Senoi Praaq – battalion to be reckoned with
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — They are known for their vast knowledge of the jungle, are loyal, faithful, dependable, and fearless in facing threats. These are the men behind the Senoi Praaq or Orang Perang (War People), a unit of the Royal Malaysia Police under the General Operations Force.
The Senoi Praaq, made up almost entirely of indigenous tribal people or the Orang Asli, possesses true integrity and when assigned with any task they can be expected to deliver.
As such, when they are given the security role in guarding the borders of the nation, the Senoi Praaq troopers’ no-nonsense reputation could strike fear among smugglers lurking in the border areas.
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Abd Rahim Jaafar in attesting to this said, the Senoi Praaq troopers would never give face when confronted with smugglers while safeguarding our country’s border.
“Smugglers feel the heat when the Senoi Praaq team ramps up surveillance at the border and they can be very firm when dealing with enemies.
“With these men, if their (Senoi Praaq) leader says no to illegal entry it means no. There is no two way about it and bribing them is out of the question.
“… for this reason, Senoi Praaq teams are being deployed to tackle smugglers and combat illicit trade activities. Smuggling of drugs and firearms into Malaysia is a major security concern,” he said in an interview with Bernama at Bukit Aman, here, recently.
In addition, Abdul Rahim said the team’s expertise was also needed for other more difficult and at times, covert missions which were conducted abroad.
The Senoi Praaq team was once deployed in Sabah under Ops Tayang to combat pirates and illegal immigrants, and Ops Taring to combat poaching and wildlife trafficking, he said.
The team had also been assigned to two United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions in Timor Leste, namely the United Nation of Support in Timor-Leste (UNMISET) and the United Nation Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).
The skills and qualities inherent in members of the Senoi Praaq are very much in demand and they are able to take on challenges wherever they are sent, either locally and abroad.
“They have a unique set of skills and have proven to be effective as their operations had often been successful surpassing any other unit. They have gained respect for their fighting spirit, high level of integrity and trustworthiness in carrying out their duties,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdul Rahim said the Senoi Praaq has played an important role in maintaining national security even though the original objective of establishing the battalion was to stop communist influence over the remote Orang Asli settlements and to combat poachers in the jungle.
Today he said, they are also involved in combating illegal wildlife hunting and other wildlife criminal activities,working in collaboration with other enforcement agencies in Johor, Pahang and Terengganu.
Well-known for their extraordinary jungle survival and tracking skills, the Senoi Praaq battalion was often called upon in search and rescue (SAR) missions to locate people missing in the jungle.
In fact he said, a Senoi Praaq team was involved in the search mission for Irish-French teenager, Nora Anne Quoirin who went missing while on holiday at a resort in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan in August last year.
They were also deployed in other SAR operations to track down a Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Arau, Perlis student Nur Umaisarah Sameon, who was separated from the group and lost her way while descending Gunung Tahan, Pahang in 2009 and to find the crew of a Nuri helicopter which crashed in Genting Sepah in 2007.