Saturday, May 9, 2009


1. The Malaysian Army’s much respected regimental system is correctly regarded as fundamental to the Army’s ability to deliver effective fighting power at the tip of the bayonet, face to face with the enemy. This idea has been a constant through the decades, during which the Army has evolved into its current state. So important is it considered to be that the Army, has at various times and in various documents stated that it intends to preserve that which is best in the regimental system as part of any organizational and structural changes that might occur in the future.

2. The regiment as a clearly defined military unit emerged in the late Middle Ages. During this period the regiment came to be a basic building block of many state’s military machines, very much as the legion had performed the same function for Imperial Rome. The word "regiment" is derived from the Latin word regimen, meaning a rule or a system of order. In most armies it denoted a body of troops headed by a colonel and organized into companies, battalions or squadrons. French cavalry units were designated with the title as early as 1558. During the European conflict known as the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the regiment came into its own as the basic organizational unit in European armies and remained so for the next 250 years.

3. The regimental system and regiments themselves are not, nor should they be, considered synonymous entities. Regiments are an organizational entity. The regimental system is a mutually supportive personnel management structure that emphasizes a sense of belonging (in our collective military experience, to a military unit structure) Though symbiotic in nature as we have become accustomed to them, regiments or a variation of the regimental system can each exist without the other.

4. In the regimental system, each regiment is responsible for training and administration; each regiment is permanently maintained and therefore the regiment will develop its unique esprit de corps because of its unitary history, traditions, recruitment, and function. The Regimental System has been a mainstay of the British Army for centuries, and Malaysian Army adopted it from that source during the early formation of 1st Malay Regiment Unit in early 1930s.

5. Regimental spirit and tradition can be a powerful factor in making for good morale, and must be constantly encouraged. The creation and maintenance of loyalty to one’s Regiment is considered strength of the Regimental System. The regimental system offers the advantage of grouping like units together for centralized administrative, training, and logistical purposes, thereby creating an “economies of scale” effect and its ensuing increased efficiency.

6. The most important characteristic of a traditional regimental system is an altruistic approach to decision-making. Every action, whether it be of an individual or a leader for a group, must be weighed against those standards of trust and respect through which we expect that each service member will protect the Regiment from embarrassment. And in doing so, will also, automatically, ensure that no embarrassment is caused the Army as a whole.

7. The aims of the Malaysian Army Regimental System (Sistem Pemerintahan Regimental) is to provide soldiers with a personnel system that foster unit readiness and combat effectiveness by developing in soldiers a sense of loyalty and commitment which comes from long-term identification with a unit. The SPR provides not only the opportunity for soldiers to develop a long-term identification with a regiment but the potential for recurring assignments and the opportunity to highlight the history, customs and traditions behind the regiments.

8. The other objectives of having the SPR in the Malaysian Army, is to create army personnel who:
a. a high a sense of duty (res publica).
b. Show generous emulation (force of example) to the public at large.
c. Establish a military cohesion (esprit de corps) among the members with the Army Units.

9. United esprit de corps and unit cohesion are essential characteristics of an effective fighting organization. Military history has demonstrated that units with high esprit, a sense of tradition and pride in past achievements perform well in combat. In the crisis of battle a man will not derive encouragement from the glories of the past; he will seek aid from his leaders and comrades of the present. In Regimental Systems unit, most men will fight well because their particular platoon or unit has good leaders, is well disciplined, and has developed the feelings of comradeship and self-respect among all ranks and on all levels. It is not devotion to some ancient regimental story that steels men in the crisis; it is devotion to the comrades who are with them and the leaders who are in front of them.

10. The Regimental System is only truly embodied in the sprit of belonging imbued by service with other soldiers working toward common goals. As long as each member fully understands that those unit goals are subordinate and inclusive to those of the Army, and the Army’s in turn to those of the nation, then the Regimental System continues to be a viable article.

11. And for these reasons, the Malaysian Army still maintained and practice this regimental system to ensure the Army unit will always in better position and be prepared to face any eventualities when the situation need.