Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) has its beginnings in 1948 as branches of the British Red Cross Society in Sabah and Sarawak (then British North Borneo). In the 1950s the British Red Cross Society further established Branches in the other parts of Malaysia starting in Penang in 1950, and later in the other States.
Upon Malaya’s independence in 1957, the Branches in Peninsular Malaya were organized as the Federation of Malaya Red Cross Society, which later was statutorily incorporated by the Federation of Malaya Red Cross Society (Incorporation) Act, 1962. MRCS received official recognition as an independent National Society from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on 4th July 1963 and accordingly was admitted as a member of the International League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on 24th August 1963.
When Malaysia was formed in September 1963, an Act to incorporate the Federation of Malaya Red Cross Society and the Branches of the Red Cross Society in Sabah and Sarawak under the name of the “Malaysian Red Cross Society” was endorsed by Parliament vide the Malaysian Red Cross Society (Incorporation) Act 1965. In 1975, the Malaysian Parliament passed the Malaysian Red Cross Society (Change of Name) Act which received Royal Assent on 21st August 1975 and subsequently gazetted on 4th Sept 1975 and is currently being enforced.
MRCS is presently one of 192 National Societies worldwide which are members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). MRCS runs programmes and activities in accordance to the spirit and requirement of its Incorporation Act and the Fundamental Principles of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Today the organization of MRCS comprises the National Council, the National Executive Board, the Branches, the Chapters and the Subsidiary Units, namely Red Crescent Links in primary schools, Junior Red Crescent in secondary schools and Voluntary Aid Detachments (for members above 18 years old).
The National Executive Board has appointed 16 National Committees covering the portfolios of:-
- Administration and Personnel,
- Ambulance Service& Disaster Management,
- Blood Programme, HIV/AIDS & Drug Abuse,
- Community Services & Health
- Communications, Publicity and Fund Raising
- International Humanitarian Law & International Relations
- Organizational Development & Youth
- Principal Office Bearers(POB)
- Building and Working Group on Humanitarian Field School
- Inquiry and Disciplinary Board
- Audit & Risk Management
- Tender Board
- Board of Survey
The National Committees implement their programmes and activities through the organizational support of 16 Branches (States) and 152 Chapters (Districts) and over 300,000 nations have registered with MRCS.