Tuesday, August 05, 2008

RELA man outraged woman's modesty - Abolish RELA now

I call again for the abolition of RELA ... if there is a need for more enforcement officers, then hire more public servants - do not just use volunteers.

Use professional enforcement personnel not volunteer 'vigilantes'.

The Malaysian Bar in March 2007 called for the abolition of RELA. Others civil society groups have also called for its abolition... and here again in the press is just one more reason why this RELA must be abolished now... (Maybe Pakatan Rakyat state governments can take a position that RELA be not allowed or used within their state boundaries...will they do this, or will they be driven by the fact that there are now about 500,000 RELA members - and PR do not want to lose the RELA members' votes by calling for the abolition of RELA .... let us see...)

Tuesday August 5, 2008 (Star Online)

Ex-GRO: Rela man told me to pee in truck

KUALA LUMPUR: A former guest relations officer told the High Court here yesterday she had to urinate in a police truck after she was not allowed to go to the toilet.

Maslinda Ishak, 31, said three friends covered her by holding up a scarf.

She said she and 13 other women and two men had earlier been arrested by Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) officers during an operation five years ago.

She said she had been in the truck for 50 minutes when she asked Rela officer Mohamad Tahir Osman to let her go to the toilet. After many requests, Tahir finally shouted “you pee in the truck!”, she said.

“I asked my female friends to hold up a scarf to cover me and I squatted and urinated in the truck,” she said when examined by counsel Sangeet Kaur.

Maslinda, who is now a dental nurse, added that an officer suddenly opened the back door of the truck, came in and pulled down the scarf.

She said Tahir then took pictures of her urinating while laughing and his friends told Tahir to cover his face.

“I was very scared, sad and humiliated,” said Maslinda who is suing Tahir, Rela director-general, Jawi director and the Government for RM5mil for causing humiliation and trauma.

The incident happened at 11.30pm on March 21, 2003. On April 16, 2003, a Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court jailed Tahir for four months after he pleaded guilty to outraging Maslinda’s modesty.

Maslinda said she was later taken to a lock-up at the Jawi office for an interview.

“At the time, my husband was there. The interview lasted several minutes. Then we were released,” she said.

In June that year, she said, she was summoned to the Syariah Court eight times until finally, the court returned the RM1,500 bail money without taking any action against her.

Jawi officer Syed Ibrahim Syed Ali, 50, said he headed the operation involving 15 Jawi and five Rela members, including Tahir who was assigned to guard the truck.

He denied supplying Tahir a camera, saying Jawi did not use cameras during operations.

Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat also heard evidence by Mazina Mat Yaman who was arrested together with Maslinda, Kuala Lumpur Rela director Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Yusoff and police officer Shaharuddin Tahir who investigated Tahir.

The court fixed Friday to hear submissions by both parties. – Bernama

Let attention be drawn to the fact that the RELA officer had already pleaded guilty. "...On April 16, 2003, a Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court jailed Tahir for four months after he pleaded guilty to outraging Maslinda’s modesty..."

For information, the Malaysian Bar Resolution for the abolition of RELA is as follows..



1. On 31st August 2007, it will be 50 years since Malaysia achieved its independence and has been for over 30 years been a peaceful democratic nation.

2. It is sad that Malaysia is still in a state of Emergency as there exist today 4 Proclamation of Emergencies issued by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that is yet to be revoked.

3. Since independence, five states of emergency have been declared under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution. The first was the only one to have been revoked. The remaining four are still in operation. The second state of emergency was proclaimed in September 1964 when the country was faced with a campaign of violence from Indonesia. Although the threat ceased within less than two years, the state of emergency was never revoked.

4. The next state of emergency was declared on 14 September 1966 following the dismissal of the Chief Minister of the state of Sarawak. No violence - or threat of violence - resulted from the crisis. The government nevertheless proclaimed an emergency, confined to Sarawak. And although the crisis was soon resolved, the state of emergency has not been revoked.

5. The fourth proclamation came on 15 May 1969 following large-scale rioting and racial violence in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, during a general election. The violence led to several hundred casualties. As a result, further elections were postponed and parts of the Constitution suspended. Normalcy was restored soon - the legislature was reconvened and normal constitutional government restored in February 1971. However, the state of emergency has yet to be revoked.

6. On 8 November 1977, the fifth Emergency, limited to the state of Kelantan, was declared following a political crisis.

7. By reason of the proclamation of emergency, numerous legislations were enacted and are still in force, including also :-

a) Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), today known as the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979;

b) Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969;

c) Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975

8. For example, Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979, states that “"For so long as the Proclamation of Emergency referred to in the preamble to this Act remains in force, the regulations made under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64) (except those regulations which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may by notification in the Gazette declare not to be in force) shall be in force and shall have effect as if they have been made under this Act; and the regulations may be amended, modified or repealed as if they have been made under this Act.". [The proclamation of emergency referred to in this Act was the proclamation issued on 15 May 1969.]

9. The Ikatan Relawan Rakyat or better known as RELA (a People's Volunteer Corps) came into being by virtue of Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], under Emergency (Essential Powers) Act, 1964 (30/64), and continue to be in force by virtue of Section 6 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979.

10. By virtue of the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, which came into operation on 1 February 2005, the powers of the Rela, have been dangerously over-extended giving RELA personnel the right to bear and use firearms, stop, search and demand documents, arrest without a warrant, and enter premises without a warrant. and all these powers can be exercised the RELA personnel has reasonable belief that any person is a terrorist, undesirable person, illegal immigrant or an occupier. Illegal immigrant and occupier (which would be Malaysians usually) was added on by this 2005 amendment.

11. These not-professionally trained volunteers has also now been accorded protection by the new amendments whereby it is stated that "…The Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 shall apply to any action, suit, prosecution or proceedings against the Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat, Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat or any member of the Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat in respect of any act, neglect or default done or committed by him in good faith or any omission omitted by him in good faith, in such capacity."

12. Noting also that there has been numerous complaints that have surfaced in the media about the RELA not just from migrants but also Malaysians ranging from torture, gangster-like behavior, damage to property, wrongful arrest and detention and even the causing of deaths.

13. Its was reported that RELA arrested a total of 17,700 people believed
to be illegal immigrants and screened 94,010 people up to September
2006, and that means 94,010 people (or 76,310) with proper documentations were subjected to unnecessary harassment and their right to a remedy in law is difficult. Of the people arrested, recent reports in the media indicate that many may even not be “illegal” or “undocumented” migrants at all.

* “…six foreign workers, all with legal travel and work documents, were whisked out of their quarters in a resort in Cherating in the wee hours of the morning on Dec 28 last year when RELA members "literally broke into their chalet and ordered them out." (The Star, January 12, 2007).”

* “…a team of 30 to 40 RELA members (half not in uniforms) turned up to look for foreign workers, assaulted some and allegedly stole cash and valuables during the raid. The companies, who lodged police reports, said that all the workers had legal work permits…..”(The Star, December 4, 2006) ·

* “22 workers of an IT company were beaten and made to do a 50m "duck-walk" at Section 30 in Shah Alam…” (The Star, February 16, 2006)

* Residents of about 10 households in Taman Anggerik, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, complained that RELA personnel crashed into their homes after breaking door locks and smashing gates, and told them that they [RELA] were looking for illegal workers. The residents said the RELA personnel acted like gangsters and showed them no respect. When they asked the RELA personnel to explain why they crashed into their homes, they were told "we are the law." Cash totaling RM3,756 in a drawer was subsequently found missing. (The Star, October 17, 2006)

14. There have also been report of beatings and even deaths caused by RELA volunteers. As an example, in early 2006 it was reported that Ahmad Apik, 35, and Edy Sathurrohman, 26, both Indonesians, lost their lives, and they each left behind a wife and 2 young children. (Star, January 23, 2006).

15. The policy and practice of paying members of the People's Volunteer Corps (RELA) RM80-00 for each undocumented migrant must be stopped (The Star, January 23, 2006). Even 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 Star January 23, 2006)

15. Malaysia is a developed country and professionally trained enforcement personnel should be used for law enforcement, and the use of volunteers like the RELA must end.

16. Some migrants may be undocumented, but they are still human beings and deserved to be treated humanely and should be accorded equal protection under the law.

17. Malaysia, a party to the April 1999 BANGKOK DECLARATION ON IRREGULAR MIGRATION, which clearly states “Irregular [undocumented] migrants should be granted humanitarian treatment, including appropriate health and other services, while the cases of irregular migration are being handled, according to law. Any unfair treatment toward them should be avoided” must adhere to its commitments.

18. New laws can always be enacted by a parliament in times of peace if needed.


a) That we, the Malaysian Bar, call upon the Yang Di-Pertuan Agung to revoke all existing Proclamations of Emergency in Malaysia;

b) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the repeal all legislations and Acts that were enacted and continue to be in force by reason of the now existing unrevoked Proclamations of Emergency;

c) That we, the Malaysian Bar reiterate our call for the repeal of Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and the Essential (Security Cases) Regulations 1975;

d) That we, the Malaysian Bar specifically call for the repeal of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1979 and all Regulations and Rules made thereunder, in particular Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) Regulations 1966 [P.U. 33/1966], as amended by the Essential (Ikatan RELAwan Rakyat) (Amendment) Regulations 2005;

e) That we, the Malaysian Bar call for the employment and usage of only properly trained professional law enforcement personnel in Malaysia;

f) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that inquests be conducted for Ahmad Apik, Edy Sathurrohman and for the other persons who have died as result of alleged RELA actions;

g) That we, the Malaysian Bar urge that all persons including undocumented migrants and/or refugees be treated humanely and accorded equal protection of the law;

h) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

i) That we, the Malaysian Bar call on the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Proposers: Charles Hector & Francis Pereira, Motion dated 18th February 2007.The motion was unanimously carried at the 61st Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar held at the Grand Ballroom, Legend Hotel, Kuala Lumpur - 17 March 2007

1 comment:

MYblog said...

THis RELA thing should be done away with, its giving power to abuse to half a million people. I too believe that if more manpower is needed in law enforcement, hire it and make them accountable. At the end of the day I wonder if I said the right thing becoz even PDRM's accountability is questionable