Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM)

Service to Malaysia.

Saturday 14th April was my first significant public act as an SNP candidate for local election. Which thankfully didn’t quite go to plan but ended up more dignified as a result.

st-mcdangle-at-sheila-carmichael-PJM-medal-presentationI’d been asked to read a citation at a small private ceremony in Lochmaben as part of a posthumous medal presentation to the widow of a soldier who had served in Malaya (now Malaysia) during the period of the Anglo Malayan Defence Agreement (AMDA). The right to have this award officially recognised by the British Government required a prolonged fight by the resourceful people who organised http://www.fight4thepjm.org/ against the Westminster government. They succeeded, and I was privileged to meet the widow, members of her family and “mcdangle” who was one of the active members of fight4thepjm.

On the day Joan McAlpine (MSP) was in attendance and was more appropriately placed to present the medal and say what needed to be said for the assembled media. Being naive to old-school politicking or campaigning, it didn’t sit right with me to “hijack” what should be a dignified occasion especially in the campaign period for the local elections, so when the TV cameraman expressed some guidance on this, I was more than happy to learn about the family, watch the proceedings and eat shortbread.

The debrief period with Joan was constructive and highlighted some local issues that I’m taking to the voters, including the need to improve and increase the range of services provided by the local community hospitals in Lochmaben and Moffat. I’ve got so much to learn. I guess it’s started…

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