Image of the PJM Medal
Banner Text = Fight For the Right to Wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

The Pingat Jasa Malaysia Timeline (As at midnight 31/08/2007 GMT - Merdeka!)

A summary of what has happened and when. We'll add more events and more links from this summary as soon as possible, so check out this page regularly.

If you have any comments you would like us to add to this Timeline, please send us a note from the Contact section at the foot of this page.














The award of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) to Commonwealth personnel who served in Malaya-Borneo between 1957 and 1966 was announced by the Malaysians



Dec 2004

Lord Chadlington asks in Lords whether eligible UK citizens will be “entitled to wear” the PJM.








11 Jan 2005

Baroness Symons, in written answer to Lord Chadlington, says rules “preclude the acceptance of medals for events in the distant past or more than 5 years previously”.


Early 2005

The Queen approves PJM for wear by Australian and New Zealand citizens


17 Feb 2005

The FCO say the first approach from Malaysia to offer the PJM to Brits was (but be aware of question in the Lords in December 2004 - Lord Chadlington) on 17 th Feb 2005

This approach by Malaysia was withdrawn - we do not know why.



17 Mar 2005

A second ‘formal’ approach from Malaysia was received.



15 May 2005

Jeffery Donaldson tables a Commons Early Day Motion in support of the PJM calling on the Government to permit British ex-service personnel to receive this medal as recognition of their valiant service to the Crown and the people of Malaysia.


14 Jun 2005

In response to Paul Flynn’s question on whether the Foreign Secretary will change the policy which prevents Brits from accepting and wearing foreign awards, Jack Straw asks for a review of that policy.


20 Jun 2005

Mr Straw, in a written reply to David Taylor, says he hopes the policy review will be conducted quickly.

In fact, the HD Committee did not meet until December.


19 Oct 2005

Mike Hancock asks Jack Straw what recent representations have been received from Malaysia re the PJM and what his response was. Mr Straw said it was in March (by the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister) and he was sympathetic. The Agong raised the matter and was told it was under study. The Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces and other senior officers and diplomats from their MoD and FO also raised the issue and were given the same answer.


28 Oct 2005

David Mundell tables a Commons Early Day Motion urging the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to conclude positively as soon as possible its review of the current ruling which prohibits veterans from British forces, including the King's Own Scottish Borderers, from displaying a medal from the Malaysian Government.


28 Oct 2005

Mike Weir tables another Commons Early Day Motion condemning the Government for prohibiting the veterans of the Malaysian conflict from accepting medals being offered to them by the government of Malaysia; and believes that the bravery of those involved should be recognised and that they should be allowed to accept medals for their courage and valour.


21 Nov 2005

In reply to a question from Dr Julian Lewis about Malaysian campaign medals, Jack Straw replies that both the PJM, a commemorative rather than a campaign medal, and the Foreign Decorations Rules is being reviewed by the HD Committee.


21 Nov 2005

In reply to a question from Dr Julian Lewis about the rules to (i) accept and (ii) wear foreign medals, new Foreign Decoration Rules deposited in Commons Library by Jack Straw - undated and no reference to the rules that were superceded.

These rules were applied retrospectively to the second formal Malaysian offer in March


6 Dec 2005

In answer to a question from Dr Julian Lewis about (i) the PJM decision and (ii) the Rules review, Ian Pearson (FCO Minister) says the HD Committee will meet on the 7 th Dec but more consultations may be required before the Committee submits its advice to The Queen.


7 Dec 2005

The Committee on the Award of Honours, Decorations and Medals eventually meets to consider the Malaysian request.









9 Jan 2006

In a written answer from Daniel Kawczynski, Jack Straw says the HD Committee’s recommendations will be presented to The Queen shortly and the PJM recommendation announced as quickly as possible.


30 Jan 2006

First PJMs awarded to Australians including the Queen’s Representative.


31 Jan 2006

FCO Ministerial Statement promulgating the HD Committee recommendation lodged in the Commons Library withholding permission for British citizens to receive but not to wear the PJM.

The Fight4thePJM sets out on its campaign to win The Queen’s approval for the right of British citizens to wear the PJM.


8 Feb 2006

In answer to Lindsay Hoyle about discussions between HMG and the Malaysians regarding the PJM, Jack Straw states neither he nor his colleagues have held any discussions with Malaysian officials since September 2005. The British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur did - in Sep and Oct. FCO officials did with the Malaysian High Commission (MHC) on the 25 Oct, 18 Nov, 20 Dec 2005 … and 1 Feb 2006. Also several exchanges of correspondence and telephone calls between ‘officials’ and the MHC since September 2005.

Arm twisting by HMG? Take it or leave it?

He was also asked whether he or his officials had had any discussions with the Royal British Legion about the wearing of the PJM - Jack Straw said they had not


9 Feb 2006

In reply to a question from Lindsay Hoyle, the Veterans Minister, Don Touhig, states that there are no centrally available figures for those eligible for the PJM and that such figures could only be provided at “disproportionate cost”.

He goes on to say that the Malaysian Government had not yet provided the eligibility criteria so numbers couldn’t be assessed anyway.

How do you make a rational and relevant recommendation regarding acceptance of a medal if you do not know the eligibility criteria?

And this problem has nothing to do with many service records being zapped by the MoD, particularly many of those of the Royal Navy.


28 Feb 2006

In answer to a question from Lindsay Hoyle, the Veterans Minister, Don Touhig, states neither the Defence Minister no others have had conversations with Malaysians about the PJM and that the Foreign Office is responsible for administering the policy relating to the acceptance and wear of foreign awards.


Apr 2006

The PJM Case - the Fight4thePJM produces its first two page summary of its case. We were learning fast but, because the MoD, FCO and Cabinet Office refused to answer key questions, much of our case had to be based upon our own research and assessments.

We updated this leaflet in early September 2006.


9 May 2006

MoD confess to sitting on thousands of PJM applications because they do not know how to draft the covering letter .

We prompt them to send forms to the Malaysian High Commission.

The MoD also state they still have not seen the eligibility criteria but are nevertheless carrying out the verification process in so far as they confirm to the Malaysians that the applicant had been ‘verified’.

In reality, the MoD had reneged on presenting the Malaysians with lists of applicants who had been verified by the MoD.



10 May 2006

Reference the 9 May confession, and absence of eligibility criteria, the MoD today received those criteria from the FCO who had obtained them from the Malaysian High Commission “in the post this minute”.

So it took the Fight4thePJM to get HMG to obtain the eligibility criteria. WE also offered to write the covering letter for them so that PJMers’ applications could be sent to the MHC … the offer was not accepted but by the end of the months the forms were moving.


12 Jun 2006

Fight4thePJM Petition to Her Majesty The Queen handed in at Buckingham Palace by three members of the Fight4thePJM Team.

(The Queen subsequently sent the Petition and a copy of the Rebuttal to the Foreign Secretary 'for consideration')


21 Jun 2006

The Fight4thePJM sends its Rebuttal of the Ministerial Statement, and makes the case for the PJM to be worn, to all key Ministers, HD Committee, the Cabinet Office, and civil servants at the MoD and FCO.


4 Jul 2006

The Fight4thePJM makes it on Oz radio. Listen to John Feltham's excellent exposé of the incongruity of the PJM decision. Put the kettle on, sit back, and listen in.


6 Jul 2006

Don Touhig, the former Veterans Minister, makes the case in the Commons for the PJM to be worn and calls for a review of the PJM recommendation.


19 Jul 2006

First British PJMs presented at the Malaysian High Commission in London.


6 Sep 2006

The Fight4thePJM submits the First Update and Addenda to the Rebuttal.

In this document we document how rules were concocted and then applied retrospectively. We demolish the discredited claims of Ministers and civil servants that long-established rules exist to prevent Brits from wearing their medal.

We now know that the Rebuttal and Update have forced the civil servants to refer our case back to the HD Committee who are now ‘considering’ what we and hundreds of supporters have submitted.


Sep 2006

The PJM Case - the Fight4thePJM produces its updated two page summary of its case.

We were learning fast but, because the MoD, FCO and Cabinet Office refused to answer key questions, much of our case had to be based upon our own research and assessments.


17 Oct 2006

Katy Clark asks the Foreign Secretary (now Mrs Margaret Beckett) whether she expects Brits t be able to wear the PJM. Mrs Beckett replies that the current position is as set out in the Ministerial Statement of 31 st January but the points made by those who wish to wear the medal are being considered by the HD Committee. Mrs B hoped a result would be known by the end of November.

Her hopes were dashed - she forgot she was dealing with a bunch of bloody-minded civil servants who had not taken kindly to having to review their disgraceful recommendation.


7 Nov 2006

David Mundell asks the Prime Minister if he will place a document, dated 21 December 2005 relating to the PJM.

The PM replies that it must remain secret because it could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

That’s civil service speak for “can’t afford to let Parliament know in case the truth comes out about what we have been up to”!

But what is this document? What is so important that it is the subject of a question in the Commons? Why is it being treated like a State secret?

We believe it contains the PJM recommendation and, if placed in the public domain, would spell out exactly what the recommendation states, whether it withholds the right to wear and, if so, it will tell us who is withholding that right from British citizens.

We believe we are entitled to that see that information as it affects our rights and does not, of itself, contain discussion on policy.


15 Nov 2006

The Fight4thePJM Petition is presented to the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish MSP’s decide to write to London and ask them to explain the ‘ludicrous’ PJM decision.

Holyrood assures PJMers that they will have the right to respond to anything that London says.


29 Nov 2006

Don Touhig tables his Early Day Motion in Parliament:

“That this House welcomes the decision by Her Majesty The Queen to allow veterans of the Malaysian campaign between 1957 and 1966 to accept the Pinjat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Medal; is concerned that the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals decided to advise Her Majesty not to grant permission for Malaysian veterans to wear the PJM on public occasions; and calls upon the Government to make representations to the Committee to overturn this decision.”


29 Nov 2006

The Conservative Party promises a review of the Foreign Decorations Rules that they now understand have been applied “inconsistently”.

And, if the PJM has not previously received Unrestricted Acceptance for wear, then they will review that too.


30 Nov 2006

Michael Mates tables his EDM:

“That this House applauds the generous gesture by the King and Government of Malaysia in the award of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal to British citizens for service in the Malayan Emergency; notes that Her Majesty The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the recommendation of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals that British citizens may accept the award; is, however, surprised that the Committee did not recommend that British citizens receiving the award should also be able to wear it; is deeply embarrassed that the Australian and New Zealand veterans of the Emergency may both receive and wear the medal; invites the Committee to reconsider the matter, bearing in mind the diminishing number of those who gave valuable service between 31st August 1957 and 12th August 1966; believes that this is a pre-eminent case for an exception to the long-standing Government policy enunciated in the written Ministerial Statement of 31st January 2006; and urges Her Majesty's Ministers to ensure that a further recommendation is made to Her Majesty, but this time one which takes full account of the generosity of a fellow Commonwealth country, the merits of the case, and the deep sense of hurt felt by British veterans, rather than being based upon a slavish observance of precedent.”


30 Nov 2006

Silence from the HD Committee. The Foreign Secretary and 35,000 British veterans do not hear the hope-for result.



12 Dec 2006

Chris Edge, the Honours Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office who we think drafted (or led the team of drafters of) the PJM Ministerial Statement, leaves the Foreign Office.

We have corresponded with this civil servant over nearly two years.

We have no comment to make on his sudden departure.


27 Dec 2006

Michael Mates says he will not let the PJM issue drop. He will raise the matter in Parliament in the New Year.


31 Dec 2006

Silence from the HD Committee ***. The Foreign Secretary and 35,000 British veterans do not hear the hoped-for result.

*** Oops, spoke to soon! They (which expression involves himself to a certain extent) awarded the former Honours Secretary, Chris Edge, an Honour in the Honours List - an OBE!

A case of "Going, going ... Gong"?!?

Yet another example of the insensitivity of those in control of our Honours System. The award smacks of the incestuous nature of their decisions. Fancy the Honours Committee giving the Honours Secretary an Honour for just doing his (very well paid) job ... a job that involved depriving thousands of ordinary British veterans of the right to wear their medal.

No, that is not sour grapes. Just a simple observation drawn from a long and arduous and overdue review of the err ... facts.









1 Jan 2007

We enter the New Year fresh and ready for the fight. Our budget has been renewed, extended, and has guaranteed funding.

  • 100,000 visitors to our web site

  • 10,000+ messages received

  • 1,500+ registered supporters from

  • 30 countries and

  • 5 Continents

  • 175 MPs have signed up in Parliament - more to come

  • 320+ signatures by MPs on EDMs supporting our case for the PJM to be worn by British citizens

We shall never give up this just cause.

“Pingat Kami – Hak Kami”



16 Jan 2007

Back to business indeed! the BBC takes an in-depth interest in our case. On the 16th January the BBC broadcast a 90 minute show on which our case featured as the news story of the day.

During the programme the BBC set up a poll of it's listeners:

100% supported our case.

The Beeb received calls and emails from around the world including Canada, Australia and Vietnam.

The programme affected the local MP so much that on that same day she wrote to the Queen!

The BBC was inundated with calls and so they decided to broadcast a second programme the next day. The poll remained open and 100% of listeners supported our case.

The support from listeners around the world continued and a third programme was broadcast on the 24th January following which the BBC announced that a Pettion with listeners' concerns would be taken to the Forign Office and Cabinet office!

Click on the arrow on the right and listen to some excerpts!

12 March

It's Commonwealth Day! Just the time to celebrate all that is good about the Commonwealth of Nations!

Err ... not if you're a certain Mr Brennan of the Cabinet Office and erstwhile member of the HD Committee, it isn't.

He has chosen today to announce to the world that in the opinion of the British (as represented by him and a handful of civil servants) the Commonwealth forces who protected Malaysia's newly won independence just didn't do enough to warrant wearing a Malaysian medal on a British medal bar. The PJM is sub-standard, apparently.

14 March

As an initial acknowledgement of Mr Brennan's 'full statement' (we shall send a more detailed response later), we sent him a copy of an entry in the London Gazette which conflicts with his understanding of our right to wear the PJM.

This entry clearly states that eligible recipients of a Foreign decoration or medal that The Queen has approved for acceptance, may wear their medal at all times.

22 March

Mr Brennan dredges up a defunct 1969 regulation in an attempt to deny us the right to wear the PJM!

We are quite content with our understanding and, in the context of their track record of prejudiced myths and legend, there is little the civil servants can say or do now to persuade us otherwise.

We remain loyal to The Queen and will abide by her known decrees. Until the Gazette Notice is rescinded or amended by Her those who consider themselves eligible under the 1968 Gazette Notice can wear their PJM with honour. We are not going to let a handful of civil servants dictate to us that we should do otherwise.

31 Aug

The 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Malaysia.

Click on the right to read about the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Malaysian Independence that were held in Kuala Lumpur.

Witness the stark contrast between the gracious Malaysian people demonstrating a spirit of generosity and remembrance and the mean-spirited British Government and buttock-clenching civil servants who were rather hoping the Forgotten War would remain forgotten.

A group of British veterans returned to Malaysia to celebrate this special anniversary of Merdeka. It was rumoured that some Foreign Office and Cabinet Office civil servants would also go, but they couldn't find Malaysia on the map (reportedly because they were only looking amongst countries coloured in red).



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