Monday, 1 August 2011

Claiming a Panglima Gagah Berani gallantry award for a contact he made 38 years ago.

I received a call this morning from one of my Section Commanders ( a Corperal then). He seeks a Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB) gallantry medal for a contact he made in Sarawak's First Division where he and the section he led killed 2 CTs. That was in 1973.

I was astounded. Why only after 38 years he dug up and brought up the issue?

It is unthinkable to claim such a prestigeous award when the incident had happened 38 years ago! And not every skirmishes with the CTs deserved a gallantry award. If we go by that yardstick, then, I would have been awarded 4 PGBs. The situations, circumstances and how the battle was fought by the deserving individual will play a big role in determining whether he deserved to be given a gallantry award. To me, that skirmish he fought was simple and almost without any resistance as the 2 CTs were poorly armed with a home made shot gun.

In any case, what can I do as the final authority rested with the Commanding Officer then?  If the then Commanding Officer saw that he didn't deserve the PGB, should he change his mind after 38 years? Can he now write a citation and recommend him for the award?

Can somebody in authority give me the feed back?

So far I have came across 2 such claims. Why suddenly the fuss now? Most possibly, the publicity given to the homecoming of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers the last few years that culminated in the reburial on 27 July 2011 was one factor. The handsome amount of allowance the PGB receipients receive is another. Thirdly, he must have thought I can do miracles - after my successful role in bringing back the remains of the Iban Trackers and Sarawak Rangers.


  1. To me Sir, nothing wrong to that, Peda nuan Niang P. Ramlee, udah mati pun di beri darjah Tan Sri and many more.

  2. Robert Rizal Abdullah9 August 2011 at 02:23


    Still very unsure about that. Need more feed back. Otherwise have to ask MINDEF about it.

  3. It too much to ask for something that only a bunch of people that lucky enough to be given PGB but how about others soldier that have fought for Malaysia in his life time and now the veterans still live as the army in the jungle style as during the 70s or 80s.I belive this because of they already get used to it during the old days or "lost" in their dream@war of still waiting for what they call "tanah bekas prajurit". Like No.T 901362 and if i am not mistaken you sir was his last CO

  4. A gallantry medal is something very special. You cannot ask or demand for it. It all depends on how other people, particularly your Commanding Officer, perceived what you did in a battle. You can fight in many battles but if what you did was not impressive abd didn't deserve to be given one, then you cannot demand to be given one.