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Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 7:36:05 AM
by tashny sukumaran
Inmates embraced their families during the ‘Jalinan Kasih’ programme at Kajang prison.
KAJANG: The mood at Kajang Prison’s Jalinan Kasih (Ties of Love) Hari Raya family day was one that was marked with all-round happiness
About 40 families of prisoners visited their loved ones and enjoyed a meal in the prison field together, chatting and catching up.
An inmate who only wanted to be known as Safwan, 32, was overjoyed to see his two young sons along with his parents, wife and younger brother.
“I will be out in one year and eleven months,” he said, adding that his children will still be young when he tastes freedom.
Sod, 39, celebrated with his father, who was also in jail, as well as his sisters and nephews who had come to visit the duo.
“It’s good to see them dressed up for Hari Raya. I’m happy to celebrate the occasion, but of course it feels different. I am a bit sad,” he said while taking a plate of ayam masak merah for his father and fussing over his relatives.
The families were entertained by other inmates who played the guitar and sang Raya classics like Balik Kampung and Satu Hari Di Hari Raya.
Inmate Ali, 37, and several other inmates broke into an impromptu rendition of Corazon Espinado by guitarist Santana, which was received with wild applause.
“It was a spontaneous decision,” said Ali, who said he would not be released “for a long time more”.
“I used to play in a band when I was out, now inside we still have guitar classes. The officers gave us some CDs, I learnt this song from one of them,” he said.
“I am so glad people enjoyed my singing, this is from God. Many of the inmates are good-hearted people, and we regret what we did,” he said, adding that it had been difficult not to tear up while singing and thinking of “outside”.
Deputy director Husin Johari said that the event was done six times a year for special occasions including Deepavali, Chinese New Year and Christmas.
“We chose the participants based on a variety of factors including good behaviour and how often they have visitors. Some rarely have visitors because their relatives are out of state or are busy,” he said.
Husin said there were also many events within the corrections system to aid rehabilitation, including nasyid, dikir barat, and computer classes.
“They even learn how to use Photoshop, make greeting cards, that sort of thing – so when they re-enter society they have some skills,” he said.
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