Friday, November 23, 2007

Rela to manage detention depots

This is ridiculous - because RELA is a "voluntary corps" - they are not full-time public servants.

There is been great amount of criticisms about the RELA - and there are strong calls to disband RELA and/also to strip it of its powers. The Malaysian Bar in 2007 passed a resolution calling for the end of RELA..

Now the management of the immigration detention depots was transferred to the Prisons Department because of the experience and professional qualifications in managing prisons and detention centres - and this was done because there were complaints about the way the detention centres were being managed before. The Prisons Department, from what I know, have been doing a fine job so far.

Now, the government wants to transfer the management of these detention centres to the RELA and the reason for this is because when under the Prisons Department, it "made it difficult for Rela members to catch, detain and deport illegal immigrants. " Now, what happened to the Immigration Department - were they not the ones concerned and responsible about "illegal immigrants", immigration affairs and deportation. It looks like now, it is the RELA.

The government, rather than resolving the problem of inadequate number of immigration enforcement personnel by employing MORE public servants - is trying to possibly save money by using "volunteers" - who need to be given a mere allowance (and the government is saved the social responsibilities that it has to a permanent employee - which would include social security, employee's provident fund, etc...). Is this why RELA is being used?

Shocking that 2 immigration detention centers are already being managed by RELA...

I PROTEST - the immigration depot should be managed by the Prisons Department (or the Immigration Department) - definitely not the RELA.

Rela to manage detention depots

Friday, 23 November 2007, 08:33am

©The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Rela members will be trained to take over the full-time running of the country’s 14 immigration depots by the end of this year.

The Cabinet made this decision recently to give Rela control of all these detention centres, which currently house some 11,000 illegal immigrants.

Rela is a voluntary corps under the Home Affairs Ministry and is governed by the Emergency (Stipulated Powers) Act 1964.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad said it would take about two years to train his ministry staff to run these immigration centres.

“So, for the time being, Rela members will be put in charge of these centres.

“They will be trained in aspects of crowd control, how to escort illegal immigrants and maintaining records, among others,” he told reporters at his office here yesterday.

Radzi added that Rela was already in charge of running two centres; one at the KL International Airport and the other at Pasir Gudang, Johor.

“And they are doing well there,” he said, adding that each centre run by Rela would have 20 to 30 of its members managing it.

They will be paid allowances to work full-time in shifts and members will be sourced from areas in the vicinity of the detention centres.

For instance, said Radzi, Rela members living around the depot in Lenggeng (in Negri Sembilan) will be given the opportunity to work there.

He said the running of the depots before this by the staff of the Prisons Department (which comes under the purview of the Internal Security Ministry) had made it difficult for Rela members to catch, detain and deport illegal immigrants.

This, in turn, had contributed to the overcrowding at the depots, he said.

So far this year, Rela had detained 30,332 foreigners for not having travel documents and had screened 156,070 others.

Radzi said Rela members carried out 30 to 40 raids a night, adding that the Cabinet had approved RM26mil to build two more detention centres and to expand an existing one to resolve the overcrowding problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rela is not a government agency like the Prisons Department. Rela members are volunteers and are not government servants as defined in the General Orders. Hence Rela can act and do things without fear they will be penalised.

This must stop.