Monday, September 17, 2007

Ministry Misled House on RELA (NST)

‘Ministry misled House on Rela’
Thursday, 13 September 2007, 07:58am

RELA©New Straits Times

THE Home Affairs Ministry misled the Dewan Rakyat on Monday when it said it had not received any official complaints against Rela members, an opposition MP said yesterday.

Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) also said it was untrue that no Rela member had ever been charged with committing a criminal offence.

"Based on news reports, there have been at least six cases where Rela members have either committed bribery, rape, theft or robbery, some of which led to prosecution in court."

Speaking in the parliament lobby, Kok said non-governmental organisations like Tenaganita had written to the Home Affairs Ministry with complaints against Rela members.

"We regard letters of complaint to ministries as official complaints.

"How can the ministry say it has never received any official complaints?

"By saying so, the ministry has misled the Dewan Rakyat. This is wrong, based on our Standing Orders," Kok said.

During question time on Monday, Kok had asked the home affairs minister for the number of complaints received against Rela members for wrongdoings committed during raids and how many had been charged in court.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, in a written reply, said there had been no complaints.

"I will be raising this matter in parliament," Kok said.

Tenaganita director Dr Irene Fernandez said it was irresponsible for the ministry to respond as it did.

"Rela members have committed numerous offences in their raids against locals and foreigners.

"Rela should be disbanded," she said.

Alex Ong, the country representative of migrant rights NGO, Migrant Care, said he had received countless complaints against Rela members.

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