‘Higher’ Rela votes will help BN secure Putrajaya

By G Vinod, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The federal government’s denial against allegations that it is bolstering its reservoir of postal voters by increasing the number of auxilliary police (Rela) personnel is sounding weaker by the day, acording to opposition leaders.

Speaking to reporters at the Parliament lobby, PKR senator Dr Syed Husin Ali said it was difficult to believe Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s assurance that Rela personnel will not be converted into postal votes.

“Despite the Home Minister’s assurance, we are still concerned about the rising number of Rela personnel in the country.

“There is a possibility that they will be used as postal voters.

“As at Oct 31, there are some 2,042,215 Rela members in the country. In addition, a company of Rela personnel will be placed at every parliamentary consituency,” he said.

Ironically the states with the highest number of Rela personnel are Pakatan Rakyat-administered Selangor, Perak (which was won by Pakatan in the 2008 polls but later wrested by BN in a reverse takeover) and Sabah.

Currently, Selangor has the highest number of Rela members at 355,269. Perak has 294,900 personnel stationed in the state while Sabah has 168,407 members.

The numbers are expected to increase in 2011 in time for the 13th general election.

PAS information officer Idris Ahmad recently issued a high alert to Pakatan-ruled states warning them of this insidious Umno-Barisan Nasional strategy.

His warning came on the heel of the federal government’s move to increase the number of Rela members in Selangor by another 300,000 next year.