From Malaysia Factbook
| "As it is, RELA's reputation is already in shambles for the numerous cases of abuse of power, corruption and brutality in its operations, particularly in the raids it conducts upon undocumented immigrants." — Teresa Kok 
Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia (RELA: People's Volunteer Corps) is a paramilitary civil volunteer corps formed by the Malaysian government under the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1972. Opened to all Malaysian citizens, RELA personnels have the power to carry firearms, arrest individuals, and enter premises without permits.
As of September 2012, RELA has almost 3 million members nationwide. There are no educational or physical requirements, nor background or criminal checks on those who join as members. New members are merely required to attend between 3–14 days of training.
2. Role of RELA: According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, RELA's roles are: 
- To act as a "home guard" to maintain security and peace, before take-over by security forces;
- To safeguard defense targets, as well as to transfer and protect civilian to a safe place (they are absorbed into the Malaysian Army as support groups during times of war);
- To act as the "eyes and ears" of the government, collecting information for enforcement units (they are also charged with preparing Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), when necessary); and
- To patrol their respective districts for crime prevention.
Since 2005, RELA has been empowered to catch migrants without valid documents in order to reduce the increasing rate of illegal immigrants in Malaysia. They have the authority: 
- To check traveling documents and immigration permits of foreigners, including tourists, visitors, and migrants;
- To deal with situations just like the police, such as raiding streets or places such as factories, restaurants, and even hotels suspected of harboring illegal migrants; and
- To conduct interrogation and even to detain people who forgot to bring their traveling documents, such as passports and work permits.
3. Controversy: Because of inadequacy of their training, RELA members have wrongly arrested many expatriates because they were unable to recognize expatriate identity cards.
In October 2007, RELA members arrested Musliana Nurdin, the wife of the Indonesian Education Attache, in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. They suspected her of being an illegal immigrant, even though she had shown her diplomatic identity card. Musliana was released several hours later, only after her son had brought her passport and showed it to them. The incident sparked sharp protests from Indonesians. more... at Chronology