Happy Birthday – Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia) – 1 March 1933
A parade was held today in Port Dickson to commemorate the 84th birthday of the Malaysian Army. Over 3000 officers and members from various units of the Malaysian Army were on parade as the Chief of Army reviewed and addressed the troops. The outstanding parade provided a great commemoration to a professional fighting force. Gagah dan Setia!
The first military units in Malaysia can be traced back to the Penang Rifle Volunteers raised on 1 March 1861 and the Malay States Volunteer Rifles which existed from 1915 to 1936. The birth of the modern Malaysian Army came about when the Federal Council of the Federated Malay States passed the Malay Regiment Bill on 23 January 1933. This allowed the initial recruitment of 25 males for the First Experimental Malay Company on 1 March 1933.
Major G. Bruce of the Lincolnshire Regiment was the first Commanding Officer. By 1 January 1935, the Experimental Company became The Malay Regiment with a complement of 150 men. A battalion was formed on 1 January 1938 and eventually a second battalion on 1 December 1941. The 1st Bn Malay Regiment was famous for its defence of Opium Hill or Bukit Chandu in Singapore. The ‘Battle of Opium Hill’ on 14 February 1942 involved 42 soldiers commanded by Lt. Adnan Bin Saidi who defended their position against attack from the 18th Division of the Japanese Imperial Army under Lt. Gen. Renya Mutaguchi. After World War II and during the Malayan Emergency, the number of battalions was increased to seven in the early 1950s.