The Malay Section of the Royal Navy was formed in 1939. The object was to defend the coastal waters of the Peninsula and included Sarawak, North Borneo and Labuan. This was a separate unit of the Royal Navy and these men were given rigourous training in seamanship, communications and gunnery whilst shaping them into a fighting unit.
Fresh recruits and a number of MRNVR members mobilised into the new force.
The MRNVR training centre and barracks was at HMS Pelandok, under the command of Lt.-Commander H. Vickers.
New recruits were trained as telegraphists, seamen and signal visualisers before serving on board RN ships, mostly merchantmen which were quickly converted and armed ready for combat. Eighty ships took part in the defence of Malaya against the Japanese, with the battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battle cruiser HMS Repulse leading the fleet.
On January 1942, the lost HMS Kudat sunk in Klang harbour, HMS Surveyor in Pulau Besar and HMS K
ampar in the South China Sea.