Joining the British army from Malaysia?

Svennov

Swinger
Hello,

I apologize if I didn't post in the right section, but I've been exploring my options and one of them is joining the British army.

I'm a Malaysian national of Chinese descent and my grandfathers served in the British army before and after the Second World War. Many of us have.

Our army is modeled after the British army so I believe I should, to a certain extent, be familiar with the army (The drills, the hierarchy, and whatnot)

I have a few questions currently.

1. Letter of Liability. What is this "Letter of Liability" that I'm required to get from my government? Would a letter from my TA suffice? as in, a letter stating that I do not currently have to go for any form of national service (I'm currently serving in the local TA).

2. Malaysians in the British Army. Are there any or have you heard of any Malaysians in the British army in the past 20 years?
- I've found the staff from the recruitment side rather unfriendly or maybe it's a cultural difference thing.

3. Education and career progression. I'm looking to join as a general fitter (which I believe is part of the Royal Engineers). Are there any possibilities of furthering education to perhaps, become a Professional Engineer somehow perhaps?

4. Bullying. I'm curious about bullying in the British army. How severe is it? I know the army is meant to toughen you up but I don't intend to die or be permanently disabled in the process of that. (dying on the battlefield is an expected risk of course)

5. Racism. I'm aware there's bound to be racial discrimination, but I want to get an idea of what I might be facing. Hopefully some of you may know what your Eastern Asian colleagues may have gone through if you've ever served with any. I'm no stranger to racial discrimination, but I would imagine being called "chink" often or be singled out to do stuff others wouldn't (For me that's nothing much because I've already been through that) But I wouldn't like to get my face slammed in just for being who I am.

6. Training. How severe is training? During my time for 30 days straight we slept maybe 2 hours a day or maybe 3 days straight without sleeping with physically strenuous activities on top of that on a daily basis.

If it helps, I currently hold the rank of Cpl.
 

Bris

LE
I haven't heard of anyone joining from Malaysia, but that's not to say it's impossible.

I'd ring the UK army careers people for the best advice, as this is a fairly unusual situation.
 
We had a lad join us from Malaya in '60's I believe he remembered the Regiment operating out there in '50's. Didn't stick around long involved in some fisticuffs,think he was moved on. Good luck.
 

feu_de_joie

War Hero
Mrs Feu joined the British Army in 1977 as a Malaysian National. She had no problems and then took British Nationality some time later, at which point she had to relinquish Malaysian Nationality. I expect things have changed but the rules should be the same for all Commonwealth Countries
 
I can think of at least one Malaysian in the RNR so clearly it is at least possible.
 

Svennov

Swinger
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm curious @kinross_special Is that Malaysian an ethnic Chinese or another group? It would be interesting to know because Chinese have a culture of not joining the military, even in Taiwan or China itself.


Additionally, I'm curious regarding Visa. The recruiting website mentioned I needed a Visa but didn't specify what type. As far as I've checked, I don't require a Visa for business or academic visits for 6 months or under but I'm still confused. Do they mean any kind of visa - as long as I can get in?
 
Hello,

I apologize if I didn't post in the right section, but I've been exploring my options and one of them is joining the British army.

I'm a Malaysian national of Chinese descent and my grandfathers served in the British army before and after the Second World War. Many of us have.

Our army is modeled after the British army so I believe I should, to a certain extent, be familiar with the army (The drills, the hierarchy, and whatnot)

I have a few questions currently.



3. Education and career progression. I'm looking to join as a general fitter (which I believe is part of the Royal Engineers). Are there any possibilities of furthering education to perhaps, become a Professional Engineer somehow perhaps?

4. Bullying. I'm curious about bullying in the British army. How severe is it? I know the army is meant to toughen you up but I don't intend to die or be permanently disabled in the process of that. (dying on the battlefield is an expected risk of course)

5. Racism. I'm aware there's bound to be racial discrimination, but I want to get an idea of what I might be facing. Hopefully some of you may know what your Eastern Asian colleagues may have gone through if you've ever served with any. I'm no stranger to racial discrimination, but I would imagine being called "chink" often or be singled out to do stuff others wouldn't (For me that's nothing much because I've already been through that) But I wouldn't like to get my face slammed in just for being who I am.

If it helps, I currently hold the rank of Cpl.
I'm British Born Chinese, so similar background to you, although I don't have any family who served in the British army. I'll try to answer the 3 points I can answer.
Education-oppurtunities are always there to gain a degree, whatever your trade. Although for some trades it may be easier than others.I'm currently a reserve Royal engineers capbadged. For example if you were to be a geotech its fairly easy to top up to a degree after specialist training. However, it seems that this role isn't open to commonwealth citizens due to it requiring security clearance. For others it would be slightly more difficult.

Bullying-Is not acceptable in the army, and there are procedures in place if you feel you are being mistreated.

Racism-The military is the only place where I've never felt any different because of my ethnicity. Apart from the odd racial banter I'd say the miltiary is the least racist organisation I've been in. Be aware though that us Chinese are fairly underrepresented in the forces. Even compared to other asian ethnic groups.
 

Svennov

Swinger
@Bris Yes, I've used the live chat twice. They barely answered my questions and seemed as if they'd rather not entertain me at all lol.

@maukjf Thank you for your response. I was worried because I've been reading a lot about recruits getting single out and bullied and can't be reported because of incompetent superiors, I'm glad to hear from your perspective.

If it's not too personal, may I know if you are an Officer or Other rank? I'm only allowed to join as Other Rank unfortunately. Would I be allowed the same privileges as you in terms of education?
 
@Bris Yes, I've used the live chat twice. They barely answered my questions and seemed as if they'd rather not entertain me at all lol.

@maukjf Thank you for your response. I was worried because I've been reading a lot about recruits getting single out and bullied and can't be reported because of incompetent superiors, I'm glad to hear from your perspective.

If it's not too personal, may I know if you are an Officer or Other rank? I'm only allowed to join as Other Rank unfortunately. Would I be allowed the same privileges as you in terms of education?
I'm other rank. Educational oppurtunities are open for all. The main issue is the time and role. For example if you're an infantryman studying a degree in engineering would be alot more difficult than a vehicle mechanic studying the same degree. Largely because the infantryman doesn't do engineering in his day job.....
 

Svennov

Swinger
@maukjf Thank you very much. You have been extremely helpful, and thank you to everyone who took the time to answer.

I am still very curious about training however.
 

Svennov

Swinger
Mrs Feu joined the British Army in 1977 as a Malaysian National. She had no problems and then took British Nationality some time later, at which point she had to relinquish Malaysian Nationality. I expect things have changed but the rules should be the same for all Commonwealth Countries
May I know how she obtained permission from the Malaysian government to join the British army? Thank you very much.
 
There certainly are opportunities, I served with a Malysian who started as a soldier in the RAPC and ended up a Lt Col in the AGC SPS.
 
I am sure I met at least one Straits Chinese soldier from Malaysia.during trade training at 8sigs Catterick, and served with another at 7sigs. Also served at 7sigs with a Malaysian born European.
 
1986 at 8 sigs, 1986-1989 at 7sigs.
 

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