New Era of St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (1972-1989)

The merger of SJAA and SJAB was first suggested in 1963 by the St. John Ambulance Headquarters in London.  The suggestion was subsequently discussed at the 1970 National Conference. In 1971, the Minister of Health YB Tan Sri (later Tun) Haji Sardon bin Haji Jubir, who was also the St. John Council Chairman, suggested that with the merger, activities of the Association and the Brigade in West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak be streamlined.

In 1972, SJAA and SJAB in Malaysia were amalgamated into one corporation known as the St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM). The 1972 St John Ambulance of Malaysia (Incorporation) Act (Act No. 74) passed by the Malaysian Parliament was given Royal Assent on 23 March and gazetted on 30 March 1972. It came into force on 31 August 1972. Following the enactment of the Act, work on the St. John Rules started in the same year. The final draft of the Rules was prepared by the Legal Advisor of the Ministry of Health on 29 January 1973. The 1973 St John Ambulance Rules were gazetted and came into force with effect from 1 August 1973. Under the Rules, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Minister of Health shall hold the position of SJAM National President and Deputy National President respectively. The Rules also provide for the establishment of a National St. John Council and an Executive Committee at the National, State/Regional and Area levels. The first National Council Meeting after the amalgamation was called on 2 June 1974. With the amalgamation, the National St. John Council was formed according to 1972 Act and 1973 Rules. YB Tan Sri Abdul Kadir was appointed the first SJAM Commander-in-Chief.

The National Headquarters introduced the first version of SJAM Dress Regulations in 1975. Meanwhile, the National Lay-Lecturers Course was held at Port Dickson in August 1977. Tan Sri Abdul Kadir, National St. John Council Chairman and SJAM Commander-in-Chief passed away on 8 November 1978 and he was succeeded by YB Dato’ Dr. P. T. Arasu.  The first Officers’ Training Course for Lecturers of Teachers’ Training Colleges was held at Pulau Pinang in 1978. The first National Training Seminar was held in 1979 at Port Dickson. On 20 April 1980, SJAM held its National Review and Investiture at Padang Kelab Selangor (now known as Merdeka Square). The parade was inspected by YAB Tun Hussein bin Dato’ Onn, SJAM National President. Encik (later Dato’) Zainal Abidin bin Endot succeeded Dato’ Dr. P. T. Arasu as the National St. John Council Chairman and third SJAM Commander-in-Chief in 1980.

The National Headquarters held a 7-day First Aid Course for Lecturers of Teachers’ Training Colleges at the Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in November 1985, following the establishment of Bahagian Pendidikan Guru (Teachers’ Education Division) in the same year. Encik E. Paramasivam succeeded Dato’ Zainal Abidin bin Endot as the National St. John Council Chairman and fourth SJAM Commander-in-Chief in 1987.