The award was introduced specially for members of the security forces and civilian officers who had contributed their services to the operation.
Ahmad Zahid was among seven Ministers who received the award from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak, here.
The others are Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai; Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein; Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal; Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Other recipients of the award included Social and Cultural Affairs Advisor to the Government Tan Sri Rais Yatim; Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman; Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa; Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
More than 200 armed terrorists from the southern Philippines encroached into Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu and Semporna in the east coast of Sabah on Feb 12, last year.
On March 5, after three weeks of failed negotiations, Malaysian security forces comprising the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), under the National Blue Ocean strategy, launched the Ops Daulat offensive against the intruders.
The intruders had killed eight policemen and two soldiers.
The Ops Daulat operation resulted in 68 intruders killed and 173 others detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 while 443 more people were held for various offences.
Following the incident, Najib announced the setting up of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) to improve security in the Sabah east coast.