Saturday, October 19

Zahid: Rela centre will boost state’s defence

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Zahid (third right) pointing at the service recognition badge he pinned on one of the Rela members while (from left) Abang Johari, Riot, Wan Junaidi and Fadillah look on. — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

Zahid (third right) pointing at the service recognition badge he pinned on one of the Rela members while (from left) Abang Johari, Riot, Wan Junaidi and Fadillah look on. — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

LUNDU: The upcoming Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps) training centre to be built in Sematan here will further strengthen the state’s defence system.

In stating this, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the RM165-million centre, which he dubbed as the best in the country, would contribute towards increasing the number of Rela members in the state and train them to assist the police and Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) in various ways including border control.

“The number of police and ATM personnel is not as big as Rela which comprises 3.05 million members nationwide, of which 345,000 are here in Sarawak.

“That is why I announced last week the establishment of a Rela border unit soon to assist the two enforcement agencies in border control particularly in areas where the police and army are not based,” he said when officiating the ‘Leaders Meet Rela (People’s Volunteer Corps) ceremony for Lundu District at Dewan Masyarakat Lundu here yesterday.

The Home Minister pointed out that with Rela assisting in border control, which also complements the police and ATM at the frontline, entry of illegal immigrants and criminals, smuggling of subsided goods, drugs and weapons would be tackled.

On another matter, Zahid called on voters in Tanjong Datu constituency to cast their votes for the widow of their late assemblyman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu, on Feb 18 as a sign of affection and admiration for Adenan’s leadership.

“Tanjong Datu voters ought to use their rights to vote for their leader for a better future.

“What is also important is that the votes will also determine the support given to the new elected representative and I hope that

the percentage of voters in this by-election will be higher than the last state election,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Zahid expressed his gratitude to the state government for providing an additional allocation of RM16 million to Rela, which was previously mentioned by Adenan.

“Where can you find a chief minister like Datuk Amar Abang Johari (Tun Openg)? All the policies and promises made by the previous chief minister, he is determined to implement them all for the development and prosperity of the state.”

He also called on all Rela members across the state to show their full support to Abang Johari, who he said is serious in continuing the excellent leadership of Adenan with the sole intention of developing Sarawak.

Others present were Abang Johari, Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.