‘Jail made me a better man’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 27 May 2006

PENANG: The 10-year sentence for robbery has been a turning point for Kamal. Life behind bars has made him a better person. 

“I would like to say that I am a better man since being sentenced in 2003. This has been a very painful lesson for me as I was also whipped as part of the sentence,” said Kamal (not his real name).  

He said he had been a notorious criminal who, together with an accomplice, robbed numerous goldsmith shops in Perak, Kedah and Penang before being caught in Bukit Mertajam. 

DON’T CRYMUM: Kamalwho received a10-year jailsentencewiping away thetears from hismother’seyes when shevisited him at thePenang stateprison.

Kamal was speaking to reporters after his parents paid him a special visit at the state prison in Gaol Road here yesterday in conjunction with Mother's Day. 

He was allowed to hug his 65-year-old mother and 74-year-old father as this special visit gave prisoners the chance to meet visitors without any glass barriers separating them. 

Kamal's father, who is from Padang Serai, Kedah, said he had forgiven his son.  

Another inmate, 25-year-old Rubiyah, got the chance to meet her one-year-old son, husband and mother. 

She was sentenced to 12 months' jail for motorcycle theft.  

“I did not know that it was stolen until the police stopped me in Komtar. The friend who loaned me the motorcycle disappeared upon hearing of my arrest,” she said. 

State prison director Ibrisam Abdul Rahman said 13 families were actually invited but only eight turned up. 

“Normally, inmates are allowed to speak to their families through a barrier via intercom, but on special occasions such as today they are allowed direct contact. 

“The next such visit will be held in conjunction with Father’s Day some time next month,” he told reporters at the end of the visit. 

Ibrisam said there were video conferencing facilities to allow families to talk to inmates in the Simpang Renggam detention centre and prisons in Kajang and Taiping.  

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