PORT DICKSON (July 27): The government will refurbish dilapidated houses and build new ones for People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) members, especially for those under the Very Poor People’s Housing Programme (PPRT) nationwide in the near future, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also minister of rural and regional development, said the allocation amount would depend on the total number of recipients to be presented by Rela director-general Datuk Yahya Sulaiman in the next two weeks, at the latest, for approval.
“This is the existing allocation from the ministry. In addition, we also use the e-Kasih list, we will also provide allocation according to the list to be presented by the director-general so that the personnel’s dilapidated houses can be refurbished… we have quite a hefty allocation for Rela.
“I will get that list… and proceed with the implementation with coordination by the secretary-general of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Rela director-general… this will be a first. Each house a maximum of RM17,000 and for a new construction almost RM70,000,” he said.
He told reporters this after attending the Mesra Ramah programme with Rela Negeri Sembilan, which was also attended by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, here today.
Ahmad Zahid also asked that the construction and refurbishment of these houses be implemented by Rela personnel themselves, thus expediting the construction of the houses so that they can move in swiftly.
“Since we use Giatmara for the construction of houses in other traditional villages that are different, we ask that Rela personnel refurbish and build the houses themselves… this is a first step. I am confident if these houses are built on a gotong-royong basis, they can be built faster and be of better quality,” he said.
Meanwhile, during his speech, Ahmad Zahid said he would ask Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to consider increasing the Rela personnel’s allowances, which have not been raised for a long time.
He said that this was to show appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices of the Rela personnel, who are the second line of national defence and security in assisting the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).
“Rela members are not there merely to assist the PDRM, handle congestion at functions but the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), under the National Security Council (MKN), and I have authorised Rela to be in disaster areas… this means we give recognition to Rela,” he said.
Earlier at the function, Ahmad Zahid also presented North-east Monsoon and Community Patrol Assignment Kits (MTL) to Rela personnel. – Bernama