RELA to Stop Raid in Malaysia
25 June 2011 – KUALA LUMPUR: The government-sponsored volunteer squad RELA has halted all enforcement operations against undocumented foreign workers in a move to clear its tarnished image.
The squad newly appointed Director General, Datuk Mustafa Ibrahim, said the decision will give a clear message to local community, especially employers of foreign workers that RELA will no longer involve in any raid unless they were invited to do so by the police or immigration department.
“The decision also forbids our members to raid workers’ hostels, construction sites or even checking travelling documents in the city center.”
“If you see some men with our uniform raid a construction site or stop a foreign worker at roadside, please make a report immediately because they might be impostors who try to make use of RELA,” he said in a press conference in Putrajaya recently.
In the press conference, Mustafa reminded that under Malaysian law, RELA’s identity cards do not give enforcement power to any of the squad members.
It is understood that the decision to stop raid against foreigners was made after several negative media reports on RELA members including impostors who collect ‘protection money’ from undocumented foreigners in Malaysia.
With approaching three-million members, RELA is facing difficulties to control their discipline. RELA recruits members from all walks of life, from university graduates, housewives to senior citizens.
Reporting by Thomas Chong