RELA's uniformed volunteers, (they have also have been referred to by some as thugs, bounty hunters goons and gangsters) have, as far as I know, legal immunity and are allowed to arrest individuals as well as enter and search any premises without a warrant.
These are sweeping powers, it seems that they are more 'powerful' than the police.
I'm an Indonesian, can't you see my passport
Malaysia's PM Najib plans to deploy personnel from the notorious peoples volunteer task force (RELA) to help enforce a crackdown on crime triggered criticism on from human rights campaigners. RELA, is a 553,000-strong citizen corps which has been accused many times of serious human rights abuses.
This force was established in 1972 under the home affairs ministry to help maintain public order.
Recently they were used to apprehend illegal immigrants, and were paid a bounty of RM 80 per head! This lead to frequent abuse of power, and many people including an American citizen on a legal visit to Malaysia, were wrongly detained. There were also reports of those rounded up by RELA being made to squat for hours in the heat of the equatorial sun and being mistreated in other ways too!
RELA is an acronym for People's Volunteer Corps in the national language of Malaysia.
On 30th July 2009, it was reported that the home ministry had enlisted members from the Civil Defence Department and RELA.
An overweight RELA goon and some 'detained' ladies
However some were reported to have been rejected as they were too fat! Click HERE
The cops were reported to have rejected 358 of the 500 personnel specially selected 'crème de' le' crème ' by RELA to assist in crime prevention because these, the finest RELA has to offer, were found to be overweight and unfit to undergo police voluntary reserve training.
RELA director-general reportedly stated that …...........only 142 of the 500 chosen to undergo the two-week training stint were accepted while the rest were rejected because of their poor fitness level.
The 500 RELA members were screened based on strict criteria similar to those used for recruiting policemen.
Besides those who were overweight, the others were rejected because of poor overall presentation and grooming.
Or in other words many RELA members are fat, slovenly, unfit and scruffy!
What difference will 142 RELA goons with two weeks of training do the help the escalating crime rate in Malaysia, what a pathetic political joke by Najib!
Malaysia's crime rate up by about 25%, Read a related story HERE
Qui non est hodie cras minus aptus erit
He who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow
O praeclarum custodem ovium lupum!
An excellent protector of sheep, the wolf!