Tuesday, April 22, 2008

50th Anniversary of the Malaysian Armed Forces

Commemorative Postage Stamps to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Malaysian Armed Forces

Date of Issue: 1983-09-16
Denomination: 15c, 20c, 40c, and 80c
Stamp Size: 31.75mm x 48.26mm
Paper: White unwatermarked security postage stamp paper
Printing Process: Offset Lithography
Printer: Waddingtons Security Print Ltd., England
Sheet Composition: 100 stamps

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

The Malaysian Armed Forces consists of three distinct services namely the Army, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong (King) is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and he exercises his authority on the advice of the cabinet or the Defense Minister. The Defense Minister is responsible to His Majesty the King and to the Cabinet on all policy decisions relating to security and defense and ensures that the Armed Forces and the various formations and units under command carry out these policies.

The Armed Forces Council comprising a representative from the Council of Rulers, the Chief of Defense Forces and the Service Chiefs is the highest authority for the command, control and administration of the Armed Forces except in cases where actual security operations are involved. The task of and responsibilities as regards operations and planning have been delegated to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. This Committee, which is chaired by the Chief of Defense Forces is the highest professional military body and is answerable to the Minister of Defense and is responsible for all operational matters pertaining to the Armed Forces.

For the purpose of effective administration and proficiency in its roles, the Armed Forces is divided into various Departments and Divisions, each with its own command, staff organization and functions.

The history of the Army began with the formation of the first unit of the Army when 25 dedicated and adventurous Malay youths joined the first Experimental Squad of the Royal Malay Regiment on 1 March 1933 in Port Dickson.

The idea of forming the first Experimental Squad was mooted at the Legal Conference of the Federal Council in 1913 but was left in abeyance due to the First World War. This proposal was brought up again after the war in 1920 but was not seriously considered by the British because they did not believe that the Malay Youths had the spirit or the capability to join the Army. However, nearly 12 years later on 13 September 1932, the War Office of the Colonial Government in London gave the agreement for the formation of the experimental squad of the Malay Regiment. Thus on 1 March 1933, 25 youths were selected for training and they formed the first batch of soldiers of our nation.

By 30 June 1934, the Experimental Squad of 25 was increased to 156 to form the first Experimental Company of the Malay Regiment. The Experimental Company brought along with it the traditions and customs of the Malays, hence their uniforms included the ‘songkok’, and ‘samping; and the motto ‘Taat Setia’ in Jawi. On 1 February 1935, an additional 232 soldiers were recruited and their satisfactory performance and dedication to duty, four soldiers from the initial 25 were granted commission by the King of England on 4 November 1936. They were 2nd Lieutenants Ariffin bin Haji Sulaiman (No. 8), Ibrahim bin Sidek (No. 12), Ismail bin Tahar (No. 13) and Raja Lope Noor Rashid bin Raja Abd. Rahman (No. 25).

The first combat test for the Royal Malay Regiment came with the outbreak of World War II where they performed commendably alongside the British soldiers and their Commonwealth allies in the defense of Malaya and Singapore.

The Royal Malaysian Navy was formed in 1939 by the British Government to provide security to the territorial waters of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore. It was originally called the Malay Section of the Royal Navy and consisted of 400 youths who received training in the HMS PELANDOK at the Royal Naval Base in Singapore. Their motto was ‘Ready to Sacrifice’. This Malay Section expanded to 1,450 men in 1942. By the end of World War II only 650 reported back for duty after having fought under the Royal Navy Flag in both the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. In 1947, the British Government disbanded the Malay Section. On 23 May 1952, the Queen of England bestowed the title of Royal to the Malayan Navy and it was henceforth called the Royal Malayan Navy. When Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, the name changed again to the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The Navy is now largely responsible for guarding our Exclusive Economic Zone against any hostile intention and also providing protection to our fishermen. The Navy also participates in selected national development projects.

The Navy has its operational Headquarters in Lumut, Perak. For its sacrifices and dedication to the nation His Majesty the King bestowed the Royal Colors to the Navy on 12 March 1966.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force was formed at the Royal Air Force Base in Kuala Lumpur on 2 June 1958. The history of the Force began with the arrival of the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer as its first aircraft in service. The aircrews were recruited from the Malayan Auxiliary Air Force. By December 1958 the Flight Training School was established in Kuala Lumpur.

On 25 October 1960 the Royal Air Force Station situated alongside the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Royal Malaysian Air Force purchased helicopters in August 1963 and Dart Heralds in November 1963, thus increasing the scope and responsibility to include operating, servicing, repairing and maintenance of these aircrafts.

With the increased requirement of air support, a new air base was established in Kuantan in April 1967. In 1967 another air base was established in Kuching and this became the operational headquarters of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in Sarawak.

Today the Royal Malaysian Air Force has more than 100 aircrafts and is able to carry out its roles and tasks more effectively.

The Army is deployed in operational areas throughout the country, forming the first line of defense for the nation. The Royal Malaysian Navy is responsible for the security of our territorial waters including the Exclusive Economic Zone. The Royal Malaysian Air Force gives protection to our air space and provides tactical ground support. All three services of the Armed Forces also provide assistance to the Civil Administration in times of floods and other national emergencies.
The Armed Forces celebrates its Golden Jubilee Anniversary on 16 September 1963 with 50 years of dedicated service of His Majesty the King and the Nation. The decision to celebrate the Armed Forces Day on 16 September of each year was decided at the 79 meeting of the Armed Forces Council on 10 February 1965. The first such celebration was held on 16 September 1965 to promote esprit-de-corps amongst the 3 services, so that the officers and men could understand each other better in their roles and tasks in the defense of the nation.

The total elimination of the communist terrorists within the country is now the primary task of the Armed Forces.

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