Monday, 23 December 2013


By M Hanif Ismail

(New generation of Senoi Praaq. Source: 3rd GOF)

Senoi Praaq – the name may sounds familiar to the local defence watchers, but outside that (small) circle, its mention may very well draw a blank.

Senoi Praaq means “War people” or “those who fight” in the Semai language. Senoi Praaq started as a special project under the British during the First Emergency (1948 – 1960), to replace the British SAS squadrons leaving the country. It was dispatched to Vietnam during the Vietnam War as part of collaboration between the British and the US intelligence to train Vietnamese indigenous people collectively known as the Montagnards.

This article will look at the activities of the Senoi Praaq after the end of Konfrontasi, its activities during the Second Emergency (1968-1989), including its switch from under the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to the Royal Malaysian Police.

1967 - Jim Thompson, a former member of the US Office of Strategic Services (later Central Intelligence Agency) disappeared in Cameron Highlands. Senoi Praaq was involved in the search.  R.O.D. Noone also came down from Thailand, where he was posted as a counter insurgency adviser and planning officer to SEATO, to help in the search. Jim Thompson was never found.

1968 – start of the Second Emergency. Senoi Praaq was absorbed into the Royal Malaysian Police, as 10th Police Field Force (and later 20th Police Field Force). Senoi Praaq was put under Police Field Force Northern Brigade.

1968 – Apot a/k Saad PGB joined the Senoi Praaq. He later joined the VAT 69, a commando unit under the Police Field Force, Royal Malaysian Police, in 1970. His tracking skills were legendary among the Senoi Praaq, VAT 69 and Commonwealth security forces (Australian SASR and New Zealand SAS).

1973 – responsibility of psychological warfare against the communist terrorists was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Police. The Senoi Praaq working with the Special Branch played a big part in this effort, especially in winning the support of the Orang Asli against the communist terrorists.

1973 – instead of staying put at jungle posts and Orang Asli villages, the Senoi Praaq was again actively deployed on combat patrols along with the rest of the Police Field Force battalions.

1974 – Senoi Praaq officially become part of Royal Malaysian Police, became 19th Police Field Force (PFF). Salary, allowances and rank was revamped to be in line with the rest of the PFF. Members were sent to Sekolah Latihan Pasukan Polis Hutan, Ulu Kinta, Perak to standardize its training and knowledge with the rest of the PFF.

1978 – 20th Police Field Force was raised, with 2 companies at Sungai Siput, Perak (1978) and 2 companies at Kroh, Perak (1977).

1983 – 20th Police Field Force Senoi Praaq moved to Bidor, Perak.

1984 – new intake for the 2 Senoi Praaq battalions.

1989 – end of the Second Emergency in Peninsula Malaysia. The Malayan Communist Party agreed to sign to Peace Accord at Haadyai, Thailand on 2nd December 1989.

1989 – OPS BAMBOO ended.

1990 – end of the Second Emergency in East Malaysia. The North Kalimantan Communist Party agreed to a peace agreement, signed on 17th October 1990.

1993 – 20th Police Field Force was changed to 3rd Police Field Force.

1995 –Senoi Praaq was re-trained for general police duties.

1997 – Police Field Force (PFF) was changed into General Operations Force (GOF). Senoi Praaq had to change their beret colour from the maroon beret of the (pre-1957) Malayan Scouts/SAS to the blue beret of the GOF.

1998 – Senoi Praaq was put under GOF Central Brigade due to activities related to Reformasi movement happening in the capital city.

2002 – Senoi Praaq was deployed to track down a wanted criminal, Mat Komando, Pedu Forest Reserve, Kedah, near Malaysia-Thai border.

2002 – Senoi Praaq deployed to Malaysia-Thai border under OPS WAWASAN, replacing 8th GOF. This deployment resulted in great success in reducing the inflow of contraband materials and illegal immigrants.

2003 – new intake for the 2 Senoi Praaq battalions, the 3rd GOF and 18th GOF, to better fulfil its new responsibility, to safeguard the country borders under OPS WAWASAN (Kelantan) and OPS NYAH (Johor). 

2003 – Senoi Praaq was put under GOF Northern Brigade again.

2003 – members of Senoi Praaq battalions gets to wear their maroon beret again.

2007 – Senoi Praaq was deployed in a SAR operation to find the crew of a crashed Royal Malaysian Air Force Nuri helicopter, Genting Highlands,Pahang.

2013 – Senoi Praaq was deployed to Sabah under OPS TAYANG. Almost 6 decades after its inception, the skills and qualities inherent in members of the Senoi Praaq are still very much in demand. 


  1. salam...saya berminat dengan Senoi Praaq...saya tengah buat tesis mengenai pasukan ini...boleh saya tahu, dimana saudra mendapatkan sumber mengenai Senoi Praaq ini??

  2. Dari pelbagai sumber, keratan akhbar, artikel di internet, buku Death Waits in the Dark, dan lain-lain -Hanif

    1. boleh sy dptkan contact en?..fb ke?...atau no hp?

    2. Leave your FB link/email here, I will drop a message later



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