Monday, January 23, 2006

Rela going overboard? (Star)

Rela going overboard?

PETALING JAYA: The Government should review the practice of paying Rela volunteers RM80 for each illegal immigrant arrested.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong claimed that the reward offered had made Rela volunteers desperate to nab as many illegals as possible.

“The Government should look into this matter. I don’t object to them rooting out illegals, but there has to be a proper procedure in doing this,” he said.

Rela personnel, he said, should not conduct raids out of uniform as it could cause unnecessary confusion among the public.

Chong claimed that a raid by Rela at a restaurant in Old Klang Road on Wednesday night was not conducted according to proper procedure.

GIFT FOR WIDOWS: Chong (seated at centre) handing over the RM2,400 donation to Ahmad’s wife Safiah Selawah and Edy’s wife Hami Mokhtar Sunday.
“It was very unprofessional. Some personnel were not in uniform and they didn’t even show their authority cards, despite being asked to,” he said.

“It is regrettable that two lives have been lost because proper procedure was not followed in this matter.”

Chong was referring to the tragic deaths of Ahmad Apik, 35, and Edy Sathurrohman, 26, who drowned after jumping into the Klang river while trying to evade the Rela personnel.

“These people may be illegals, but they are still human beings,” he added.

Chong said the widows had decided to accompany their husband’s bodies to their hometown in Java and not return to Malaysia.

He also said residents of Old Klang Road’s 4th mile area had donated RM2,400 to the widows, both of whom had two young children.

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