St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (Malay: St. John Ambulans Malaysia, Abbreviation: SJAM) is a Malaysian-based self-funding non-for-profit voluntary organisation, dedicated to the works of humanity and charity, has been rendering First Aid and Home Nursing services to the needy for the relief of persons in sickness, distress, suffering or danger without any distinction of race, class, colour or creed. SJAM is a leader in the provision of first aid, home nursing, humanitarian services, ambulance service, emergency medical assistance service and a public first aid training provider.
With over 60,000 volunteer-members nation-wide and 5,000 members in Selangor and 1,500 members in Kuala Lumpur, SJAM strives to serve the public with our motto, "Pro Utilitate Hominum – for the service of mankind". These volunteering SJAM Officers and members are found at most public sport events, festivals, parades, functions and also assist in disasters like road accidents, floods, fires, landslides, collapsed buildings, explosion sites and other calamities. They are ever ready to serve, come rain or shine!
As a service charitable organization, SJAM provides other community services such as haemodialysis centres, Home Nursing Care, 24-hour emergency and non-emergency ambulance services. Since 1996, SJAM have been stationing our ambulances and volunteer-members at strategic locations along North-South Highway, expressway and major federal trunk roads during major festivities such as Hari raya Aidil Fitri and Chinese New Year where it seems as motor vehicle accidents rate is significantly higher during the exodus of balik kampung (home-coming) rush. Many incidents along these highways, expressways and trunk roads became fatal if there is a delay in pre-hospital care and SJAM is there to ensure quicker response time to provide proper care management.
SJAM is a part of the global St. John Ambulance, a foundation of the Venerable Order of Saint John, with presence in 41 sovereign states, dependencies, autonomies or territories. St. John Ambulance started in Malaya in 1908 by a group of medical officers who served in the Colonial Medical Service in the Federated Malay States (FMS) and Straits Settlements. Capt. Dr. John Sutton Webster (Singapore), Dr. Richard Desmond Fitzgerald (Johore) and Mr. Arthur Mitchell Goodman (Kuala Lumpur) were the pioneers of St. John Ambulance activities.
With the formation of St. John Ambulance Association ("SJAA") and the St. John Ambulance Brigade ("SJAB"), St. John Ambulance in Malaya grows in strength and in September 1941, all SJA Brigade members were automatically drafted into Medical Auxiliary Service. From our humble beginning in the medical services of the British Armed Forces and the then Federated Malay States' Railways, SJA Brigade men and women, through British Medical Auxiliary Services (MAS), have had been providing humanitarian aid and relief to the casualties even during the World War Two in Malaya and Singapore.
When the Japanese Forces landed in Malaya on 8 December 1941, and on 11 December 1941, bombers of Japanese Air Forces started raining bombs on the civilian population. SJA Brigade members rose to the occasion and were involved in the first aid and air defence exercise. They did magnificent work in all the first aid posts. Many SJA Brigade members were enrolled and attached to the Field Ambulance Units of the British Army and followed the British Army and withdrew to Singapore as their major towns were captured one after another by the Japanese Forces. Many more SJA Brigade members served in the Battle of Singapore and lost their lives for the Service of Mankind. Thus, St. John Ambulance was the only voluntary organisation in the Malaya that rendered medical services before and during the Second World War.
The return of the British after the end of the Second World War has resulted in the re-organisation of many institutions and that contributed to the expansion of SJAA and SJAB to all states by 1959.
In a move to further strengthen the operations of SJAA and SJAB, particularly after the independence of Malaya in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the Government of Malaysia decided to amalgamate SJAA and SJAB in Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak into one corporation to be known as the St. John Ambulance of Malaysia. This was made possible with the passing of the St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (Incorporation) Act, 1972 by the Federal Parliament. The Royal Assent was granted on 23 March 1972. Hence, the birth of St. John Ambulance Malaysia (SJAM) in Malaysia was established.
The SJAM National Headquarters, based in Kuala Lumpur, oversees the activities of SJAM in the whole of Malaysia. SJAM organisation is divided into 14 States/Region, each having their own State / Regional Headquarters. With the exception of the Region of Wilayah Persekutuan (Federal Territories, consisting the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya), all other States Headquarters are divided into Areas (each with an Area Headquarter) to enhance the process of command, control, coordination and communication amongst Divisions and the State Headquarters due to geographical factors. Grassroots volunteers are grouped into Divisions.
SJAM Wilayah Persekutuan
The administration of SJAM in both Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Darul Ehsan comes under the establishment of SJAM Selangor Darul Eshan/Wilayah Persekutuan under the leadership of then Dr. Low Bin Tick (now Dato' and present SJAM Commander-in-Chief). Both the Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan units grew in strength and it was decided that it is necessary to split the administration into two separate headquarters, with the declaration of Kuala Lumpur as a city on 1st February 1972 under the City of Kuala Lumpur Act 1971. It was not until 13th February 1990 that the SJAM SDE/WPKL was officially separated. The SJAM SDE was lead by Dr. Chen Soo-See as the Selangor State Commander while Dr. Low Bin Tick continues as SJAM WP Regional Commander.
Many programmes were instituted by Dr. Low Bin Tick and his team of dedicated and long serving members, which became a role model for other SJAM units. Some of the notable programmes which are still being carried today include First Aid at Work for the corporate sector, "Train the Trainer" programme to produce a pool of qualified and experienced instructors to carry out quality first aid courses and other training programmes, and the Non-Emergency Ambulance Service. Through these services, SJAM WP's reputation as a forerunner in promoting first aid and other community services grew. Scores of corporate sponsorship and donations poured in to assist us in carrying out these non-profit activities.
In 1994, it was the time to bid farewell to Y. Bhg. Dato' Dr. Low Bin Tick as he has had to take over the helm of SJAM National Headquarter as Commander-in-Chief. The baton of the Regional Commander was handed over to Y. Bhg. Dato' Dr. Lee Hoo Teong a whom has served from 1994 to 2008. Dato' Dr. Lee continued his successor's success stories when he and his team introduced the Home Nursing Service in 1995 and improved the first aid syllabus. More emphasis was also given to the members development need. The Cadet Leadership and Development Seminar was introduced to train the next generation of SJAM leaders. Emphasis was also given to enrich the member's skill sets in other areas through the Cadet Proficiency Badges Scheme. Dato' Dr Lee Hoo Teong has also successfully introduced many innovative programmes in SJAM WP until he was promoted to be the Chief-of-Staff (Training) at SJAM Headquarter.
From 2008 – 2011, Mr. Lee Wing Kwong takes over the Regional Commander post from Dato' Dr Lee Hoo Teong. Mr Lee Wing Kwong, whom has been a St. John Ambulance member since 1963, brought rich experiences, skills and knowledge into SJAM WP. In May 2011, Mr Lee Wing Kwong handed the baton to Dr. Loi Kheng Min.
Today, SJAM WP, with a 1,500 strength-team members, we are continuously improving our member's skills and knowledge through various training programmes and at the same time, enhancing our humanitarian services to the general public especially those in Greater Kuala Lumpur City. We are not resting on our laurels. We are committed, through the continuing dedication of our officers and members, and the generous support from the public and corporate bodies to help us fulfil our vision, mission and objective.