Commemorating those who served in Malaya and Borneo

31 Aug 2022

Each year on 31 August we recognise the Australian defence personnel who served in the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation. 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said it is important to never forget the 39 Australians who died in Malaya, and the 23 Australians who died during the Confrontation. 

“On Malaya and Borneo Veterans’ Day it is important that we acknowledge our personnel who served in Malaya, a military commitment by Australia of some 13 years,” Minister Keogh said. 

“This commemoration is particularly personal for me, as my Great Aunt was a nurse who served in the Malayan Emergency. 

“The Malayan Emergency was declared in 1948, after the Malayan Communist Party launched an insurgency against the British colonial government.”

Australia entered the conflict in 1950 and would carried out anti-insurgency operations until August 1962, with forces remaining as a deterrent until 1963.

“The Indonesian Confrontation started in late 1962, and would again see Australian forces committed. It took place mainly on the island of Borneo.” Minister Keogh said.

“It was an undeclared war between Indonesia and the new state of Malaysia, and Australian troops assisted Malaysia in operations from 1964 to 1966,” 

“Today we commemorate those the Australians who died during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation, while acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of all who served during these conflicts.”

You can learn more about the Malayan Emergency and Indonesian Confrontation on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Anzac Portal.