on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Her Majesty the Queen has given her approval to a recommendation from the Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals that those entitled to accept the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal should now also be permitted to wear it.

The Government of Malaysia introduced the medal in 2005 and awarded it to British and Commonwealth veterans who had 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 the same campaign has already been presented. As an exception, veterans were originally permitted to accept but not wear the medal. 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.

Following this change to the original decision we are taking action to ensure that as many holders of the medal as possible are aware, to enable them to wear their medal with pride at remembrance events this week.

Annotations

John Rushton
Posted on 9 Nov 2011 1:40 pm (Report this annotation)

Although this is very good news, the Minister seems to have forgotten that the initial offer of the PJM was refused by the Government !

Tony M
Posted on 9 Nov 2011 1:50 pm (Report this annotation)

I agree with John, the success of the PJM Campaign has absolutely nothing to do with the Veterans Minister Andrew Robathan, who vigorously opposed all moves to allow recipients to wear the medal.

Thankfully the other house took a different view. This now sets a precedent to overturn some of the other issues the Minister has also opposed on the grounds 'it can't be done' and 'rules are rules'.

With political will our medal system can once again become fit for purpose, one need only look at the Australians or New Zealanders. And it should also be noted that they have worn the PJM since 2005!!

John Cooper
Posted on 9 Nov 2011 3:17 pm (Report this annotation)

The Sir Humphrey's of this world were very much alive but have we now kicked them into touch, never again must Civil Servants refuse to discuss with the public a hot topic believing they are always right and for Defence Ministers to query some of their decisions that they have made

We lost the Empire and Ostrich feathers many years ago I trust The Establishment who like awarding themselves CBE's and OBE's remember the serfs who also pay the wages

Sanity reigns OK !

John Rushton
Posted on 9 Nov 2011 10:36 pm (Report this annotation)

Thank you Tony M and John Cooper for adding most eloquently to the truth of this matter. Not only did the Sir Humphrey's of this country refuse to discuss the matter, they gave notice that they would not respond to any further communications. Sometimes the receipt of an "ASBO" is honourable.

One Civil Servant even referred to this medal as something out of a cornflake packet!
What arrogance.

However, our stalwart supporters, which included Lord Touhig and many other Members of both Houses, forced a u turn in the end after a 6 years battle.

john Feltham`
Posted on 10 Nov 2011 1:43 am (Report this annotation)

Andrew Robathan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans) in his statement writes that "Approval is not normally given for foreign medals to be accepted if British recognition for the same campaign has already been presented."

The PJM period of service to be awarded this medal stretched from 31st August 1957 to 12 August 1966.

From 1 August 1960 to January 1963 no medals was presented by the UK.

So, for a period of twenty-nine (29) months no medal was issued by the UK.

Why didn't the service men and women who served during that period of time get permission to wear their PJM?

I'm sure that the Sir Humphreys of the UK civil service will come up with another improbable answer to this question, just like they have done for the last six and a half years.

John Feltham
Townsville
Australia