SIBU – The People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) members can be the “eyes and ears” of the country’s security forces in fighting Daesh threats and crimes, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this was because they had members throughout the country and were found even in rural villages and settements very far from urban areas.
He said this when attending the 44th National-level RELA Anniversary celebration at the Sibu Town Square 2 here today.
“In Sarawak alone, RELA has 332, 818 members and this is a force to be reckoned with.
“They can certainly be of great help to the Police and the Armed forces in this modern problem (Daesh threat) facing the nation,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also said RELA was now considered as the second line of the country’s defence.
At the function, he assured them (RELA members) of the government’s continued assistance to allow them to carry out their responsibilities well.
He expressed his gratitude to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who was present, for agreeing to allocate a sum of RM4 million this year to help the corps.
On the coming Sarawak state election, Ahmad Zahid said he hoped all RELA members would continue to rally closely behind the state government.
“The chief minister has shown he is really sympathetic to the movement. Let us give him our fullest support to allow him to again helm the state as he has performed splendidly”,” he said.
Earlier, Adenan in his speech, said the country was now facing a new and even more sinsister threat from the Daesh militants.
“They are abusing the religion of Islam and use its name to wantonly commit atrocious crimes like killing innocent people and carrying out suicide bombings.
“I hope RELA in the whole country can help in fighting them,”he said.
He said there should not be any compromise in fighting these modern terrorists.
Some 10,000 RELA members from 33 districts in the state attended the celebration. – BERNAMA