those days of communist insurgency, The
Royal Malaysian Police had a paramilitary
arm called Pasukan Polis Hutan (PPH). They
had several battalions and among
them was the elite one, known as 69th Commando
Battalion or VAT 69. The normal police too
had an elite unit - Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK).
UTK had a SWAT-like function as well as
close protection roles. After the communist
terrorist laid down arms in 1989, VAT 69
had problems finding a proper role. Finally
on December 1997, the PPH was renamed as
Pasukan Gerakan Am (PGA) while UTK and VAT
69 was disbanded and merged. It was then
called Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK).
history of VAT 69 began when the Honorable
Allahyarham Tun Dr. Ismail who was the Minister
of Home Affairs and Internal Security, proposed
the formation of a special unit trained
for fighting the communist terrorist. It
was actually formed in 1969 (hence the name
- 69). The establishment of VAT 69 was inline
with Royal Malaysian Police requirement
to create a small combat unit with the same
tactics and technique just like the communist
October 1969, about 1600 PPH personnel from
several battalions volunteered to join VAT
69. After the selection process, only 60
personnel were qualified to undergo basic
commando training. As the formation of VAT
69 were highly classified, all training
was conducted at Fort Kemar, located deep
in the jungle of Perak where transportation
are limited to helicopter and small aircraft
first training was supervised by a group
of instructors from British SAS (Special
Air Service). On completion, only 30 personnel
managed to get through. They actually formed
the first troop of 69th Commando Battalion.
In 1977, New Zealand SAS was involved in
training 3 new squadrons of VAT 69. A special
course to train VAT 69's own instructors
were also conducted. Finally, the expansion
program completed in 1980 in which VAT 69
now had 4 fully equipped infantry squadrons
with it's own logistic unit.
was not known when actually the UTK had
been formed. UTK were also trained by British
SAS and they operate in a very different
way from the typical American SWAT teams.
They have approximately 100 plus members
and the selection phase is so tough that
the passing rate was supposedly 20 - 10%
only. Even the selection process reflects
SAS influence. UTK personnel mostly uses
handguns / pistols (Sig-Sauers) and prefer
to be in undercover roles. Just like GGK,
the UTK were also involved in The 16th Commonwealth
Games security measures.
VAT 69 and UTK have very good records and
they are very low profile, especially -
the UTK. As for VAT 69, they were used against
the pirates who terrorized the coastal towns
of Sabah, one of the states in East Malaysia.
After the deployment of VAT 69, the piracy
attacks had almost stopped.