Interview with Rela Director-General

In News and Opinion on December 5, 2007 at 11:48 pm

NST 26/06/07

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
Andrew Ong
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.


Pregnant refugee woman seeks protection in Malaysia: Kaowao News

In Refugees, Rela Raids on August 20, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Published August 20, 2007 by Kaowao News

Mon refugees in Malaysia are seeking protection following the recent raids on refugees and migrants in Kuala Lumpur .

According to Piung Chan, a social worker from Mon Refugee Organization (MRO) based in Kuala Lumpur , 33 Burmese nationals were arrested in the early morning hours on August 17, 2007. Those arrested included a group of 9 Mon nationals and Chin and Burmese asylum seekers as well.

Among those arrested is an eight-month pregnant woman, Ms. Mei Korn Thaw, who is recognized by the UNHCR office as a refugee and who is reportedly unwell. “Her unborn baby and the girl both are in poor health, she has an appointment to see the doctor on August 23,” said Piung Chan.

Rights groups hit at Malaysia worker crackdown: Financial Times

In Migrant Workers, Rela Raids on August 18, 2007 at 11:15 pm

By John Burton in Kuala Lumpur

Published at August 6 2007 17:31

In the early hours of a recent Monday morning, trucks belonging to Malaysia’s People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) suddenly surrounded a neighbourhood in the shadow of Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang area, home to some of the city’s glitziest hotels and shopping malls.

The Rela members, dressed in green uniforms and tan berets, banged on doors and ordered the occupants outside, many of them foreigners working in menial jobs at nearby hotels and restaurants.