Hajiji hands over RELA Disaster Relief Fund
TUARAN: Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hj Hajiji Hj Noor handed over a mock cheque for RM8,300 to Sabah RELA director Mohammad Pauzi Jhumat at the Sabah RELA Training Center on Tuesday.
The amount was for the RELA Disaster Relief Fund in Kedah and Penang. It was the collective effort of RELA associated members led by Lieutenant Colonel Dato Wong CF.
Haiji, who is also Sulaman assemblyman, was at the center situated in his constituency for the closing of the 12/2017 Basic RELA Training Course attended by 187 RELA members from throughout the State.
In his speech, the minister said since its inception 45 years ago in 1972 in Kuala Lumpur, RELA had come a long way. Originally known as Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia or People’s Volunteer Corps, it has since been upgraded to a full department, Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia.
Hajiji said the upgrading showed the government’s appreciation for the efforts and sacrifices of the RELA members who are not paid salaries, adding that was why the government had allocated RM250 million for RELA under the 2018 Budget.
“The usefulness of RELA has time and again been proven, especially during emergencies and natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.
“Their usefulness has now gained momentum with the Deputy Prime Minister assigning them to new duties assisting the security forces like Esscom at Esszone,” he pointed out.
Earlier, Sabah RELA director Mohammad Pauzi said 50 RELA members from each district have been selected from each district to assist in the 10 Esszone districts.
“The security forces will be at the forefront while RELA members will be with the local communities,” he explained.
He added that at present there are 292,000 RELA members in Sabah.
Hajiji handing over cheque to Mohammad Pauzi while Wong (second right) looks on.