The Royal Malay Regiment should be the national icon

When citizens of the world, want to know what represents Malaysia, the obvious choice of Malaysians portraying the icon of this tanahair goes to either the Petronas KLCC Twin Towers or the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.  It is not wrong to do that. However, as Malaysians, it is the right time we should portray the icon of Malaysia at the Royal Malay Regiment (RMR).

Royal Malay I

The Royal Malay Regiment has been around, defending this great nation since 77 years ago. The men fought galantly during World War II, with uncommon valour displayed at the defence of Pasir Panjang and Bukit Chandu Ridge in Sinagapore, hours before Commonwealth forces commander Lt. Gen. Arthur E. Percival surrendered to the invading Japanese army on 15 Feb 1942. Names like Lt. Adnan Saidi (later acknowldged as “Panglima”, for uncommon heroism and leadership) brought fame and pride to the unit, serving under British Forces in South East Asia under Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten. They also fought galantly against the Communist Terrorists during the Emergency (till the Malayan People’s Liberation Army lay down arms in the Hadyaii Accord December 1989) and of course, during the Confrontation with Indonesia.

Panglima Lt. Adnan Saidi, butchered after the fall of Bukit Chandu 14 Feb 1942

In its 77 years of illustrious history, the Royal Malay Regiment served this tanahair very well, in defending ibu pertiwi, which include missions abroad. The first mission abroad was in Belgian Congo in 1960, under the United Nation’s colours. Then it served UN further in border of Iran-Iraq, Cambodia, Somalia and of course, Bosnia Herzegovina. The Malbatt (Malaysian Battalion) in the UN sponsored mission at Battambang, Cambodia was shelled by Khmer Rouge forces. In Somalia, the Royal Malay troopers heroically cut through Somali war lord militia lines and rescued crew of a downed UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter and trapped US Army Rangers, under intense hostile fire. A trooper, Pte. Mat Aznan was killed in action and four APCs were destroyed. The Malaysian commander in Somalia, Lt. Jen. Aboo Samah Aboo Bakar was honoured to command the ‘blue berrets’ and received international recognition, where else the Royal Malay Regiment was validated as a world class fighting unit. The last UN peacekeeping mission the RMR participated was in South Lebanon in 2006, after Israeli forces attacked and killed innocent civilians that summer.

Royal Malay IV

It is undoubtedly the backbone of Malaysian Army infantry. It is the symbol of military colours that represent His Majesty Seri Paduka Yang DiPertuan Agong. It is also the symbol of military colours of the other HRH Sultans. Whenever HM SPB YDP Agong or any HRH Sultans need to inspects a military guard of honour, the Royal Malay Regiment would assume that ceremonial role. The Royal Malay Regiment is the first Malaysian armed forces unit to be accorded with the Royal Colours which carry the title ‘Royal’.


Many officers of the Royal Malay Regiment rose to become the Chief of Defense Forces (Panglima Angkatan Tentera – PAT) of the Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia). With the exception of Jen. Tan Sri Borhan (who was from Grup Gerak Khas – he started as a RMR officer) and Adm. Tan Sri Anwar Mohd. Nor, the others were from Royal Malay Regiment.


The Royal Malay Regiment was given the honour to ‘guard HM Queen Elizabeth II’ in 2008. For 8 weeks, the 1st Royal Malay Regiment was given the task to perfom the prestigious “London Public Duties”. It was the fourth Commonwealth unit, after Canada, Australia and Jamaica to be given the honour, ahead of larger army units from countries such as India, Pakistan and even New Zealand (which fought for the United Kingdom since World War I).

Royal Malay V

The Federal Government should seriously consider promoting the Royal Malay Regiment as the icon of the tanahair. The unmistakeable men in dashing white baju Melayu uniform with golden songket samping and black songkok should represent pride of Malaysia. Just like the Queen’s Guard is the national icon of United Kingdom. The Royal Malay Regiment represent the Malaysian identity, which encompasses the Monarch (being the symbol of unity and custodian of the Federal Constitution), might (the will and resolve of the Malaysian people to remain in liberty as an independent race of the world), discipline (the concept of Rukun Negara), trustworthy (dependable in any circumstances, even during crisis), Islam (the religion of the Federation of Malaysia). soul (the determination of the Malaysian people to have an unmistakeable identity and onwership) and tradition (a nation rich with history, heritage and culture).

Royal Malay VII

This call to make and always remember the Royal Malay Regiment, “Liberator of the Federation”, as the true national hero is timely. Especially in the wake of certain near-bankrupt-political-stunts to use “Butcher of Malaya”, in a three-ring-political-circus. The Royal Malay Regiment is the mark of the pride of Malaysia. The motto “Ta’at Setia” says it all.

Published in: on June 23, 2009 at 00:11  Comments (30)