Monday 21 April 2008

RELAX: RELA to be upgraded to be an enforcement agency

RELA on parade

Proposal to upgrade RELA

RELA (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat) the Peoples Volunteer Corps of Malaysia, are an outdated, one could even say obsolete, inefficient organisation, which has been heavily criticised in the past for their unprofessional and thuggish behaviour, especially towards foreigners, both illegal immigrants and those who were here legally.

Their ignorance, lack of discipline and unkempt and unhealthy appearance has made them objects of ridicule and contempt, they have even been referred to as RELAX instead of RELA.

Now it has been reported that the ministry of home affairs is to propose that "RELA be upgraded to full departmental status to function as an enforcement agency" under that ministry.

The minister concerned Syed Hamid Albar, said this would enhance the organisation's enforcement and public order operations, adding that a draft of the proposal was being finalised before being tabled to the Government for approval.

Surely this sort of thing needs to be tabled before Parliament, the government per se is a different entity to Parliament

“The role and responsibility of RELA has increased and become even more challenging, as such it is appropriate that the organisation be upgraded to an enforcement agency under the ministry,” Syed Hamid was reported to have told reporters, he went on to say that the move would allow for better logistical support and funding for facilities, equipment, and uniforms for its personnel.


“We need to give the 508,000 volunteers sufficient training, not only to enhance RELA’s capability but also to further assist police and the Immigration Department, as of today, RELA has nabbed 73,938 illegal immigrants," he added.

Under the Ninth Malaysian Plan , three more RELA training camps are due to be established in the states of Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Perak to complement the camps already in operation in Malacca, Kedah and Sabah.

Wow, that’s only on average only one (1) illegal immigrant per seven (7) RELA volunteers, not a sterling performance by any standards, even more so when it is a running total, not an annual one!
Furthermore, there may be a million or more illegal immigrant workers in Malaysia at any one time.

This proposal, to professionalise RELA may be a good one in theory, however all the ‘deadwood’ needs to be removed from RELA, this trimming exercise should trim the corps down by perhaps as much as 80 to 90%, the remainder may then be good men and women who have the credibility, capability and personality to be thoroughly trained to become efficient professional law enforcement officers.

If this is not done, then the tax-payers money will be once again squandered on a wasteful and unproductive project.

However the question which needs to be asked first is:-

Would it not be better to disband RELA altogether?

RELA in action

After all RELA have clearly proved thus far that they are, apart from being a national embarrassment, non-productive, unprofessional, inefficient and more of a liability than an asset.

Qui totum vult totum perdit

-He who wants everything loses everything

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