Malaysia Civil Defence Force

The Malaysia Civil Defence Force (Malay: Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia) or popularly known as APM or MCDF (formerly JPAM and JPA3) is the civil defence services agency in Malaysia, until 31 August 2016 the Civil Defence Department (Malay: Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia).

Malaysia Civil Defence Force
Angkatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia
Agency overview
Formed1939 (1939)
Preceding agencies
  • Jabatan Pertahanan Awam Malaysia (JPAM)
  • Jabatan Pertahanan Awam (JPA3)
HeadquartersCivil Defence Forces HQ, Jalan Padang Tembak, 50556 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
MottoSedia, Pantas, Berintegriti
(Readiness, Speed, Integrity)
Parent agencyPrime Minister's Department



  • 1939 - Civil Defence activities in Malaysia were initiated by the British Government. Passive Defence Emergency Regulation Enactment under Chapter 4 provided measures to mitigate the effects of Second World War.
  • 1951 - The Civil Defence Ordinance, 1951 was enacted as a law, establishing civil defence as a national responsibility in the threat faced by the Malayan Emergency
  • 1952 - Civil Defence Department was established on 24 March for carrying out the provisions of the Ordinance.


  • 1957 - The Civil Defence Ordinance, 1951 converted into the Civil Defence Act 1951 (Act 221) upon the independence of the state.
  • 1958 - Civil defence became a permanent and important element in national defence system in accordance with the Ninth Schedule Federal Constitution.
  • 1964 - Civil Defence is extended to Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore following the Malaysia - Indonesia confrontation (Cabinet Paper No. 302/314/64)
  • 1965 - Membership increased to 36,000 members with 37 branches in addition to new logistics equipment at that time available for the whole country.
  • 1970 - Staffing deployment throughout the country made in accordance with the provisions of the National Service Act 1952 to the floods which swept across the country.
  • 1972 - Civil Defence Act 1951 was amended to perform the duties and role in peace to carry out disaster relief services in addition to her main task facing the war.
  • 1993 - The collapse of Highland Tower in Hulu Kelang kickstarts the transformation and modernization of the Civil Defence organisation in Malaysia.

Development era

  • 1994 - Introduction of JPA 3 nickname to distinguish with the Department of Public Service and the Department of Civil Aviation.
  • 1995 - 991 Emergency Hotline was launched on 20 May as a sign of commitment to the Civil Defence Department to provide 24-hour emergency assistance.
  • 1996 - Department of Civil Defence Development Plan designed to fully equip all the logistics and infrastructure requirements in the rescue movement.
  • 2000 - All state capital across the country and six branch offices were now using the 991 hotline system.
  • 2000 - Physical Project Development Plan projects implemented by seven Central and State Civil Defence is placing 7th District, including two new training centre project.
  • 2001 - Seven Civil Defence Centre projects at state and district levels approved for implementation in the RMK 8 to all state capitals on the peninsula will have complex administrative, operational and training.
  • 2004 - Motto 'Selangkah Kehadapan' was introduced as the Civil Defence Department staff's commitment to give its best 'Delivery Service' to the public in accordance with the increase in staffing in the department.
  • 2006 - Introduced the slogan "Ready, Fast and Integrity" as a catalyst for the Civil Defence Department into a department of excellence.
  • 2008 - The nickname change from JPA 3 to JPAM was launched by the Director General of Civil Defence himself in March during the Civil Defence Day celebration held in Ipoh.
  • 2008 - The Malaysian Government introduced the 'One Country One Number'program as the 999-line call centre to consolidate the emergency lines that are used by the Royal Malaysia Police, the Ministry of Health, Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Defence Department Malaysia.
  • 2015 - Authority for JPAM affairs as a national institution passed from Ministry of Home Affairs to the Prime Minister's Department.
  • 2016 - JPAM becomes the Malaysia Civil Defence Force and a new wave of modernization programs are approved to be part of the 10th Malaysia Plan.


The National Headquarters encompasses all civil defence and search and rescue units nationwide, and reports to the Prime Minister Department. As of 2017 Major General (R) Dato' Azmy Bin Yahya serves as its Chief Commissioner of Civil Defence.

The CDF is composed of:

  • 14 State Commands
  • 99 District Commands
  • 55 Civil Defense Units
  • and the Education and Training Command, comprising the Civil Defence Academy and the 3 Civil Defence Officer Cadet Schools

Rank insignia


The rank system of the MCDF mirrors those used in the Singapore Civil Defence Force, but using the same civil grades as a government agency. In addition, an extra 3 ranks are used above Warrant Officer Class 1 and below Second Lieutenant, a singularity among uniformed forces.

Other ranks

  • Private
  • Lance Corporal
  • Corporal
  • Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant
  • Warrant Officer Class 2
  • Warrant Officer Class 1
  • Junior Staff Officer
  • Staff Officer
  • Senior Staff Officer

Officer corps

  • Second Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Captain
  • Major
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Colonel
  • Assistant Commissioner
  • Deputy Commissioner
  • Commissioner of Civil Defence
  • Chief Commissioner of Civil Defence

Current inventory

Fire engines



  • 14' aluminium boat
  • 17' fiber boat
  • Amfibia sealegs
  • multi small size boat
  • 23 Sealegs amphibious boat[2]


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