RELA, or the People’s Volunteer Corps, is pushing for a separate law to govern its operations. Home Affairs Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Paduka Abdul Rahman Ibrahim said Rela would then function as a department with greater authority.
Q&A: We act within the law
May 29, 07 12:26pm
Ever since the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) was granted the power to arrest illegal immigrants in 2005, there have been a slew of accusations that some personnel have abused their powers – in some cases, through allegedly violent means.
In an interview, Rela director-general Zaidon Asmuni insisted that personnel “strictly adhere to” standard operating procedures (SOP) and act according to the law.
Malaysiakini: What are the requirements to join Rela?
Zaidon Asmuni: Ordinary Malaysian citizens above the age of 16 who hold an identity card are eligible to enrol as volunteers. We can use our powers to recruit personnel, but this only happens during a period of emergency.
Malaysiakini: What is the screening process for recruits?
Zaidon Asmuni: Nowadays we don’t have to screen. Anyone can join and become a Rela member. If we were to conduct a screening exercise, it would take the police some time (to do so), because they have their own priorities. Those who join will receive a membership card within two weeks. It’s as simple as that.