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Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 2:07:36 PM

Medal of valour next year to honour those fighting to protect nation during dark times

KUCHING: Forgotten heroes who fought to defend the country in the past will soon receive their due recognition when the Government gives out a new medal of valour next year.

Called the Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara (PJPN), it will be awarded to those who showed bravery and heroism during the Confrontation, communist insurgency and less-well-known incidents like the Limbang Rebellion.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the medal was approved by the Federal Cabinet this year, along with an allocation of RM1mil to produce it.

He said an initial 10,000 medals will be presented next year to recipients throughout the country.

“The medal is similar to the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) given by the army to those who had participated in the Emergency from 1948 to 1960 and 1969 to 1989 in the peninsula, or in Sarawak’s case from 1962 to 1990.

“It is not only for police personnel but for anybody who fought for the protection of the country during that time, including military personnel and civilians,” he told reporters after launching a book on the Limbang Rebellion here yesterday.

Wan Junaidi said he had made efforts since 2009 to get the Government to recognise the contributions of those who served during the Emergency periods, especially former police personnel.

“I talked with the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for a number of years until I came in as a deputy minister. Now we have the medal and we are supposed to launch it early next year.

“We have approved 10,000 to be given out but I haven’t seen the list yet and how many will be given to Sarawak,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Wan Junaidi said the Limbang incident was an occasion to remember because of its historical impact on the nation’s formation, as it was believed to have helped swing opinion among Sarawakians towards the Federation of Malaysia.

He said the book described in vivid detail what happened in Limbang during the rebel uprising which opposed the formation of Malaysia.

Titled Limbang Rebellion: 7 Days in December 1962, it was written by Australian historian Dr Eileen Chanin.

“Limbang is special to me because my second uncle, Wan Jamaluddin (Tuanku Alek), was one of four policemen who died in Limbang when the rebels attacked the police station.

“I will never forget my second uncle and the bravery he showed,” Wan Junaidi said.

He urged everyone to read the book for an account of what took place, adding that the story should also be told by local voices.

“We need to know what happened in Limbang. The book tells about heroism, loyalty and nobility from the eyes of people who helped to defend the land at the time.

“This generation should not forget what the past generation had done. We must remember them, because it is through history that we forge our future,” he said.

“It’s about time we start writing ourselves so that we will remember what happened.”

Tags / Keywords: Government, East Malaysia, medal, bravery, policemen, Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Limbang Rebellion

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