Local Natives Registered as RELA Abruptly?
Author: Rienna Kaur
Editor: Amirah Syazwani Shawel
KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 - Ordinary Malaysians today discovered that they were registered as part of the Peoples’ Volunteer Corps (RELA) without any prior knowledge.
To review the membership, only identification information is needed and Malaysians are able to access whether they are part of the community or not.
To everyones’ utter surprise, they were somehow registered as volunteers without any realization and the numbers are well within thousands. With people on all media platforms seeking an answer, the Corps released a short statement saying that this was a result of a mass registration campaign in 2012. The statement still did not do anything in their favour as it still did not give an explanation about them registering people without their consent.
“We were made to understand that a massive Rela membership registration was done in 2012. Perhaps during that time, our department received a list of names and were registered straight into the system.”
The twitter user that started it all, @kewangangraduan said that he just casually checked the website and he was surprisingly a member.
Other users like @Midori_nochill also experienced the same when she tried checking hers.
“Reading the timeline about the individual being registered in RELA without their knowledge. I tried checking mine & lo and behold. I have been a RELA officer since 2011.”
Another user @nizambakeri was shocked to find out that his wife was registered.
“Baru semak di laman web RELA. My name is not registered but wifey is. Wtf is happening.”
Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim was one of those who became a member, claiming on Twitter that he had been a member since 2011.
Another user @PointMHD head on tagged the corps’ official twitter account and demanded answers.
“Hi @relamalaysia. Tolong jawab kenapa ramai orang Malaysia are registered with @relamalaysia without their consent? This is serious.”
After an increase in uproar, RELA released an official statement which denies registering members and have emphasised that an official inquiry will be done to find the actual cause.
The Home Ministry (KDN) is waiting for the full report of the Malaysian Volunteer Department's (RELA) investigation on the issue. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has said that he had informed RELA director -general Yahya Sulaiman to look into the matter regarding the automatic registration to enable further action to be taken.
Aside from that, revelation that paid medical care, an insurance program for individuals on duty, free clothing and training, and an RM6 stipend per hour on duty are just a few of the perks of the membership which raises even more unanswered questions on whether claims were made on them or not.
Questions on data breach have also been raised because this seems like a huge scale privacy breach on the basis of the amount of registrations reported so far. The related authorities will have to answer accordingly after an investigation has been carried out.