S’ban prison sowing hope in prisoners for a better life

29/04/2022 10:04 AM

By Nurfardlina Izzati Moktar

SEREMBAN, April 29 (Bernama) – Prisons are associated with punishment, but what if they also practise a rehabilitative culture like Seremban Prison.

A former inmate, (referred to as) Ahmad, said being incarcerated for five years didn’t just change him, but gave him a new chance at life through opportunities to learn and nurture his talents.

The 37-year-old said he first served his sentence in Sungai Buloh Prison after being found guilty of violating Section 39C of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 before he was transferred to Seremban Prison a year later.

“Prison had a profound effect on me and made me want to change my life. I’ve gained a lot of experiences and learned more about religion.

“I also attended a laundry training programme, learned about different types of medication (for chronic and normal illnesses) in a course and got involved in dance activities,” said Ahmad when Bernama met him at Seremban Prison before his release on April 28.

He said he wants to continue his education in pharmacy for a brighter future, and to try and find a job at the Department of Culture related to dance or at a laundrette.

He said everybody makes mistakes and hopes society will change their negative perception of prisoners and provide them with moral support.

“I’m thankful for the second chance to turn my life around and be a good person. I promise to strengthen my faith and to become a useful member of society,” said Ahmad.

Before this, he felt society would reject him because of his crime, but the prison staff have been very supportive and helped him become a better person.

“I’m an orphan and have no siblings or relatives to lean on. I’m sad to be leaving my friends behind because we’ve been through many ups and downs here,” said Ahmad who intends to visit the grave of his parents in Melaka on the first day of Syawal.

Seremban Prison director, assistant commissioner of prisons (PKP) Ahmad Mustaqim Che Bisi, said the rehabilitative culture at the prison facilitates activities and programmes that involve the Malaysian Prison Department and society.

An example is the Semarak Kasih Ramadan programme which is helping to prevent prisoners from feeling like they've been cast aside.