Royal Ranger Regiment

Royal Ranger Regiment

The Royal Ranger Regiment (Malay: "Rejimen Renjer DiRaja; RRD") is an infantry regiment of the Malaysian Army. Although it is second in seniority to the Royal Malay Regiment ("Rejimen Askar Melayu DiRaja; RAMD"), the RRD can trace its origins back to the mid 19th century and the establishment of The Sarawak Rangers, the peacekeeping force in the Sarawak region. This force was absorbed by the Sarawak Constabulary in 1932, but the name was revived in 1941 as a British Colonial unit; this unit was captured by the Japanese in 1942.


In 1948, at the beginning of the Malayan Emergency, groups of Iban trackers were recruited to help in the defence against the Communist Party of Malaya. These Iban trackers were organized into a regimental formation as the Sarawak Rangers in 1953. Prior to 1963, the well known Iban Trackers of the Sarawak Rangers were attached as scout to many British forces serving in Malaya. One of the tracker, Awang anak Rawang was awarded George Cross on 20th Nov 1951, during his attachment at Worcestershire Regiment.

In 1963, following the formation of Malaysia on 16 September of that year, the unit was transferred from the British Colonial Forces to the new Malaysian Army and expanded into a multi-battalion, multi-ethnic regiment named Renjer Malaysia. This became the Rejimen Renjer in 1971, before being given the 'Royal' prefix and hence known as the Rejimen Renjer DiRaja (Royal Ranger Regiment) in 1992.


The RRD is organized in the same way as the RAMD and currently consists of nine battalions,

The 1st to 6th, and the 9th are light infantry battalions.

The 7th Ranger Battalion is presently configured as a mechanized infantry battalion and is equipped with tracked ACV 300 IFVs, some of which are armed with Bushmaster 25 mm guns.

The 8th Ranger Battalion is one of the three airborne infantry battalions that form the 10 Para Brigade, the element of the Army's Pasukan Atur Cepat.

Colonel in Chief

DYMM Tuanku Syed Sirajudin Ibni Almarhum Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail, formerly the King or Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, and Raja of Perlis is the Colonel in Chief of the regiment. The previous head of the regiment is Leftenan Jeneral (B) Datuk Muhamad Effendi Mustafa. His last command was as the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1st Division HQ in Kuching.

Customs & Traditions


Rejimen Renjer DiRaja is the only regiment or corps in the Malaysian Army that is authorized to wear the black hackle as part of their uniform. Also, unlike other units, the No.3 uniform (office duty) has black buttons and Gun Metal pips instead of the standard green buttons and pips of the Malaysian Army.

A Ranger - A Special Malaysian Soldier

Unlike other units of the Malaysian Army, a private in the Rangers battalion is addressed as 'Ranger.' In the Rejimen Gerak Khas, a commando formation, a private is addressed as 'Trooper.' In the Royal Engineers Regiment, a private is known 'Sapper'. For the rest of the Malaysian Army, a private soldier is addressed as 'Private'.


The motto of the Ranger Regiment is "Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban." A direct translation, word for word from Iban to English is "Still Alive, Still Fight." In spirit,"Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban" means "Fight to the Death." It is conjured that the motto "Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban" was derived from Brooke family's Latin motto,"Dum Spiro Spero" which means "While I Breathe, I Hope." In this light, "Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban" could mean "While I Breathe, I fight." Dum Spiro Spero was the state motto for the Kingdom of Sarawak. In the other, according to the Journal of 1st Ranger Regiment, the motto "Agi Idup Agi Ngelaban" was derived from "Whilst There Is Life, There Is Fight", also noted as Brooke's family motto. The Royal Ranger Regiment is the only corps of the Malaysian Armed Forces using this motto in the Iban language.

arawak Dayak, Pribumi Influence & Achievement

As an infantry regiment whose recruits are drawn from every race and pribumi (native) group of Malaysia, Rejimen Renjer Malaysia is rich with cultural heritage. The "Ngajat", the Iban Warrior Dance of the Sarawak Dayak community is now part of the regimental drill used to welcome visiting dignitaries. The adoption of this warrior dance as part of the regimental culture is due to the fact that this reincarnated unit of the Sarawak Rangers was once almost exclusively filled in the ranks by Iban soldiers.

Dunstan Nyaring Angking of 1 Renjer was the first native Iban officer to attain the rank of full colonel in the Malaysian army. He served with 1 Renjer during the Indonesian confrontation and was the ensign that received on behalf of his battalion, the battalion's Battle Truncheon.

Currently, Stephen Mundaw from Pakit, Sri Aman, Sarawak is the only known highest native Iban officer serving the Malaysian Army as full Colonel.

The other well known native Iban officers are Lt.Col.(R) Robert Rizal Abdullah @ Robert Madang PGB from Lachau, Sri Aman and Lt.Col.(R) James Tomlow ak Isa and Lt.Col.(R) Linus Lunsong, who later became first Iban to command 22nd Malaysian Special Forces.

A known Malay officer from Sarawak to have commanded the Ranger regiment as Commanding Officer, was Lt. Col (R) Abang Hamdan Bin Abang Hadari. Another Sarawakian Malay officer, Capt.(R) Ahmad Johan, later became well known businessman and now known as Tan Sri Ahmad Johan.

Up until today, so far, no Ibans or any other Dayak ethnic have made it even to Brigadier General in the Malaysian Army, even though there are nine rangers battalions with predominantly ethnic Dayaks as majority, and many recipients of the Malaysian gallantry awards (PGB and SP) are ethnic Dayak soldiers. Many Dayak Ranger officers hope that Malaysia will honour the sacrifices and bravery of these Dayak warriors to trust one of them to command as a '1 star' general. Many retired as Majors and Captains, though some make it to Lieutenant Colonel but few make it to full Colonel. However, this record is better their British Army counterpart. The British Army's Gurkha Regiments took more than a hundred years for one of the Gurkha's batallion to be commanded by a native Gurkha's own first Lieutenant Colonel. In contrast, many ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indian officers who had served in the regiment have made it to '1 star' general.

Regardless of this glass ceiling, the Dayak officers and NCOs continue to pledge their undivided loyalty to King and country and serving professionally at home and abroad. For many ethnic Dayaks who enlisted in the Malaysian Army, the majoritily chose to join the regiment as their first choice. As true warriors, they serve to defend the country rather enlisting for material wealth and value, despite knowing fully well that their career will not exceed '1 star'. For more adventure and recognition, they should consider the French Foriegn Legion [] .

Battalions of The Royal Malaysian Rangers (Rejimen Renjer DiRaja)

1st Rangers

Initially, this British Colonial battalion was almost exclusively composed of Sea Dayak (Iban) soldiers and a small number of Malay and Indian officers. On the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, the Sarawak Rangers was disbanded and absorbed into the Malaysian Armed Forces. The 1st Battalion is the premier battalion and remains the icon of the Ranger Corps. Prior to the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the Sarawak Rangers gained their fearsome reputation during the Malayan Emergency. Concurrently, during the post-colonial reconstruction era, the 1st Battalion fought on extensively against the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), Clandestine Communist Organization (CCO) the military arm of the Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP) and its affiliate the Parti Rayat Kalimantan Utara (PARAKU [] ) and the Tentera Nasional Indonesia (TNI). Accounts from captured Communist Terrorists (CTs) in the 60s and 70s suggest that other than the (British Royal Marines) commandos, the CPM feared the deployment of the 1st Battalion in the immediate vicinity.

The 1st Battalion remains an active unit of the Malaysian armed forces, although rather inexplicably, the recruitment of Iban stock has been gradually declined significantly over the last 20 years. Consequently, it's racial composition is about the same as other Malaysian infantry battalions.

It is worth noting that in the 50s and 60s, the British SAS were taught jungle tracking by Iban soldiers. The Ibans from the jungles of Borneo are particularly suited to jungle warfare. Surviving and living off the land are just daily routines to these jungle soldiers. During the Malayan Emergency, Iban trackers from the previous Malayan Scouts were attached to and served in several SAS units.

This battalion is currently based in Majidee Camp, Johor Bahru, Johor.

2nd Rangers

The motto of this battalion is in Kadazan language: 'Osiou oh kamanang.' This battalion is currently based in Syed Putra Camp, Ipoh, Perak. Syed Putra Camp was previously known as Sulva Lines Camp, and has been always regarded as 'Home of the Rangers'.

3rd Rangers

The motto of this battalion is 'Be Proud'. This battalion is currently based in Oya Camp, Sibu, Sarawak.

4th Rangers

This battalion is currently based in Oran Camp, Kangar, Perlis. It scheduled to be based in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak within the next few years. This battalion received its Regimental Colours on the 25th October 1980.

5th Rangers

This battalion is currently based at Camp Desa Pahlawan, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

6th Rangers

This battalion is currently based at Wardieburn Camp, Kuala Lumpur.

7th Rangers ( Mechanized)

7th Renjer was formed on 10 May 1970, at Quetta Camp in Kluang, Johor with an initial batch of 202 recruits formed into 2 rifle companies. The compilement was completed with the transfer of rifle companies from each of 8th Malay, 2nd Renjer, 3rd Renjer and 4th Renjer regiments. With the transfer of these companies, 7th Renjer achieved the full regimental strength. It is the only regiment converted into 'Mechanised Battalion'. This battalion is currently based at Batu Lima Camp, Mentakab, Pahang.

8th Rangers (Para)

8th Renjer was formed on 1 March 1973, 3 years after the formation of 7th Renjer. 8th Renjer was raised as the first parachute infantry battalion in the Malaysian Army, and achieved operational status on 1 July 1990 as a component of the elite 10 Paratroop Brigade (Malaysia).

8th Renjer gained fame during the communist Insurgency in the 1970s and 1980s. 8th Renjer engaged in several search and destroy missions against Communist Terrorists in Sarawak. From 1977, the battalion was particularly successful against Communist Terrorists in search and destroy missions in the Hulu Perak, Kinta and Kuala Kangsar regions in Perak.

Several members of the battalion were awarded the nation's highest gallantry award, the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) and the Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB) medals. Pegawai Waran II Kanang anak Langkau remains to this day the only reciepient of both the Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa and the Panglima Gagah Berani medals. Sarjan Michael Riman anak Bugat and Sarjan Beliang anak Bali were both awarded the Panglima Gagah Berani medal.

This battalion is currently based at Terendak Camp, Melaka, also known as 'Home of the Paras' equivalent to US Fort Bragg's, the home of 82nd Airborne Div, Fort Bragg.

9th Rangers

This battalion is currently based in Taiping, Perak.

Rangers in Combat

6th Rangers-Ambush at Klian Intan

On 27 August 1970, in a successful ambush of communist terrorists near Tanah Hitam, Klian Intan in Perak, 5 Communist Terrorists (CTs) including a branch committee member were killed, and several weapons were captured by members of 6 Bn Ranger Regiment. Mejar Ismail bin Salleh, commading officer of Charlie Company and Leftenan Muda David Fu Chee Ming who was the platoon commander of 8 Platoon were awarded the Panglima Gagah Berani on 2 June 1971. Based on information gathered by the Special Branch, that 60 Communist terrorists would be infiltrating Tanah Hitam moving on to Grik, Charlie Company with a complement of 3 officers and 94 other ranks were tasked to lay an ambush along the infiltration route. Charlie Company was split into 3 groups, with Company Hq and 9 Platoon forming the centre blocking force, 7 Platoon to the right and 8 Platoon to the left. The groups were given 2 days to prepare their ambush positions and lay booby traps and Claymore mines.

On 20 August, 1 Section consisting of 8 personnel heard the rustling of branches and bamboo being snapped by footfalls. 1 section immediately stood to in their bunkers. Renjer Abu bin Mat saw an armed CT on the trail, 35 meters from their bunker, a lead scout of a larger group. Renjer Abu bin Mat and Renjer Abu Samah Hj. Ibrahim who were manning the Section’s support GPMG, along with Lans Koperal Abdullah bin Nawi held their fire and continued their wait. Moments later, another CT appeared on the trail, and joined by another 2 CTs.

At 3.45 p.m., Lans Koperal Abdullah detonated his Claymore mine while the GPMG crew opened fire, joined by the LMG manned by Lans Koperal Karim bin Sidek manning the left bunker. At 4.20 p.m., the CTs ceased fire, even though movement could still be heard in the trail. 1 Section opened fire to suppress the CT’s movements. With nightfall, the CTs made an attempt to retrieve their fallen comrades. Mejar Ismail called for close in artillery support on the trail, walking the artillery rounds close to 1 Section’s position. The CTs withdrew before morning, leaving behind their dead. Searches the following morning revealed 5 dead CTs.

External links

* [ 8 RANGER Airborne 9page maintained by DR CHEN WEI SENG]
* [] 7 Renjer Website2 Ranger page maintain by mej mike

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