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The Dilemma- To Wear or Not to Wear
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Post The Dilemma- To Wear or Not to Wear 
As we in approach Remembrance Day, those British citizens who have their PJM will be asking themselves whether they should wear it next Sunday.

THis is a personal decision, and whatever PJMers decide would have my support.

But I shall not wear mine. I shall carry it with me when I remember those who didn't come home from Malaysia.

Recently, I had occasion to explain my approach (which, I emphasise, is an entirely personal one). Here is my email:

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(addressees' name omitted)

This PJM issue is a difficult one for a Fight4thePJM supporter to discuss without seeming to be some sort of zealot splitting hairs about medallic niceties instead of just getting on with life and wearing their souvenir. I am certainly not one of those. Indeed, I have never been an activist although sometimes I feel I should try and do more.

But, however much civil servants churn the cauldron of words to make the concoction of their recommendation seem digestible by suggesting to veterans that the medal is wearable, the PJM decision remains clear, and repugnantly so to me as an ex-serviceman:

1. Permission to wear the medal has been formally withheld from, alone amongst the Commonwealth countries, British citizens.

2. The Queen has approved a recommendation that the medal can be accepted on condition that it cannot be worn by British citizens.

3. The Cabinet Office prepared a letter, which they sent to me (without being asked) the day after the Ministerial Statement, stating that to wear the PJM would compromise the Honours System.

4. We have also been told that if a British ex-serviceman wears a medal without the authority of The Queen, it would be a grave discourtesy to her.

I served in the Commonwealth Brigade in Malaya, and those from other Commonwealth contingents I served with support me when I say that is it absurd that they (Aussies and Kiwis) should be able to wear the medal but the Brits may not. This is not sour grapes on my part, those Aussies and Kiwis deserve their wearable PJM. To me, the decision is divisive and discriminatory.

Don Touhig, Veterans Minister at the time the decision was made, now states in the Commons that it is incongruous and mean-spirited to waive two 'rules' so that British veterans can receive the Malaysian medal and then immediately invoke the same two 'rules' to deprive British veterans of the right to wear their medal - and that in the inaugural year of National Veterans Day.

A ‘medal’ that cannot be worn is just a souvenir - the Government have confirmed that too.

In our formal Rebuttal of the discredited Ministerial Statement we outline that civil servants have yet again misled those who have to make recommendations to the Queen. They re-created Foreign Decorations Rules and applied the new Rules retrospectively specifically to stop Malaya-Borneo veterans wearing the PJM. In so doing, they have misled the HD Committee and, ultimately, The Queen.

At the end of the day, I agree with you that each must make their own decision and, if anyone wears the PJM, they would have my unreserved support.

But, as our two VC supporters tell the world - the PJM is an honourable medal, earned honourably, and it should be worn with honour. While permission to do so is withheld based on myths served up by civil servants, I shall continue to campaign to have those civil servants revisit their recommendations and to reverse their recommendation. When successful, the PJM will rank in line with other honourable medals that were honourably earned. I shall then wear mine.

Thank you again for your response - I am grateful to you for taking the time and trouble to write.

With kind regards,


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I would emphasise that the above email reflects my personal views and not those of the Fight4thePJM campaign.

BarryF, who fought for the Right to Wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia
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Post Re: The right to wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia 
George F wrote:
"That soldier will fight even harder if his country refuses him the official right to wear that bit of coloured ribbon"

Indeed, George.

Particularly when it was honourably earned and presented by an honourable country.


BarryF, who fought for the Right to Wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia
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Post Napoleon 
This wee man also said...."An army marches on it's stomach"....which is possiblby why his was defeated. In the peninsular wars our army marched on its feet and outmanouvered the French by paying for its food or got shot for not doing so. "Hearts and Minds" again... and it worked. Know your history or get nowhere. MB.

Mike Barton
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