Monday January 21, 2013
Their legal rights to serve
By YU JI
KUCHING: Members of the Police Volunteer Reserves must be given unrecorded leave by their employers, both public and private, said state Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Law Hong Soon.
“Maybe there’s some misunderstanding by employers,” DCP Law told a press conference, when asked about reservists who claimed their employers refused to grant them unrecorded leave.
“The law states that for those who signed up, they’ve signed up to a national calling and therefore, must be given unrecorded leave, with no deduction of salaries.
“Whatever it is, we’ll write and explain to the employers regarding the matter,” he told reporters after opening this year’s first training for reservists.
Earlier during a dialogue with some 600 reservists, one of them told DCP Law that her employer refused to give her unrecorded leave.
She said she worked for a private kindergarten, and her employer’s reason for denying unrecorded leave was because the training was not “educational in nature”.
“That’s not right,” DCP Law told the reservist.
“You have full right to claim unrecorded leave. We’ll write to your employer. They must release you for employment temporarily. Perhaps they are not aware of the law.”
DCP Law then asked the trainees in similar situations for a show of hands. It appeared several dozen faced similar issues with their employers.
On a related matter, the state deputy police chief told the volunteers that some of them might be called up for service during the coming elections.
“We’ll be asking them to carry out some duties. Maybe they’ll take over (full-fledged) officers’ daily assignments, while our officers are assigned to election work.
“Each volunteer will be assessed and the most suitable role will be found for them,” DCP Law said.
To another question on whether young volunteers had better chances of being accepted as full-fledged police officers, DCP Law said their experience would help.
“There are strict restrictions that will not be loosened. I know some of you were rejected before, so you thought maybe joining the reserves would be a stepping stone,” he said.
“Nevertheless, the restrictions (for the programme) have been relaxed and I do think that with this training and the spirit of volunteerism in hand, you’ll have a better chance.
“You already have some idea of what it takes to be police officers,” he said.