Fifteen Sarawak war veterans, who served between 1948 and 1990, Saturday received the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) from Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng at the Brooke Memorial here.

They were among servicemen who fought against the Communist guerillas during the emergency and defended the nation during the Confrontation with Indonesia.

One of the recipients, Warrant Officer II Sibat anak Manja, 65, who joined the armed forces in October 1963, said he was moved by the award and described it as a recognition for their service and sacrifice for the country.

“I’m happy and proud for the PJM award. But I am also touched by the sacrifice of those who were killed in the line of duty,” he told reporters.

Earlier the Yang Dipertua Negeri performed the laying of wreath at the memorial.

Others who also laid the wreath were Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Penny Williams, British defence advisor Col Paul Edwards, New Zealand Honorary Counsul Datuk Mohd Amin Satem as well as several senior military men in the Malaysian armed forces.

Present were about 150 war veterans from Sarawak and Commonwealth countries.