Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak speaks at RELA’s 46th anniversary celebrations in Serdang March 10, 2018. — Bernama picSERDANG, March 10 — The prime minister today announced an additional RM20 million allocation for uniforms for the People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA), also declaring that their hourly allowance will be increased by RM2.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this extra RM20 million is on top of last year’s RM80 million allocation and this year’s RM100 million for RELA uniforms.
“Therefore in this gathering, taking into account your loyalty all this while, I add RM20 million more,” he told RELA members gathered here at the volunteer body’s 46th anniversary celebrations.
“God willing, after Hari Raya, if our government gets a new mandate, God willing we can add to the allocation,” he said, having noted the additional RM20 million was due to only around 500,000 of the 3.05 million RELA members having uniforms.
Najib noted that he had in 2012 increased the hourly allowance by RM2 for RELA members (from RM4 to RM6), and for RELA officers (from RM5.80 to RM7.80).
“Once again I meet with RELA members in an extraordinary meeting. Therefore, taking into account your loyalty, I am glad to announce that the government will increase the allowance of RELA members from RM6 to RM8 per hour, and from RM7.80 to RM9.80,” he said to loud cheers.
“We, as the government, had never once belittled RELA members... RELA is always close to the government’s heart,” he said.
This is the first time where the RELA anniversary celebrations have been held simultaneously in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak which RELA said was attended by 41,000 members.
Najib said today that RELA’s role has now expanded beyond just assisting during festivities, to taking care of borders and helping ensure security in the ESSZone in Sabah’s east coast, acting against smugglers and human traffickers and also helping in disasters such as floods.
He said there is also a need to watch out for the threat posed by “violent extremist groups” who have been influenced by extremist ideologies, noting that they had in other countries turned concerts, stadiums and shopping malls as soft targets.
But he said the police and armed forces have managed to curb such groups, together with tough laws enacted by the government.
“We can’t be apologetic to anyone including those in the West, because we have the right, we are a sovereign country and we have the responsibility to ensure the peace of Malaysians. And we don’t want anyone to interfere with our matters,” he said.
At the same event, Najib also said a country needs both political stability and social stability to progress, adding that the former was in turn dependent on there being public peace and order.
The move to boost the welfare of and funding for RELA members comes ahead of the 14th general elections, which must be held by this August but can be called earlier.