Federal Reserve Unit

The Federal Reserve Unit (Malay: Pasukan Simpanan Persekutuan; PSP), or better known by the abbreviation as FRU, is a riot control force and a paramilitary special response team that can be deployed at any time to engage in any emergency or public unrest in Malaysia.

Federal Reserve Unit
Pasukan Simpanan Persekutuan
FRU 3rd group arms with Czech-made CZ 527 bolt actions rifles without ammo during the anti-riot drill.
Active5 December 1955 (1955-12-05)
Country Malaya (1955–1963)
 Malaysia (1963–present)
Branch Royal Malaysia Police
TypeParamilitary police
RoleRiot control
Size10 detachments
Part ofDirectly under control of the Royal Malaysia Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs
Garrison/HQMain Police Headquarters, Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur
Colour of Beret  Red beret
  • 25 March (Police Days Anniversaries)
  • 31 August (Hari Merdeka)
SAC Mohd Said bin Ibrahim


The team was established on 5 December 1955. Starting with three troops, FRU has successfully overcome the problems of public order such as strikes and riots that happened in the early years of the 1950s. From 1990 onwards, FRU also played an important role in handling organised riot that have sparked from the arrest of Anwar Ibrahim. FRU also played role in controlling football riots.


The main role of this unit is to disperse illegal assembly, riot suppression and to carry out other functions relating to Public Order. The unit is self-contained and capable, highly mobile and become Public Order Reserve Units. When this unit is not involved in Public Order duties, it can be assigned by the Commanding Officer to assist the Chief of Police, State police, Criminal Investigation Division and Special Branch in general or special tasks which include:

  • Crime prevention as special patrol in addition to regular patrol unit / Patrol in the area of high crime frequency;
  • Disaster relief (flood, fire, landslide, air crash and others), evacuation and large scale operation;
  • Setting roadblocks and check points, media censorship, intensive patrol and others.
  • Safeguarding VIP visitors, events, parades, assemblies and others.

As its role became more important, this team was augmented to 7 units, with a total membership in 2003 of 2,481 people. Beside that FRU has also a water cannon unit, horseback unit and training institution at Sungai Senam, Ipoh, Perak. In line with current needs and law claim, a woman special detachment have been spawned and this detachment is based in Jalan Semarak, Kuala Lumpur. It has since been moved to its own base located in Cheras.

FRU's performance is known globally. This was evident when the United Nations (U.N.) applied to PDRM to house a riot guard force under U.N. flags in Timor Leste. The team was assigned to control riot and tranquility in a country which just became independent.


Each FRU base has a wing headquarters composed of three troops, A, B and C. Each troop consists of two baton sections, an armed section (rifles, tear gas and grenades), and a guard vehicle section. Specific vocations within the unit include drivers, photographers, translators, marksmen, signal operators and diary recorders.

Apart from that this team also perform crime prevention to help remote district police chief efforts in reducing crime rates. By that FRU have pointed out success could not be disputed more when entrust to royal pennant parade in the line of honour guard duties.

Light Strike Force (LSF)

Deployed in advance from the main FRU unit, this unit is armed with riot shields and helmets. It is designed and trained to handle small crowds. If the crowd gets larger and uncontrollable, the FRU will be called in to assist.

Public Order and Riot Unit (PORU)

Its members are taken from RMP General Operations Force (Malay: Pasukan Gerakan Am; PGA), it is deployed in states or regions which do not have any FRU bases.


Certain FRU divisions are under the command of the inspector-general of police (IGP) and require prior approval from the IGP to be deployed.


The Federal Reserve Unit bases are located in densely populated areas in the country.

Recent operations

  • Event 13 May 1969 - Deployed during the racial riots of 13 May incident to control the situation.[1]
  • 19 November 1985 - Involved in the arrest of Ibrahim Libya in the Memali Incident in Baling, Kedah.[2]
  • 27 October 1987 - Involved in Operation Lalang which resulted in the arrest of 106 people under the Internal Security Act including the opposition leader and DAP Secretary-General Lim Kit Siang, ALIRAN President Chandra Muzaffar, DAP Deputy Chairman Karpal Singh, and others.[3]
  • 1998 - Deployed to suppress the resulting street demonstrations after Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia was put into jail for alleged corruption and homosexual practices.
  • 10 November 2007 - FRU deployed for suppressing the 2007 Bersih Rally was a rally held in Kuala Lumpur. As a result, only 245 people were arrested and released the night later.[4][5][6][7]
  • 2007 - Deployed to disperse the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) during their peaceful demonstration in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.[8]
  • 2008 - Joint together with Malaysian Armed Forces and civil agencies to securing the incidents of Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.[9]
  • 6 February 2009 - FRU deployed in Kuala Kangsar, Perak during the Ubudiah Mosque riots involving 5000 people.[10]
  • 2011 - FRU were deployed to stop a DAP gathering at Stutong market in Kuching during the 10th Sarawak Election. The attempt failed after negotiations with DAP candidates. However, FRU were later spotted at Miri's Indoor stadium controlling the crowd as the election results were announced. Nevertheless, the night ended peacefully.
  • 9 July 2011 - FRU deployed in capital Kuala Lumpur to suppress Bersih 2.0 rally.[11]
  • 28 April 2012 - FRU deployed in capital Kuala Lumpur to suppress Bersih 3.0 rally.[12]
  • 5 May 2012 - FRU assisted in crowd control operations during Wesak Day procession in Kuala Lumpur.
  • 17 May 2015 - FRU deployed at Gong Badang Stadium in Kuala Nerus, Terengganu to resolve the after-match riot due to dissastifaction of Terengganu's fans towards the semi-final match of 2015 Malaysia FA Cup between Terengganu and LionsXII.[13]
  • 16 September 2015 - FRU deployed in Kuala Lumpur to resolve the rally and demonstration done by "Red Shirt" demonstrators calling for Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation over a graft scandal on Malaysia Day.[14]
  • 28 Aug 2017 - FRU deployed during ticket sales at Shah Alam Stadium for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games men's football final. FRU dispersed the crowd and later assisted in crowd control.[15][16]
  • 9 May 2018 - FRU team members were mobilised outside a results centre in Ayer Hitam, Johor on evening during the day of Malaysian general election, 2018 resulting scuffles between the crowds and the police.[17]
  • 26–27 November 2018 - FRU deployed during the two-days riot incident in Subang Jaya, Selangor regarding the relocation of Sri Maha Mariamman Temple to control the heated situation involving two groups.[18]
  • 9 December 2018 - The FRU team arrived at Bukit Jalil National Stadium to control the increasingly tensed situation at the ticket counters during the ticket sales of the final match of 2018 AFF Championship between Malaysia and Vietnam.[19]
  • 18 December 2018 - FRU escorted Sri Maha Mariammman Temple at USJ 25 and One City Development complex in Subang Jaya several hours after the death of Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, a firefighter who died as a result of injuries sustained during a riot at the temple to avoid any racial provocations.[20]
  • On 2 August 2021, the FRU blocked opposition MPs from entering Parliament during the 2020–21 Malaysian political crisis.[21]


See also

  • Riot police


  1. "Race War in Malaysia". Time. 23 May 1969. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007.
  2. "Islamic Radicalism in Malaysia: the Middle East connection)" (PDF). YUSOFF KAMARUZAMAN. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2006.
  3. "9/11 changed Hu's view of ISA". Chow, Kum Hor.
  4. Malaysia police use water cannon at Anwar rally
  5. Teargas used on rare Malaysia demo
  6. "Teargas and water cannons used on illegal assembly, 245 held". Archived from the original on 8 May 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  7. Updates: Total number of arrests 34 – all released by 11pm; several more injured. Suaram. Retrieved 11 November 2007.
  8. POLICE ATTEMPTS TO SABOTAGE HINDRAF FORUM IN SEMENYIH ON 6.10.2007 Archived 12 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. "BUKIT ANTARABANGSA TRAGEDY: Temporary halt to search-and-rescue ops". BERNAMA. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  10. "Politiksukusakat: Tujuh ditahan di hadapan Majsjid Ubudiyyah, Perak". 5 February 2009.
  11. "Catatan wartawan tentang perhimpunan BERSIH". 31 July 2011.
  12. "Tear gas, water cannons fired at Bersih protesters". 28 April 2012.
  13. "Penyokong lepas geram | Harian Metro". www.hmetro.com.my. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
  14. "5 things about Malaysia's 'Red Shirt' rally". The Straits Times. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  15. Beatrice Nita Jay; Faliq Lajim; Izzudin Aznan (28 August 2017). "Fans turned violent as Sea Games football final tickets sold out". New Straits Times. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  16. "SEA Games: Tempers flare at Shah Alam Stadium as thousands miss out on football final tickets". Channel NewsAsia. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  17. "Riot police called in at Ayer Hitam results centre". 9 May 2018. Archived from the original on 16 June 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  18. "1,400 FRU personnel and traffic cops to be stationed at USJ 25 temple grounds tonight". 27 November 2018.
  19. "Fans in a roaring mood to watch game". 10 December 2018.
  20. "Polis berkawal di kuil Seafield, One City selepas kematian Adib". 18 December 2018. Archived from the original on 28 December 2018. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  21. "Malaysia opposition MPs gather at Merdeka Square after being blocked from entering parliament". CNA. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
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