Friday, October 12, 2007



Should Malaysia always be in the news for the wrong reason ? Malaysians have been known to display the ugly sides of their purportedly civilised and modern outlook. A 'bodoh sombong' , a regressive behaviour that have made them looking more stupid, uncivilised and a laughing stock to their neighbours and the rest of the world. Since Hitler's vision of the Aryan race and apartheid in South Africa no other country in the world had ever institutionalised their race as being supreme.No government had the balls to dare incorporate it as a government policy, if it exists, it would be unspoken. In Malaysia, the Malay politicians openly speak about ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy). Those, who believe innately so, had thrown caution to the winds and behaved appallingly.

The recent arrest and detention of an Indonesian diplomat's wife speaks volume of the intelligence of the people at RELA, a government appointed vigilante,whom in the first place should not have been given the power to arrest illegal immigrant. These are lowly educated, half-trained and half-baked enforcement personnel who would be more suited to clear the streets off stray dogs. Putting power in the wrong hands are likened to putting a gun in the hand of a five-year old child. This is RELA doing police's work.

The police force, enforcer of law and order, have highly questionable integrity and are alleged to be unclean from head to toe.Some policemen have been known to solicit bribes from poor and defenceless immigrants, illegal or otherwise. The recent arrest of a senior police officer, who had amassed almost RM 7 millions in ill-gotten gains was only the tip of the iceberg.Even the IGP (Chief 0f Police) had been accused of corruption and giving protection to underworld crime lords.An allegation that had been cleared and confirmed by the Attorney-General as spuriously untrue. A Deputy Home Minister was also accused of taking a RM5 million bribes to release some organised crime lords.An allegation hastily demolished, for lack of evidence, by the Attorney-General's office.

If the police were not on a good pedestal, what sort of moral integrity could you expect from members of RELA .They have acted like thugs and gangsters and brutalised their victims.

At midnight on 11 February 2006, Rela carried out a raid on foreign workers in the Selayang open market. “According to eye-witnesses, those migrant workers caught were beaten up by the Rela personnel and treated like cattle.” Citing a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report, the memo continued: “...five died while fleeing the raid. Five bodies were found in a small lake near the open market in Selayang Baru.” Further, “Kuala Lumpur Hospital confirmed that four bodies had been taken from the lake in Selayang while another body...was said to be buried quickly.”

It is strange that after such a serious incident involving loss of life, the Immigration authorities and the government remained silent.No inquiry by the government into the circumstances of this raid was made nor was any public statement on it forthcoming.

On 28 February, 61 Indian nationals, cheated and left in the lurch, penniless, by an unscrupulous employment agent, and reduced to sitting and waiting for assistance outside their embassy for a number of days, were also assaulted by Rela. Some of them were badly injured in the attack; but were not been given medical treatment. They were detained, unjustifiably.

Another raid on 13 May in Selayang market and Seri Kembangan at around 2.45 am, involving around 1,000 Rela personnel unaccompanied by police or immigration officers, was carried out in an “indecent and brutal manner”, according to Suaram.

In July, Rela conducted a raid on a refugee settlement in Putrajaya. The Achenese refugees were rudely awakened at 3.00 am and herded into lorries by Rela personnel. They were handcuffed with zip-ties and taken a distance to a partly constructed building in Sungai Merab. They were searched and nine of them detained because they did not have UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) cards on them. At 6.30 am, those not detained were sent back to the settlement to find Rela personnel carting away all their belongings after setting their houses on fire. They were left with nothing but “the clothes on their backs”. What was the reason for this inhumanity? None has been given by Rela or the government.

Three more raids are known to have been carried out so far, two in Selangor and one in Penang. All invariably with violence, destruction of property and commission of theft, discovered after the raids by Rela. Pregnant women and children including babies are not spared in the raids and ill-treatment, lack of proper medical attention or degrading conditions in detention centres common features.

Even more disturbing was Rela chief Khairi Mohd. Alwee’s statement in The Malay Mail on 19 October. Replying to complaints by residents of Taman Anggerik, Selangor that Rela members had broken their door locks and gates to gain entry to search their houses for undocumented immigrants at 5 am on 14 October, he said they had acted according to procedure.

He added, “Rela officers were authorised to enter and search premises without warrants and arrest and handcuff suspects.” Further, he confirmed, “ We are also authorised to carry firearms but we don’t flaunt it to avoid chaos.”

From the arrest and detention of black African tourist to the bashing of an Indonesian rugby coach by police, raid on elderly non-Muslim foreign couples by Islamic Council enforcement officers and many more shamefully stupid actions by those clowns in uniform, the government didn't bat an eyelid on the matter. The senseless actions of these enforcement agencies shows how dim-witted they are and a shame to this country.

What had brought so many illegal immigrants to this country ? Most of the problem had to do with wrong government policies and greed of certain people in power to capitalise on the situation to make money. Most legal recruitment of foreign workers were given to employment agencies appointed by the Immigration Department with some having close connection with certain senior officers in the department. Most of these agencies are run by less than honourable people.The local employment agency worked together with another employment agency in the foreign worker's home country.Both employer and employee paid a hefty sum to the employment agencies. Most of the foreign workers were fleeced so badly, major part of their earning went to pay these unscrupulous agents. To make matters even worse the government imposed high foreign workers levy which can burden certain industry in the country. Not all industries enjoy the same profit margin.For some labour intensive industry, the high cost of recruitment, would eats into their profit margin.

Due to the high cost of coming to work in Malaysia, many foreign workers prefer to take the risk and come into the country illegally and some employer would also take the risk of employing them illegally.

It's time for the government to liberalise the employment of foreign workers, lower the levy and disband the notoriously unpleasant RELA.

They are a disgrace to the country.

Note: Some texts on the incidents by RELA were taken from Aliran.

Latest on RELA:
Rela chief instructs officer to lodge police report


Mat Salo said...

Dear HL.. I've been meaning to write an article on RELA 'goons'myself, but I'm glad you did this story justice by your well-written and well-researched and article here.

Hantu Laut said...

Dear Mat Salo,

Many thanks.Recently the DPM announced the government is contemplating turning it into a full-fledged government department.This must be the most foolish move, a duplication of police work,a waste of taxpayer's money and another instrument to increase the level of corruption in this country.