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‘Help former convicts fit into society’ call
Published on: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
By: Jeremy S Zabala
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‘Help former convicts  fit into society’ call
KOTA KINABALU: The public are urged to play their part in cooperating by accepting and supporting former prison inmates who want to live among the community as it would help them improve and turn a new leaf.

Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Arifin Asgali, said those who were imprisoned and released are facing problems in “fitting in” the community as people could not accept them for their previous deeds which led them to choose the old path.

“This is because there is no cooperation from the public. The public could not accept these people as normal.

“That is why we call on the public to give their support to these free men,” he told reporters during the 229th Malaysian Prison Day at Kota Kinabalu Prison Complex, Monday.

Also present were Sabah and Labuan Prison Director Suria Idris, its Deputy Rosman Norman, Kota Kinabalu Prison Director Zulkifli Abdul Manah and Kota Kinabalu Women Director Norneelah Shukor, among others.

Arifin said the Prison Department has been resilient in carrying out programmes alongside other agencies as an initiative to educate inmates to ensure that they are prepared to turn over a new leaf.

However, he said this would be pointless if the public could not learn to accept them but cast them aside which could lead them to feel unwanted and resort to their criminal past.

He also lauds the proposal which was announced by the Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman in establishing a new block for the Kota Kinabalu Prison as the current facility is overwhelmed with more than 3,000 inmates which are in a place designed to cater to more than 1,000 inmates.

Earlier, in his speech, the Sekong Assemblyman also urged the Prison Department to collaborate with the Home Ministry agencies in Sabah to ensure good synergy is produced in educating inmates.

“This includes information and source sharing, planning strategies together and holding continuous discussions in solving problems faced by the department.

“The effectiveness in solving a problem or issue related to the department is vital in the efforts of improving the department’s image to the public.

“Integrity aspect is also important in guaranteeing the best service to the people,” he added.

Meanwhile, Suria said the Prison Department will stay committed in carrying out their part, not only as guards but as educators to the inmates in ensuring that they will change their lifestyle and return to the community as renewed individual.

He also expressed gratitude to agencies involved in the department’s rehab programmes such as Parole System (Sistem Parol), Inmate Reintegration Programme (Program Reintegrasi Penghuni) and Compulsory Attendance Order (Perintah Kehadiran Wajib).

“Without the support of various parties, it would be hard for us (department) to succeed in carrying out the inmate rehabilitation programmes.

“The cooperation with agencies from the government, private, Government Linked Companies (GLC), non-governmental organisations and the community to provide skills and job opportunities is important for the inmates’ rehabilitation and continue live a normal life,” he added.

It was reported that currently, 2,401 inmates on parole since 2008 to 2019 with 99.9per cent of them working in private sectors or carrying out their own business with family members, employees as well as big companies in Sabah.

Sixty-six of the inmates under parole involved in the Corporate Smart Internship (CSI) programme with the collaboration of companies were given the chance to work at several companies.



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