Malaysia Volunteers Corps Department

The People's Volunteer Corps (Malay: Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia), abbreviated RELA, officially the Malaysia Volunteers Corps Department, is a paramilitary civil volunteer corps[1] formed by the Malaysian government. Their roles include: Helping to spread awareness of the government policies to the public; To assist other government agencies in carrying out duties upon request; To conduct socio-economical as well as community-based activities and; To develop oneself as a role model for the society through various trainings and courses.[2]

Malaysia Volunteers Corps Department
Jabatan Sukarelawan Malaysia
Country Malaysia
Allegiance Malaysia
BranchMinistry of Home Affairs (Malaysia)
RoleMilitary reserve
Auxiliary police
Security police
Border control
Motto(s)To serve faithfully
MarchGema RELA
EngagementsMalaysian Emergency as the Home Guard
Minister of Home Affairs (Malaysia)Saifuddin Nasution
Director-GeneralZaidon Asmuni

RELA has the authority to raid suspected streets or places such as factories, restaurants or hotels, and may interrogate or detain people who do not have traveling documents, such as passports or work permits, on their person. They are also in charge of security, and are absorbed into the Malaysian Army as support groups during times of war, and are tasked with search and rescue works if needed.

On 17 March 2020, Malaysian Government announced the RELA Corps will assist the Royal Malaysian Police and Malaysian Armed Forces to enforce the Movement Control Order until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic[3]

Officers in Kuching, the state capital of Sarawak on Borneo


The People's Volunteer Corps is closely related to the Home Guard that was established when the Malayan Emergency was declared in 1948, and was dissolved when the Emergency ended on 31 July 1960. Its original purpose was to oppose communist fighters,[4] and now now acts against illegal immigrants. There are 2.8 million people in the corps, most of whom are untrained volunteers.[4] In 2008 Rela was given charge of immigration detention centres.[5]




Platoons ?


Rank group General/flag officers Senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
The People's Volunteer Corps
Chief Commissioner
Ketua Pesuruhjaya
Deputy Chief Commissioner
Timbalan Ketua Pesuruhjaya
Deputy Commissioner
Timbalan Pesuruhjaya
Senior Assistant Commissioner
Penolang Pesuruhjaya Kanan
Assistant Commissioner
Penolang Pesuruhjaya
Senior Deputy Superintendent
Timbalan Penguasa Kanan
Deputy Superintendent
Timbalan Penguasa Kanan
Senior Assistant Superintendent
Penolang Penguasa Kanan
Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
The People's Volunteer Corps
Assistant Superintendent I
Penolang Penguasa I
Assistant Superintendent II
Penolang Penguasa II
Superior Officer I
Pegawal tinggi I
Superior Officer II
Pegawal tinggi II
Senior Officer I
Pegawal Kanan I
Senior Officer II
Pegawal Kanan II


The Human Rights Watch has called for People's Volunteer Corps to be dissolved, accusing it of violating human rights, conducting illegal raids and extortions.[7]

According to the United Nations Human Development Report of 2009, "Migrant activists say that RELA volunteers have become vigilantes, planting evidence to justify arrests of migrants and using excessive force in their policing. The government has recently announced its intention to curb abuses and is currently looking into ways of improving RELA by providing training to its members."[8]


  1. "My RELA". My Rela. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. Ministry of Internal Affairs (2022). "Fungsi dan tugas RELA".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Jumain, Mohammad Fairuz (18 March 2020). "Rela, PDRM diberi kuasa laksana Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Mydans, Seth (10 December 2007). "A Growing Source of Fear for Migrants in Malaysia". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  5. Garcés-Mascareñas, Blanca (1 January 2012). Labour Migration in Malaysia and Spain: Markets, Citizenship and Rights. Amsterdam University Press. p. 100. ISBN 9789089642868.
  6. MyRela Volunteer strength Nov 2017, accessed 13 Nov 2017
  7. "Malaysia: Disband Abusive Volunteer Corps". Human Rights Watch. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2016.

Further reading

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