TAIPING: The SOPs on the use of firearms by members of the Malaysian Volunteer Department (Rela), especially in operations in risky areas, will be fine-tuned, said Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin.
He said Rela would work with the police on the matter.
“Actually, Rela has been supplied with shotguns before, but there were problems, due to abuse and safe-keeping of the weapons, as the SOPs were quite loose.
“That is why we want to tighten the SOPs on the use of firearms (for Rela members).
“Not all Rela members can use firearms. We will check in terms of their health, including vision.
“When all the requirements are met and they are capable of handling the weapons and this is accepted by the police, only then will we allow (use of firearms by Rela members).”
Hamzah, who is also Larut MP, spoke to reporters after attending a programme with the Larut, Matang and Selama Rela at Dewan Semai Bakti Felda Ijok here today. Present was acting Rela director-general Kamarudin Mohd Rapig.
Hamzah said Rela would be restructured in terms of job scope and age limit as the role of its members would not be confined to only assisting the traffic police, but to also be the eyes and ears of the government.
“Therefore, to ensure the preparedness of Rela members in performing their duties, we want to rejuvenate Rela to ensure only those who are healthy and qualified join the department.”
In another development, Hamzah said a 10% quota would be given to children of Rela members to study at the Kulim Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) next year.
This is a gift for the eligible children of Rela members, he added.