UPDATE (10:56 PM): While there is still no official statement from either RELA or the Ministry of Home Affairs, it seemed that user data have been removed or disconnected from the site. Scroll below for further details.
ORIGINAL STORY (6:58 PM):
Numerous netizens have reported that they have been registered as The People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) members without their knowledge. All of them have discovered their supposed membership through a site called MyRELA Mobile 2.0.
A quick check showed that the site was actually delivered in the form of MyRELA Mobile Android app that was released back in 2019. This is based on the user manual that was featured on the website which odd enough, is hosted on Google Drive.
We also learned via the app’s Google Play listing that the app was last updated around 12 days before its official launch on 19 February 2019. So, this means that the site has been around for a while.
If your name is in the database, the result would include your I/C number, and date of registration as well as membership number and platoon code:
Otherwise, this is what the website would display if you tried to search for your membership status:
It is not known what actually happened here but a response from the administrator of RELA’s official Facebook page stated that there was massive recruitment of RELA members back in 2012. At the time, the organisation may have been provided with a name list that they had inputed into the system.
However, that response didn’t tally up with the screenshot above which was provided by Amanz and showed that this particular person had been registered much earlier back in 2010. Similarly, Zurairi A.R. who is the Assistant News Editor of Malay Mail has shared a screenshot of his search result on Twitter which stated that he “registered” in 2011.
Meanwhile, the admin of the page has also noted that one can request RELA to remove their name from the membership database by providing the organisation with their full name and I/C number.
Nevertheless, it seems highly possible that there could be some sort of unauthorised personal data movements that have been taking place to what we are seeing here. We are now reaching out to RELA and the Department of Personal Data Protection for their comments on this matter.
UPDATE (10:56 PM):
While RELA and the Ministry of Home Affairs have yet to release any official statement regarding the matter, it seems that they may have moved in quietly to address it. Earlier this evening, many have noticed that their details have been removed from the site when they tried to search their names once again.
A new notification has been implemented on the website as well:
As you may have noticed, the new notification now comes in the yellow background with a more elaborate text. For comparison, below was the original error message that one would encounter if their names are not in RELA’s database:
What made this rather baffling is that even actual RELA members who tried to search for their names this evening have also received the new error message. This is something that has been independently verified by our acquaintance who had registered as a RELA member years ago but wishes to remain anonymous.
Given the time at the moment, we don’t expect to receive any official words from the related agencies though but it goes without saying that this is likely not the end of the story. We will keep you updated once we hear more.