Sunday, November 13, 2022

History of Senoi Praaq

In 1956, General Gerald Templer approved the formation of Senoi Praaq under the Department of Aborigines (DOA). The unit was the brainchild of R.O.D. Noone, a Colonel in Military Intelligence and is largely comprised of non-Malay tribal peoples known collectively as the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia.

It was made at the instructions of the British authorities based on the need to have an Orang Asli group to operate in the deep jungle to win the hearts of the Orang Asli who were believed to have been influenced by communist propaganda at the time.

The unit began as a creature of British Military Intelligence and fought in the deep jungle as Special Air Service (SAS) protégés, eventually replacing the latter upon Malaysian independence from Great Britain.

The British Special Air Services (SAS) trained the original group of 40 and awarded them with the coveted red beret, which, up until then, was exclusive to the SAS.

Dubbed ‘tough nuts’ by the British officers who worked alongside them, the legendary unit’s ferocity, strength, and superior knowledge of the jungles were instrumental in Malaya’s hard-fought victory over the communists. By 1958, the Senoi Praaq already had the highest kills on records among any security forces in Malaya.

In 1960, following Malaya’s independence, they were assigned to Southern Thailand to persuade more than 3,000 Orang Asli living there to hunt down communist leader Soo Ah Chye, an MCP leader fluent in Temiar

They served as mercenaries employed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to assist in their overseas operations most notably as part of the Montagnard Scouts in Vietnam, as well as a secret operation in Laos. The nickname "Silent Killers" was given to the Senoi Praaq by CIA.

Senoi Praaq means “War people” or “those who fight” in the Semai language. It currently refers to 2nd battalions of the General Operations Force (GOF) under the Royal Malaysian Police, the 3rd and the 18th Battalion based in Bidor, Perak and Pengkalan Hulu,Perak, respectively.

Today, the Senoi Praaq is tasked mostly with hunting poachers and border patrol duties, but are still called on when their special skills are required.
History of Senoi Praaq

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