Thursday, June 07, 2007

Star: Hourly allowance to replace RM80 Rela incentive

Hourly allowance to replace RM80 Rela incentive

PUTRAJAYA: The RM80 that the Government pays for each illegal worker caught by Rela members is being scrapped.

Instead, the Government will pay members of the 500,000-strong volunteer group an hourly allowance for each operation they are involved in.

According to a source, the Government decided to do away with the incentive payment introduced three years ago because it was unfair to Rela members and it had created an unwarranted controversy.

He said the RM80 per illegal worker payment worked out to a paltry sum for members taking part in any operation, although the media has cited this as the main reason or an incentive for Rela members to commit “atrocities” against undocumented workers, just so that they could collect a bigger bounty.

“Do your mathematics. Every operation against illegal workers will involve at least 200 Rela members. The number of undocumented workers detained in each operation varies, but it is usually fewer than 50.

“Thus the final payment, when equally shared among those involved in each operation, works out to be very little.

“As such, the Government feels that it is fairer to pay Rela officers an allowance each time they are involved in an operation, as acknowledgement of their service and contribution,” the source added.

Meanwhile, Rela director-general Datuk Zaidon Asmuni confirmed that the Government has agreed to pay an allowance of RM4 per hour for ordinary Rela members and RM5.80 per hour for officers each time they took part in an operation.

“Once this allowance comes into effect, expected to be soon, the RM80 payment per illegal worker will no longer be an issue,” he told The Star.

Zaidon said that irrespective of the number of hours Rela members were involved in an operation, they could only claim for up to eight hours for each operation.

He also said calls for Rela to be disbanded because of alleged abuse of power in a few isolated cases were unfair.

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