Wednesday, December 16, 2009

RELA, Malaysia's International Embarassment is not being abolished but the Government is out looking for jobs for RELA members.

There has been repeated calls for the abolition of RELA (Ikatan Relawan Rakyat), and one of the most recent call was made by 127 organisations, both  in Malaysia and internationally, in May 2009 where, amongst others, they had this to say..

"..We reiterate the call for the abolition of RELA, and restate our position that law enforcement, and management of detention places should be done by professionally trained full-time public servants, not volunteers....".-Action for Health Initiatives (ACHIEVE), Inc, Philippines, Action Network for Migrants (ANM), Thailand, All Women's Action Society (AWAM), Malaysia, Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD), Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Hong Kong, Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Link (APWSL), Korea, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body - Hong Kong (AMCB-HK), Assistance Association for Political Prisoners ( Burma )-AAPP, Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers (Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia ), Bahrain Center for Human Rights, Bar Council Human Rights Committee , Malaysia, Bar Council's Legal Aid Centre , Malaysia, BAYAN USA, Building and Wood Workers International, Asia Pacific Regional Office, Burma Campaign Australia, Burma Campaign , Malaysia, Burma Campaign UK, Burma Centre Delhi (BCD), Burma's Nationalities Association (BNA)- Norway, Burma Partnership, Cambodian Women's Crisis Center , Cambodia, Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB), CDS (Community Development Services), Sri Lanka, Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines, Center for Indonesian Migrant Workers - CIMW – Indonesia, Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Malaysia, Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), Malaysia, Chin Human Rights Organization, Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (LLGCSC) Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach ( USA ), Commission For Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) - The Netherlands, Committee for Asian Women (CAW), Coordination of Action Research on AIDS & Mobility (CARAM - Asia), Clean Clothes Campaign International Secretariat, Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS), Burma, Development Action for Women Network (DAWN), Philippines, Empower Foundation, Thailand, Ethnic Nationalities Council, Federation of Trade Unions - Burma, FIDH - International Federation for Human Rights, Filipino Migrant Workers' Union - Hong Kong (FMWU), Forum for Democracy in Burma, Foundation for Education and Development (Formerly, Grassroots HRE ( Burma ), Free Burma Coalition - Philippines (FBC-Phils), Free Burma Campaign , South Africa, Friends of Burma , Malaysia, Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), HAKAM - National Human Rights Society , Malaysia, Health Equity Initiatives, Malaysia, H.O.M.E. (Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics), Singapore, Hope Workers’ Center , Taiwan, HRWG - Indonesia 's NGO Coalition for International Advocacy, Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrants and New Immigrants Service Center , Taiwan, Human Rights Foundation of Monland, IMPARSIAL, the Indonesia Human Rights Monitor, Jakarta – Indonesia, INFID (International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development), Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Institute for National and Democratic Studies ( INDIES ), International Migrant Foundation-Bangladesh, Kachin Women's Association Thailand, KAFIN Migrant Center, Japan, KAFIN - Saitama , Japan, Kayan National Development Foundation (KNDF), Khmer Kampuchea Krom Human rights Organisation (KKKHRO), Cambodia, Labornet Korea, Labour Resource Centre , Malaysia, Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), Cambodia, LHRLA (Lawyers for Human Rights & Legal Aid), Pakistan, MADPET (Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture), Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), Mekong Migration Network (MMN), Migrant CARE, Perhimpunan Indonesia untuk Buruh Migran Berdaulat, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA), Migrant Rights International (MRI), MIGRANTE Europe, MIGRANTE Middle East, MIGRANTE International, MIGRANTE - Nagoya, MIGRANTE - UAE, Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions, Inc. (MMCEAI), Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM), National Democratic Party for Human Rights(NDPHR) (exile),SEA Regional Office, National League for Democracy [NLD (LA)], Malaysia, National Institute for Electoral Integrity (NIEI), Malaysia, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, U.S., Network for Democracy and Development, Thailand, Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM), New Zealand Burma Support Group, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, OKUP (Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program), Bangladesh, Osan Migrant Workers Center in South Korea, Overseas Mon Coordinating Committee (OMCC), Pakistan Rural Workers Social; Welfare Organization, Palaung State Liberation Front (PSLF), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), Peoples Service Organization (PSO), Malaysia, Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangot (EMPOWER), Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Malaysia, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor, Platform of Filipino Migrant Organisations in Europe - The Netherlands, POURAKHI, Nepal, Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia, Raks Thai Foundation , Thailand, Rohingya Youth Development Forum (RYDF), Malaysia, Shan Refugee Organization Malaysia (SRO), Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), Shwe Gas Movement, Solidaritas Perempuan,Indonesia, St. John's Cathedral HIV Education Centre, Hong Kong, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Tenaganita, Malaysia, The Foundation for the Health and Knowledge of Ethnic Labour (MAP), The Justice, Peace & Solidarity in Mission Office, The Good Shepherd Sisters, The Micah Mandate, Transient Workers Count Too, Singapore, United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE- HK), U.S. Campaign for Burma, WARBE Development Foundation - Bangladesh, Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), Malaysia, Women's League of Burma,Workers Hub for Change (WH4C), Yaung Chi Oo Workers Association (YCOWA), Thailand
But alas, the Malaysian government's position has been to ignore these calls, and increase the number of RELA members. In July 2008, we were informed by the government that there were 520,000 RELA members. Today, we are told that there are now about 1,000,000 RELA members...

And guess what ...the government is trying to get employment for RELA members. Are we looking at about 1,000,000 unemployed Malaysians in RELA?

Volunteer corps are usually made up with people with jobs and businesses, who volunteer their free time as volunteer police, volunteer civil defence force, volunteer fire fighters, etc...But now, Home Ministry secretary-general gives all the understanding that these are 'trained' persons who need jobs..."...Rela members are not only experienced in security but are also trained to handle weapons...."

Is RELA one of the solutions of the Malaysian  government to address the problem of unemployment?

RELA is today an international embarrassment, and the right thing to do is to disband and abolish it...

Volunteers can all be channeled to become members of the volunteer police force, voluntary armed forces, voluntary fire and rescue services, voluntary medical services, voluntary civil defence forces, ....YES, we have a lot of voluntary bodies...and there really is no need or justification for the retention of RELA.

 Security companies should employ Rela members who are experienced in handling such matters to solve their manpower shortage and unskilled security personnel woes, Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said.

He said with Rela having about one million members, security companies would be “spoilt for choice” and their problem of having to engage foreigners and unskilled people for the job would end.

“My ministry is in the final stages of formulating a proposal and will present it to security firms soon. It is a proposal which they should seriously consider because Rela members are not only experienced in security but are also trained to handle weapons.

“We believe there would be fewer problems involving security firms and their personnel in the future if the ministry’s proposal is accepted,” he told reporters after opening a seminar on human trafficking on Wednesday.

Mahmood said members of the 100,000-strong Civil Defence Force could also be engaged for this purpose as they were also experienced and well trained,

He said his ministry continued to get requests from security firms to allow them to employ Nepalese as security guards despite a ban since last year, adding that the firms claimed attempts to hire locals for the job were futile as not many were interested.

“I am sure they have not considered employing Rela members for the job. With reasonable pay, I believe there are members who would be interested to take up the offer but companies must also ensure benefits such as Socso and EPF are fulfilled,” he said.

Mahmood also said the company whose security guard had accidentally shot a boy at a Tenaga Nasional Berhad outlet in Jalan Klang Lama recently had its licence suspended pending investigations, adding that his ministry was now in the midst of “auditing” all 500 security firms nationwide to check on their compliance to regulations.

He said in three months, the ministry would be able to determine which firms adhered to the law and conditions stipulated to operate such outfits, adding that action -- including cancelling their operating licence -- would be taken against those who seriously violate the law.

“These companies are providing security service and it does not make sense if they do not follow the law themselves,” he said, adding checks would be made on, among others, training, workers’ welfare, licence to operate arms and the personnel’s age as those employed as guards must not be more than 60 years old.- Star, 16/12/2009, Security firms urged to hire Rela members

 Older posts:-

Abolish RELA - RELA only brings shame to Malaysia

Disband Rela (People's Volunteer Corps) in the interest of justice and human rights,

Many called for its abolition BUT UMNO-led BN government wants to increase the number in RELA - WHY?

Malaysian Bar 2007 Resolution for Abolition of Rela - read in this post RELA man outraged woman's modesty - Abolish RELA now

ALIRAN reiterates call for ABOLITION of RELA

SUARAM & AI Malaysia :- Reverse Decision to Include RELA in Public Policing

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it…
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