KUCHING: The border unit of People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) will be formed soon to help combat smuggling activities across the border.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said details of the proposed Act to empower Rela personnel to patrol the borders in Malaysia would be discussed at the cabinet level first before being tabled in parliament.
He said the Rela Border Unit was needed to complement the operation of the Malaysian Security Agency (Aksem).
“Rela personnel from the Border Unit will help to cover any shortfall in the Aksem personnel. At the border where there is no Aksem personnel patrolling or carrying out surveillance, we will mobilise Rela personnel there,” he told a press conference after officiating at the Chinese New Year gathering with Rela Sarawak at a leading hotel here yesterday.
Ahmad Zahid said the Rela border units would be formed nation-wide. He said for now Aksem personnel were only mobilised along the Malaysia-Thailand border. He said control over border crossing to combat smuggling activities would also be intensified along the borders in Sabah and Sarawak.
“Aside from mobilising the armed forces and general operation force personnel, we will also mobilise Rela members in Sarawak to help check smuggling activities along the Malaysia-Indonesia border,” he said.
Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Zahid said Rela members in this new era were no longer ‘additional rice’ (nasi tambahan) but a force that was ready to help the police and army to safeguard the nation during emergencies.
Their contribution towards the nation would be recognised accordingly. He added that Rela members mobilised to control the border would be paid allowance.