The Pasukan Gerakan Khas (Abbreviation: PGK; 'Special Operations Command — Police SOCOM', Jawi: ڤاسوكن ڬرقن خاص) is a special operations command of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP).[1] The PGK has two distinct sub-units; the Special Actions Unit (Malay: Unit Tindakhas — UTK) and the 69 Commando Battalion (Very Able Trooper-69 — VAT 69; Malay: 69 Komando).

Special Operations Command
Pasukan Gerakan Khas
ڤاسوكن ڬرقن خاص
Special Operations Command (Malaysia).svg
Colours of RMP Pasukan Gerakan Khas
AbbreviationPGK
Agency overview
Formed20 October 1997; 21 years ago (1997-10-20)
Employeesc. 400 Operators (as of March 2018)
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyMalaysia
Operations jurisdictionMalaysia
Primary governing bodyGovernment of Malaysia
Secondary governing bodyRoyal Malaysia Police
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byMinistry of Home Affairs
HeadquartersBukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur

Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyRoyal Malaysian Police.svg Internal and Public Security Department
UnitsDetachment A – UTK
Detachment B – VAT 69
Significant operation(s)

Operators of UTK and VAT 69 are specially trained to intervene in high-risk events like hostage and barricade situations by hostile forces, especially terrorists and/or criminals. It originally had over 4,000 full-time operators, but its actual size and organisation are classified. Both units commonly function as a high-level national tactical team in extremely sensitive or dangerous situations.

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
Operators from both detachments under PGK. Operators form UTK wore a maroon beret while the operators from VAT 69 wore a tan beret.

Formation of Police SOCOMEdit

On 20 October 1997, the RMP reorganised and setting back their special operations force; VAT 69 and UTK co-ordinate them into one special operation command known as Pasukan Gerakan Khas (PGK; 'Special Operations Command — SOCOM'), launched by Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad and Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor.[2]

Although amalgamated into one directorate, they are essentially still two separate entities operating in two distinct operational environments.

VAT 69Edit

The 69 Commando Battalion, also known as Very Able Troopers 69 (VAT 69), Task Force, Charlie Force and Special Project Team, is modeled on and trained by the British Special Air Service and New Zealand Special Air Service. It was founded in 1969 (hence the name – 69) as a small combat unit to counter the tactics and techniques of the communist terrorists.[3] Initially established as an elite counter-insurgency force, the roles of counter-terrorism were added to the VAT 69 in the 1990s after the Second Malayan Emergency officially ends.

UTKEdit

Unit Tindakhas ('Special Actions Unit'), popularly known with its acronym UTK, is a special force of RMP and the oldest and most experienced counter-terrorism unit in Malaysia. This unit performs as a high-level national Police Tactical Unit team, providing 24 hours of close protection to high ranking government executives and their spouse, and the unit's members also undertake undercover missions. Founded on 1 January 1975, UTK is the brainchild of then Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar.[4] UTK were trained by the 22 SAS for urban warfare.

National Special Operations ForceEdit

In 2016, main counter-terrorism operators in Malaysia are formed into one special operations task force.[5] Few operators from PGK are selected to be part of the National Special Operations Force.

FunctionsEdit

PGK roles are believed to include:

  • Intelligence collection in deep reconnaissance missions and warfare.
  • Special operations to support the RMP Special Branch in combating subversive organisations or terrorist activities.
  • Counter-terrorism operations inside Malaysian territory in conjunction with armed forces.
  • Law enforcement operations in dealing with armed criminals inside Malaysian territory.
  • Counter-terrorism operations outside Malaysian territory; including Operation Astute in Timor Leste.
  • Search and rescue operations inside or outside Malaysian territory, such as aid operations in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia.
  • Protection of senior Malaysian dignitaries, ministers and VIPs.
  • Assist other RMP's Special Forces Equivalent Units (e.g. UNGERIN and Tiger Platoon) in terms of training and tactics.[6]

OrganisationEdit

Previously separate entities, both the VAT 69 and the UTK were amalgamated into the PGK Command on 20 October 1997, when it was launched by the 5th Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor. However, the VAT 69 and the UTK are still operating as separate units. The UTK is now officially known as Pasukan Gerakan Khas Detachment A and VAT 69 has been deputised to Pasukan Gerakan Khas Detachment B.

Based at the Royal Malaysia Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, the PGK is under the direct command of the RMP's Internal and Public Security (Malay: Keselamatan Dalam Negeri dan Ketenteraman Awam) Director. The unit commander holds the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner (SAC) and is the Deputy Director of the Internal and Public Security Branch.

With the growing threat of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks, this unit has increasingly adapted itself to conduct counter-terrorism duties.[7] With the aim of creating teams that are capable of dealing with a broad range of operations (especially counter-terrorism), the PGK small patrol team consist of six to ten operatives led by officers ranked from Police Inspector to Superintendent of Police with different expertise such as assault units, EOD experts, communications experts, snipers and field medics. The PGK has also forged closer relations with the special forces units of the Malaysian Armed Forces, including the elite 10th Parachute Brigade, 21 Grup Gerak Khas, PASKAL and PASKAU, so as to enable them to enforce security within Malaysia's borders more effectively.

RolesEdit

List of PGK detachments and their Specialties
Detachment Unit Name Insignia Speciality Notes
A Special Actions Unit

Unit Tindakhas

  Counter-terrorist and VIP close protection UTK has a variety of roles in addition to helping other branch's duties in large and serious cases.[8] The UTK is tasked in four main roles which is:
  1. Fighting urban guerrillas, terrorist groups, groups of subversive and extremist organizations.
  2. Assist the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in major criminal cases.
  3. Conducting safety protection to local VIPs and foreign visitors if may be deemed necessary.
  4. Other responsibilities as directed by the Inspector-General of Police and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

The UTK tactics and organisation are primarily influenced by the Germany GSG-9 and American Special Activities Division but with a difference; UTK operatives operate mostly in plain-clothes and also perform undercover missions. With 410 members (as of November 2017),[9] the UTK is deployed in cases of hostage taking, kidnapping, terrorism and extortion. The group may also be used to secure locations, neutralise targets, track down fugitives and sometimes conduct sniper operations and escorting and protecting top leaders and VVIPs.[10][11] UTK members are equipped for Urban Operations.[12]

B 69 Commando Battalion   Multi-spectrum operations VAT 69 commando operatives are jungle warfare specialists given VAT 69's origins as a force established to fight the communist threats in 1969 and the insurgency years. Originally trained by the British and New Zealand SAS, VAT 69 commandos conduct land, sea and air special operations techniques, with specialties in jungle warfare and deep reconnaissance missions. They execute special operations in support of the Police Special Branch fight against subversive organisations and terrorist activities, offensive operations using special weapons and tactics, hostage rescue, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, close protection and supporting the special forces, Rapid Deployment Force or infantry force of Malaysian Armed Forces in any security measures.[1][13]

There are four infantry squadrons in VAT 69 Commando with its own logistic unit, totaling around 500 members.[14] The VAT 69 consists of four main combat units:[15][16]

  • Counter Insurgency Warfare (CIW) Unit
  • Counter Terrorist Team (CTT)
  • Paratrooper/Airborne Team
  • Combat Diving Unit

Both VAT 69's and UTK's snipers, technicians and explosive expertise regularly cross-train with foreign special forces units, including the Special Air Service Regiments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the Royal Thai Border Patrol Police, the French GIGN,[17] the German Federal Police Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9),[17] and a number of US services including the US Navy SEALs,[17] Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),[17] Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)[17] and others. UTK members wear maroon berets while VAT 69 Commando members wear the sand coloured beret given to them by their founding trainers, the SAS.

On 14 November 2006, for the first time in the history of PGK, the maroon and sand coloured berets were honoured as 'Royal Berets' by Yang Dipertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putera Jamalullail, the then King of Malaysia.

Area of responsibilityEdit

 
Several officers from 69 Commando of PGK standby to demonstrate the Gayung Perang war dances during the 56th National Day Parade of Malaysia at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur. The officer on the right has a slung Colt M4A1 Carbine.
 
Four UTK operatives on standby. They are armed with MP5-Ns equipped with Aimpoint CompM2 Sight and Insight Technology flashlight.

The PGK divides areas of responsibility of both PGK detachments by states which are:

Detachment A (UTK) Detachment B (VAT 69)
Johor Pahang
Kuala Lumpur Penang
Malacca Perak
Negeri Sembilan Perlis
Putrajaya Kedah
Selangor Kelantan
Terengganu

For Sabah and Sarawak, it is under the responsibility of General Operations Force (GOF) Special Forces Equivalent Unit; Tiger Platoon from GOF Sabah Brigade and GOF Sarawak Brigade. The Tiger Platoons are supported by both PGK detachments.

Recruitment, selection and trainingEdit

 
Several UTK operatives moving during a close quarters combat drill at the killing house. The first operative is equipped with a tactical shield.

Both VAT 69 and UTK has their own recruitment and selection program. All members of the RMP with two years of service can apply to the unit selections.

The PGK is known to conduct joint training exercises and participate in exchange programs with Commonwealth special units such as the Australian SAS, British SAS, New Zealand SAS and Singapore Special Tactics and Rescue. The PGK routinely trains with neighbouring country tactical teams such as the Indonesian Mobile Brigade and Thailand Border Patrol Police. Occasionally, the PGK trains with FBI Hostage Rescue Team, French GIGN and RAID, German GSG 9,[18] Italian NOCS, Spanish G.E.O, US Delta Force, US Green Berets,[19] US Army Special Operations Command Pacific Unit (SOCPAC), Russian Special Rapid Response Unit[18] and other international units.

On 10 December 2003, the then Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Haji Omar, launched the training programme between the US SOCPAC and the 69th PGK at the General Operations Force Training Center in Ulu Kinta, Perak. The team of SOCPAC were to conduct a joint exercise with the PGK, under the code-name 'Advance Vector Balance Mint' for a duration of 2 weeks.[20] Only 42 out of the 194 participants completed the inaugural programme.

PGK equipmentEdit

UTK operators with new Battle Dress Uniforms on standby at the Centre Brigade of General Operations Force Base, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. They are armed with American-made FERFRANS SOAR compact carbines and the Remington M870 Police Magnum.
A 69 Commando operative with digital BDU on standby during the 60th Merdeka Day at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur. He is armed with a Belgian-made FN SCAR-H battle rifle fitted with an EOTech sight.

PGK teams use equipment designed for a variety of specialist situations. The particular pieces of equipment vary from unit to unit, but there are some consistent trends in what they wear and use. Much of their equipment is indistinguishable from that supplied to the military, not least because much of it is military surplus.

WeaponsEdit

As a special forces command, the PGK's detachments are equipped with a wide variety of high-class weapons and support equipment commonly associated with counter-terrorism operations, the most common weapons include sub-machine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, machine guns and sniper rifles.[13]

Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms and the majority of the officers use various 9 mm pistols. Principal handguns include:

Various shotguns used by PGK units include:

Common submachine guns used by all PGK teams include:

Common carbines include:

Common sniper rifles used are:

The 69 Commando used the common machine guns include:

Various grenade launchers used by PGK units include:

Less lethal weapons is:

NotesEdit

1The Bean Bag shell is typically fired from a shotgun, and is used by police and military forces, mainly in the United States to disperse the type of riot which is not able to be controlled with tear gas weapon. When fired, the bean bag (or BB) made from rubber and plastic is expelled at around 70–90 meters/second; it spreads out in flight and distributes its impact over about 6 centimetres² of the target. It is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration but will result in a muscle spasm or other reaction to briefly render a violent suspect immobile.

Tactical VehiclesEdit

 
UTK operators using a Ford Explorer Sport Trac type as a Rapid Intervention Vehicle for vehicular assault.

PGK employs a number of specialised vehicles to accomplish its missions. These include the Commando V-150D and the GKN Sankey AT105 armoured personnel carriers equipped with M60s as assault vehicles in urban and jungle terrain as well as modified police MPV (Mobile Patrol Vehicles), vans, trucks, 4WD, pick-ups and buses for use as tactical vehicles. PGK also employs RHIB assault boats, jet-skis and Marine Subskimmer (DPV) in maritime missions and amphibious insertions.

For its airborne operations, PGK is aided with the C-130 Hercules from Royal Malaysian Air Force, and Cessna 206G, Cessna 208 Caravan 1 and Pilatus Porter PC-6 aircraft as well as the E-Squirrel AS-355 F2/AS-355N helicopter from RMP Air Wing Unit.

Developments and AcquisitionsEdit

On 25 October 2007, the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) West funded RM 2 million state-of-the-art shooting house for the VAT 69 Commando battalion was opened.[22]

List of Unit CommandersEdit

Listed below are the unit commanders past & present.

List of Pasukan Gerakan Khas Commander
Name Year Remark
SUPT G/640 M. Shanmugam 1975 – 1976 First commanding officer of the PGK
SUPT G/3158 Ramli Abd Kadir 1976 – 1978 Replaced Supt. Shanmugam
ACP G/2827 Syed Mohd Mumtaz Wafa Syed Subli Wafa 1978 – 1983 -
ACP G/3740 A Navaratnam 1983 – 1986 First commanding officer and head of VAT 69
DSP G/5439 Meor Chek Hussein Mahayuddin 1986 – 1987 Assistant commanding officer of the PGK
ACP G/3421 Mohd Yusof Harun 1987 – 1990 -
ACP G/3432 Haji Idris Haji Wahid 1990 – 1993 -
SAC I G/5439 Dato' Meor Chek Hussien Mahayuddin 1993 – 2000 1997 Merged VAT 69 and UTK to Pasukan Gerakan Khas
SAC II G/5096 Dato' Mohd Anuar Mohd Zain 2000 – 2002 -
SAC II Roslan Mohd Yassin 2002 – 2004 PGK Commander from 2002 and transferred to Pahang state as the Officer Chief of Police Contingent in 2004
SAC II Mohd Rani Abd Rashid 2004 – 2006 From Deputy Director of Internal and Public Security in Royal Malaysian Police
SAC II Muhammad Sabtu Osman 2006 – 2008 Transferred to Kuala Lumpur as Kuala Lumpur Police State Chief
SAC I Dato' Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarin 2008 – 2015 Replaced SAC II Muhammad Sabtu Osman
SAC Dato' Azizan Abd. Aziz 2015 – Present Replaced SAC I Dato' Muhammad Fuad Abu Zarin

Killed in the line of dutyEdit

Rank Name Unit Year of death Circumstances
ASP G/3427 ("Task Force") Mohd Zabri Abdul Hamid SP VAT 69 1975 Fatally injured due to stepping onto booby-trap while intercepting and hunting down communist guerillas who were responsible for the murder of four Extra Police Constable at Grik, Perak.[23]
PC 67574 ("Task Force") Zainuddin Hassan VAT 69 1984 Killed by communist sniper while assisting Police Field Force who were trapped in an ambush by communist guerillas at Ulu Kinta jungle, Perak
Cpl Ismail Ibrahim VAT 69 2000 Parachuting accident during basic training course at PGK B Training Facility, Ulu Kinta, Perak
Cpl 110992 Idrus Johar VAT 69
Insp G/17992 Zulkifli Mamat VAT 69 2013 Killed during an unexpected "white flag" ambush by Sulu terrorists while hunting down a terrorist group in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Cpl 113088 Sabaruddin Daud VAT 69
Cpl 148953 Mohd Razkan Seran UTK 2015 Killed in helicopter crash into a jungle along Jalan Sungai Lalang in Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih, Kajang, during escorting Rompin Member of Parliament, Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis from Pahang to Subang.

MissionsEdit

 
Two operatives of UTK including one female operator armed with MP5-N sub-machine guns during the CQC drill.

Operations DawnEdit

Its first counter-terrorism mission, which is one of the most well-known and which established the unit's reputation as an elite unit, was an operation known as "Operasi Subuh"/"Operasi Khas 304" ('Operations Dawn/Special Operation 304'). It was carried out on 3 July 2000 against Al-Ma'unah terrorists who had stolen 94 M16 rifles, 2 Steyr AUG rifles, 4 General Purpose Machineguns (GPMG), 6 Light Machineguns (LMG), 5 M203 grenade launchers, 26 bayonet daggers and thousands of ammunition rounds from 2 control posts of the Rejimen Askar Wataniah ('Territorial Army Regiment') camp in Kuala Rui, Perak and captured 2 police officers, one army special forces soldier and one villager as hostages and planned to commit treason against a democratically elected government.[24]

In the dawn of 5 July 2000, police and military units created a distraction, while members of the PGK, accompanied by the 22nd Commando Regiment (22 Cdo) of Grup Gerak Khas led by Malaysian Army senior officer, Lt. Gen. (R) Zaini Mohamad Said and PGK 69 Commando leader, ASP Abd Razak Mohd Yusof were sent to Sauk, Perak to negotiate with the Al-Ma'unah leader, Mohamed Amin Mohamed Razali.

Amin, along with his comrades, were persuaded to drop their arms and surrender to the security forces. Although most of the group initially surrendered, negotiations eventually broke down and a bloody gunfight ensued. In these incidents, 2 of the 4 hostages were killed before the group finally surrendered. The security forces suffered two casualties – police Special Branch officer, Detective Corporal R. Sanghadevan and Trooper Matthew anak Medan from 22 Cdo were tortured before they were killed and was buried by 2 other hostages, Sergeant (R) Mohd Shah Ahmad and civilian Jaafar Puteh, in the jungle before they were both rescued by security forces. Abdul Halim Ali @ Ahmad, a member of the militant group, was shot dead in the gunfight and five others were injured, including two seriously injured. The other 22 were taken into police custody.[25] Mohamed Amin, Zahit Muslim, Jemari Jusoh and Jamaludin Darus were later sentenced to death and the other 16 were sentenced to life imprisonment. 10 more comrades, Megat Mohamed Hanafi Ilias, Muhamad Nukhshah Bandi Che Mansor, Riduan Berahim, Azlan Abdul Ghani, Shahidi Ali and Khairul Anuar Mohamed Ariffin, were sentenced by the High Court to ten years in jail each after pleading guilty to an alternative charge under Section 122 for preparing to wage war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after they pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.[26][27]

Publicly known missionsEdit

 
UTK officers riding the Honda ST1300 escorted the VVIP vehicles out to the exit gate of Parliament Square after the 52nd Independence Day Parade on 31 August 2009.
  • 1970s: 69 Commandos led by ASP Zabri Abd Hamid together with Indonesian Army KOSTRAD combated the PARAKU in Kalimantan jungles.
  • October 1985: Special Actions Unit (UTK) was involved in hostage rescue operations including one doctor and one medical assistant by six armed convicts led by Jimmy Chua in Pudu Jail, Kuala Lumpur. Six days later, hostages were successfully rescued, while Jimmy was captured and was sentenced to death.
  • 29 June 1993: UTK stormed a hiding place of P. Kalimuthu or Bentong Kali at Medan Damasara, Selangor. In the shoot-out with the police, the Most-Wanted Criminal was successfully killed.
  • 1994: One of the Philippine MNLF organisations, Rizal Aleh and his father escaped from the Philippines and hid in a village of Sabah where he started piracy activities. 69 Commandos led by DSP Mohd Noor Razak within operations code-named Ops Bamboo II was sent to Sabah to infiltrate him. Mohd Noor was shot by Rizal at his leg during a struggle with him. Both were successfully captured and sentenced by the National Court after pleading guilty for his criminal activities in Sabah. Later, both Rizal and his father were extraditions to the Philippines government.
  • 1998: The Pasukan Gerakan Khas and the Grup Gerak Khas were deployed to provide security and were on standby for hostage rescue, close protection and counter-terrorism duties during the 1998 Commonwealth Games held at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on 11 to 21 September 1998.[28]
  • 20 September 1998: In the twilight hours, by orders from the then Prime Minister to the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor, 69 Commando of PGK operatives led by Inspector Mazlan arrested the ex-Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Anwar Ibrahim in his home 18 days after his ejection from the Cabinet, for inciting anti-Mahathir reforms in Kuala Lumpur. He was initially arrested under the Internal Security Act and was subsequently charged with, and convicted of, corruption and sodomy.[29] 6 years later in 2004, when he was serving his jail sentence for sodomy after completing his sentence for corruption, he was released when his sodomy conviction was overturned by the Federal Court in the case of "Dato’ Seri Anwar b. Ibrahim & Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja Lwn. Pendakwa Raya."[30][31]
  • 18 January 2000: Involved in an operation to arrest the Gang Steyr, the armed criminal group which was led by ex-special forces personnel named Mohd Hizan Jaafar, along with 5 men after they robbed a bank in Sri Serdang Road, Selangor. During the operation, two criminals including Mohd Hizan and Abu Hasan were killed at Majidee Malay Village and two more were killed in a shoot-out with the police at Kempas Toll Plaza, Johor Bahru and recovered 4 Steyr AUG rifles, Smith & Wesson .22 handgun, one Remington shotgun, 85 rounds of 5.56 mm bullets, 3 rounds .22 bullets, a few bullet shells and found RM 291,000. The police also launched an operation to hunt two other members of the gang.[32]
  • 5 July 2000: The militant group Al-Ma'unah stole crates of military firearms and planned to commit treason against a democratically elected government. Members of the PGK 69 Commando and the 22nd GGK stormed the group's camp at Sauk, Perak and rescued 2 hostages while 2 other hostages were killed.
  • 2001: Arrested two Jemaah Islamiyah suspect terrorists which in the list of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Yazid Sufaat and Suhaimi Mokhtar and detained at the Kamunting Detention Center under the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960 related to involvement with the activities of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and al-Qaeda other 11 September attacks and Bali bombings.[33][34]
  • 2002: Arrested six Jemaah Islamiyah suspect terrorists, Dr Abdullah Daud, Shamsuddin Sulaiman, Mat Shah Mohd Satray, Abdul Murad Sudin, Zaini Zakaria and Zainun Rashid.[33]
  • 12 September 2002: Ahmad Mohd Arshad, or known as Mat Komando, 37, the leader of Gang 13, then No. 1 on the Malaysian Most-Wanted-Criminal list for 52 armed robberies involving about RM 2.5 million, armed assault and illegal possession of firearms (among others), was known to be hiding in a Kampung Hujung Keton, the village in the state of Kedah on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Armed with intelligence gathered from surveillance and villagers, 10 police officers from 69 Commando anti-terror police, supported by the GOF paramilitary police, cordoned off the area and stormed a hut in the village for the takedown. Sensing the presence of law enforcement officials in dawn 12, 6 September.30 am, Mat Komando opened fire and in the ensuing shoot-out, was shot in the head and left ribs and was killed. The police seized a Colt .45 pistol with three rounds of ammunition and an S&W Model 617 .22 revolver with two rounds of ammunition, two bullet shells from the deceased criminal. The then Malaysian Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Norian Mai (Retired), said that Mat Komando was the fourth member of the Gang 13 members to be killed in shoot-outs against police while the remaining nine members had been arrested.[35]
 
The model of 69 Commando PGK with the HALO/HAHO equipment.
  • 27 September 2002: Hunted downed Gang M16, the then Most-Wanted-Criminals of Malaysia for an armed robbery at the Bank of Tokyo in 1985, 16 other armed robberies in jewellery shops and pawn shops, carting away loot which amounted to RM 21.28 million. It was reported that all the members of this group were Chinese and the mastermind of this group was one Elvis Keh Jiang Long a.k.a. Ah Po, the ex-Singaporean National Service personnel (Singaporean Army), was an expert in various firearms and he was responsible for training the group for the robberies. During the gun-fighting with the UTK in Batu 5, Jalan Seremban-Mantin, near the Galla Recreational Park, Mantin, Negeri Sembilan, two of the Gang M16 members, identified as Sunny Chai @ Sum Wing Chang and his right-hand man, known as Hew Yau, was shot dead. Another gang member, Chang Kew Yin, managed to escape. One UTK officer was wounded. Security forces recovered an M16 rifle with two rounds of ammunition, a Colt semi-automatic handgun with 16 rounds of ammunition, a Smith & Wesson revolver and three ski-masks from the suspects' vehicles. At 28, 2 December am, Chang was gunned down in the ensuing shootout at Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru and security forces recovered a China-made Norinco pistol with three rounds of ammunition from Chang's body. Federal CID Director, Datuk Salleh Mat Som (late), said the police was always hunting for the Gang M16 members who were still at large, including sending their officers to Singapore and Thailand to track Keh down and also requested the assistance of the Australian police to locate another gang member, Hew Soon Loong @ Hong Kong Chai, who was believed to have fled to the country.[36][37]
  • Participated in hostage rescue operations against Abu Sayyaf in Sipadan Island (Pulau Sipadan) and Ligitan Island (Pulau Ligitan), Sabah with support from GOF, the Malaysian Armed Forces and Philippine Armed Forces.
  • 2003: Arrested six Jemaah Islamiyah suspect terrorists, Mohd Khaider Kadran (JI leader), Wan Amin Wan Hamat, Sulaiman Suramin, Sufian Salih, Ahmad Muaz Al Bakry and Hasim Talib.[33]
  • 16-17 October 2003: Involved in VVIP protection of the Islamic leaders during the 10th Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Putrajaya.
  • 2004: Arrested three Indonesian National Jemaah Islamiyah suspect terrorists, Zakaria Samad, Ahmad Zakaria and Terhamid Dahalan.
  • 16 December 2004: Participated in the search and rescue mission for the lost Indonesian BRIMOB, in which 700 personnel from the POLRI special operations force units went missing in Aceh after the tsunami incident.
  • 2004: Arrested three Indonesian National Jemaah Islamiyah suspect terrorists, Mahfudi Saifuddin, Mulyadi and Arifin related to involved with the activities of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) other Bali bombings in 2004.
  • 2005: Undertook VVIP escort missions to protect ex-Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad when he visited Johor.
  • 23 August 2005: Five officers and 32 members of the 69 Commandos of PGK counter-terrorist operatives flown to Kukup, Pontian for the intercept operations of a ship seized the Panama-registered 567-tonne vessel MV Natris which was renamed MV Paulijing, laden with soybeans and vinegar, believed to run off Batam waters, Indonesia. The ship was detected by the Marine Operations Force in the Malacca Straits after reported missing in 2003. This operation was named Operation MV Paulijing. The operation also involves members of the SWAT units of the Marine Operations Force which resulting arrested 20 Chinese crews including the captain when they refused to heed to the order by the police authorities.[38][39]
  • 2006: Deployed as part of the United Nations (U.N.) INTERFET to support the Operation Astute. It consisted of Malaysian U.N. 10th Parachute Brigade, Grup Gerak Khas, Australian and New Zealand U.N Armed Forces in Timor Leste.[40]
  • 2007: Arrested four alleged Jemaah Islamiyah involvements, Zulkifli Marzuki, Mohd Nasir Ismail, Ahmad Kamil Hanafiah and Muhd Amir Hanafiah.[33]
  • July 2007: Deployed in a search and rescue operation after a Sikorsky S61 Nuri helicopter of the RMAF went down along with a crew of six near Genting Sempah, Genting Highlands. The SAR team, which consisted of the U.S. Navy Air Fleet from USS Jarrett, 10th Parachute Brigade, the 22 Cdo of GGK, PASKAU, the police General Operations Force's Senoi Praaq, Police Air Wing, Fire and Rescue Department, Forestry Department rangers, Civil Defense Department (JPA3) and villagers, located the wreckage of the chopper on 17 July 1324 hrs with its rotor blades detached. The bodies of all crew members were found in the cabin of the stricken aircraft.[41]
  • 16 July 2008: Arrested the PKR de facto leader, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim in front of his house at Bukit Segambut in the twilight hours, similar to what happened in 1998, for investigations under Section 377C of the Penal Code for alleged "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" with his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. However, CID director Commissioner Dato' Mohd Bakri Zinin said that the arrest was not carried out by the UTK, but by the Bukit Aman's Serious Crimes Division (possibly by the Unit Tindakan Cepat, UTC).[42]
 
A UTK officer using a battering ram to performing a door breaching during the CQC drill.
  • 2009: In February 2008, a Singaporean Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) leader, Mas Selamat Kastari escaped from Whitley Detention Center, the tightest detention centre in Singapore. A few months later, he was found to be hiding at a village house in Kampung Tawakal, Skudai, 40 km from Johor Bahru. Following intelligence sharing with the police forces of Indonesia and Singapore and tidying of tactical planning, in the dawn of 1 April 2009 at 06:00 am, a team from UTK counter-terrorist unit was deployed to assist police Special Branch agents to recapture the militant leader in the village house. Both the UTK and Special Branch members stormed each of the perimeters of that house while Mas Selamat was sound asleep. However, according to a witness, Mohd Saat Marjo, 57, a villager who lived opposite the fugitive’s home, about 30 masked commandos armed with automatic weapons together with plainclothes Special Branch agents broke through two doors and rushed into the house when Mat Selamat refused to come out and surrender when ordered by the police. The raid and inclusion by the UTK and Special Branch were very organised, giving Mas Selamat no chance to escape. He was handcuffed with his face covered in a dark blue checked cloth before he was swiftly bundled into a police vehicle and taken away.[43] Other JI members, Abdul Matin Anol Rahmat and Johar Hassan, were also arrested together, and the police also seized documents and other paraphernalia that allegedly revealed their planned operation as well as combed the area with bomb detectors to ensure that the house was free of explosives.[44] However, the UTK's involvement in that operation was not highlighted in the media due to the top-secret nature of the operations. The arrest was attributed to the Special Branch.
  • 2010: Intercepted the Sultan of Kelantan's motorcade (escorts) 30m outside of the Kelantan Royal Palace as they were heading for the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport to depart for Singapore pending further treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. The team then brought the Sultan, himself not willingly, to the nearby hospital (HUSM) somewhere 200m from the Palace.[45]
  • 8 July 2011: Deployed in a hostage rescue mission in which a preschool located at Sungai Abong Park, Sakeh Street near Muar in southern Johore state was taken by a 40-year-old man. The man named Loi Hui Chung, who was suspected to be a drug addict and mentally-deranged, was armed with a hammer and a machete and he threatened to kill the hostages if his demand was not met. The siege ended at exactly 1541 GMT after UTK members stormed the building with tear gas and shot the suspect. He was in a critical condition with a head wound and died later at the Sultanah Fatimah Specialist Hospital at 2115 GMT.[46][47][48]
  • 7 February 2013: Arrested a former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Yazid Sufaat and two of his friends, including a woman, in the Klang Valley, Selangor in separate operations. The unit nabbed Yazid and Mohd Hilmi Hasim at a canteen in the Jalan Duta court complex whilst the woman, Halimah Hussin, was picked up from her house in Kajang. They became the first few to be arrested under the new Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) which replaced the ISA. They were alleged to have been promoting terrorism and had allegedly been linked to terrorist activities in Syria.[49][50][51]
  • 2013: Deployed in Lahad Datu, Sabah during the Lahad Datu conflict. The 69 Commando members were involved in hunting down a terrorist group, numbering approximately 200 in strength, from the self-styled "Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo," while UTK members were deployed in urban and populated areas to defend them. The commandos were the main assault team during the early stage of the conflict. Two officers were gunned down and three more wounded in an unexpected "white flag" ambush by the Sulu terrorists, while 12 of the terrorists were shot to death in retaliation and three other terrorists were fatally wounded.[52]
  • 2 March 2013: Officers and members of the 69 Commandos who were deployed to Lahad Datu as reinforcements rescued police officers who were trapped in an ambush by less than ten Sulu terrorists in Kampung Seri Jaya Siminul, Semporna. The terrorists, armed with AK-47 and M16 rifles, had ambushed the officers during a surveillance operation. In the ambush, six officers were downed, while six terrorists also killed after the officers launched the counter-attack.
  • 19 May 2015: A team of roughly 300 operators from the 69 Commandos were deployed to Malaysia–Thailand border to search and curb the human trafficking activities in the region.[53]

In popular cultureEdit

Books, television and movies

  • 1991: "Bayangan Maut", a movie starring Yusof Haslam dan Noorkumalasari. The movie shows UTK operatives in plain clothes armed with Colt M16 rifle.
  • 1996: "Maria Mariana", a movie directed by Yusof Haslam. There is a hostage rescue scene involving UTK operatives.
  • 1997–present: "Gerak Khas", a TV series by RTM and produced by Yusof Haslam, about a fictional UTK squad codenamed 'Gerak Khas' solving high-risk crimes throughout major cities in Malaysia. It is the longest running TV series in Malaysia, which spun off into two films.
  • 1999: "Entrapment", a movie starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones. UTK operators act as SWAT Team during the chasing scene at Petronas Twin Tower.
  • 2001: "Gerak Khas The Movie", an action movie by Yusof Haslam, based on the TV series. The film is about the squad's task of curbing pirated VCD and drugs selling syndicates throughout Kuala Lumpur.
  • 2002: "Gerak Khas The Movie 2", the subsequent sequel, about the UTK and VAT 69 operators conducting joint anti-drugs operations in Penang.
  • 2004: "GK3", the third sequel for Gerak Khas The Movie. The movie shows UTK operators in plainclothes conducting undercover mission in Langkawi.
  • 2005: "VAT 69 - Warisan Darah Perwira", an Astro-produced docudrama directed by Jins Shamsuddin about the tactics and professionalism of VAT 69.
  • 2010: "VAT 69: Malaysia's Very Able Troopers", a documentary by History Channel Asia about the VAT 69's history and formation.
  • 2011: "Wira Padang Pasir", a TV drama by Astro, about an ex-VAT 69 turned UTK operator now working as a Malaysian Embassy bodyguard in Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2016: "Kerambit", an RTM produced television series directed by Zul Huzaimy about the Intelligence Squad of VAT 69.
  • 2017: "J Revolusi", an action film by Grand Brilliance and Infinitus Productions about a conflict between a UTK officer, his sister; a Special Branch agent and their adoptive father; a UTK Commander.
  • 2017: "Majalah 3: Perisai Keamanan Bandar", a documentary by TV3 about UTK operations and training.
  • 2018: In “Polis Evo 2”, a tactical team is sent to rescue hostages at a remote island. Despite the team being called UKAP (Unit Khas Anti-Penganas), it is more likely to be modelled after PGK, whereas their tactics and weapons are similar.

See alsoEdit

  • Elite Forces of Malaysia – List of the Malaysian Elite Forces; including VAT 69 and UTK and their armed forces and other government agencies equivalents.

ReferencesEdit

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Further readingEdit

  • Navaratnam, A. (2001). The Spear and the Kerambit: The Exploits of VAT 69, Malaysia's Elite Fighting Force, 1968–1989. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan Publications and Distributions. ISBN 967-61-1196-1.

External linksEdit