Nur Jazlan: Shafie’s gaffe will cost him support of Rela members

Deputy minister says Rela members assigned for security operations will not be placed in harm’s way.

jazlan-shafiePUTRAJAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal will not get the support of the three million Rela members after he hurt their feelings, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed claimed today.

Nur Jazlan said Shafie offended Rela members after he questioned the government’s decision to deploy them for duty in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone). He had claimed they were sent there without any training in use of firearms.

The Sabah politician was questioned by police after reports were made against him alleging he had insulted Rela members.

“There’s no need to punish him any further,” said Nur Jazlan.

“What’s important is that he is revealed as a leader who does not care for the people, who does not sympathise with the sacrifices of Rela members who perform their duties voluntarily.”

He said this at a news conference with Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after attending a thanksgiving event for Rela here.

Shafie was shown in a recent video, taken at a Warisan event in Tuaran, Sabah, allegedly criticising the decision to deploy Rela members in ESSZone.

He said Rela members were only suitable for crowd control and handling traffic at social events.

Nur Jazlan said the statement by the Semporna MP was deemed an insult to the ability of Rela members in Sabah.

The deputy minister said Rela members assigned for security operations would not be placed in a situation that risked their safety.

“Secondly, they will not be deployed in any strategic or tactical operations or at the frontline.

“They will only serve as the second line of defence to ensure the safety of those in the forward line. They will not be put in harm’s way.

“Thirdly, they are given sufficient training relevant to the duties they are assigned to perform,” he said.

Nur Jazlan added that all enforcement activities by Rela members would be carried out jointly with the police for a better outcome and to ensure peace in ESSZone.

On the issue of some shopping centres excluding the dog’s image in decorations to welcome the Chinese New Year of the Dog next month, Nur Jazlan said the matter was left to the owners to decide.