Many were shocked to see their names being listed in The People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) database yesterday even though they have never signed up to be a RELA member. After hours of silence, the agency which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ purview has finally addressed the matter.
In a statement released by RELA through its official website and social media channels, the agency denied that it has registered members of the public without their authorisation. The statement was quick to point out that the unauthorised registration is against Section 6(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010 which is rather interesting since Section 3(1) also states that PDPA does not apply to federal or state governments.
At the same time, the statement has also highlighted Section 7(1) of the Malaysia Volunteers Corps Act 2012 (Act 752) which states that a citizen aged 18 years and above who is not a member of the Armed Forces or any legal voluntary establishments may apply to be a RELA member specifically by writing to its Director-General.
Additionally, it has also pointed out that all men within the age of 18 to 55 years old are liable to serve with RELA as stipulated by Section 5(1) of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act 1964 Essential Regulations (People’s Volunteer Corps) 1966 Amendment 1 February 2005 although this law has since been superseded by Act 752.
So, it is not exactly clear how these very specific provisions are related to what has transpired yesterday. Then again, RELA did say in the latter part of the statement that it will launch an internal investigation to identify RELA’s registration procedures prior to the implementation of Act 752 and would not compromise with anyone that is using personal information belonging to others without their authorisation.
Meanwhile, RELA also said that the agency is already working to update its membership database although the effort has been sidetracked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The whitelisting program is being guided by Section 9 of Act 752 which stipulates that RELA membership would last for five years from the date of enrolment.
On another hand, you may get in touch with RELA directly through e-mail or call 03-8870 3770 if you want to remove yourself from being listed as a RELA member. For those who have yet to check for their details through MyRELA Mobile 2.0, the search function has been taken down today, unfortunately.