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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 12:03 GMT
Malaya veterans win medal battle
The Malayan Emergency
British servicemen can now apply for their Malaya medal
Veterans who fought in Malaya in the 1950s have won their fight to wear a medal for their service.

A Foreign Office review has recommended an exception be granted to allow them to receive the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) commemorative honour.

Military regulations normally block the acceptance of foreign medals.

Now veterans can apply for the medal through regimental associations but protocol means there will still be occasions where it cannot be worn.

The Malayan Emergency, as it became known, was a bitter conflict fought against hardened ethnic Chinese communists.

Eventually the British, Malayan and Commonwealth forces pushed the communists back far into the jungle, finally ending the conflict in 1960 with the loss of 2,500 soldiers' lives.

For a serving serviceman or woman or, indeed, somebody now out of the service your medal gives you credibility with your peers and for veterans it is recognition that you have done your bit.
Colonel Colin Hogg

The medal decision, announced by Trade Minister Ian Pearson, has been welcomed by the King's Own Scottish Borderers, hundreds of whom fought in the Malayan campaign.

Regimental Secretary Colonel Colin Hogg said: "I think people realise the importance of a medal to somebody who has served in a conflict.

"For a serving serviceman or woman or, indeed, somebody now out of the service your medal gives you credibility with your peers and for veterans it is recognition that you have done your bit."

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell has expressed disappointment that there will still be some occasions where the medal cannot be worn.

He said: "Hundreds of veterans from the south of Scotland made a brave contribution to the war in Malaya and Borneo and they have gone unrecognised for too long because of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office rulebook.

"While the minister's statement seems to imply that the FCO will turn a blind eye to certain displays of the medal, he has still indicated there will be some circumstances where the wearing of the medal will not be allowed."




SEE ALSO:
Malaya veterans in fresh campaign
28 Oct 05 |  Scotland


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