18 prisoners hug loved ones at special event

  • Nation
  • Monday, 23 Jun 2014

KAJANG: There were emotional scenes at the Kajang Prison’s sports complex as 18 inmates hugged their loved ones for the first time in years during a Parents Day celebration.

The event was organised by Wanita MCA yesterday in conjunction with Fathers Day and Mothers Day to enable prisoners to build closer relationships with their families.

Former police officer VJ (not his real name), who was convicted of corruption, said he was overjoyed to hug his wife and two-year-old son after 20 months.

“Before this, I could only see them once a month with a glass window separating us. I could only speak to them through a telephone,” he said.

VJ, 26, who is expected to be released in October, said although freedom would come soon, he was still sad and worried about how his conviction would affect his family.

His wife, identified only as SC, said she was happy to be able to hug VJ but was also sad because she would have to bring her son back home alone after the event.

“It was a terrible time when he was taken to prison as my son was only six months old. I had to take up a job as a customer service operator and my mother and sister helped take care of my son while I was at work,” she said.

Another prisoner who only wanted to be identified as Jat, 31, said he was sentenced to 11 years’ jail for drug possession.

“After three years and four months, I can finally hold my mother and my siblings in my arms.

“I am also very thankful because I was chosen for this opportunity out of a thousand people,” he said, adding that the 18 inmates were chosen based on good behaviour, the seriousness of their offences and the duration of time already served.

Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said the event was to enable the prisoners to foster closer relationships with their families.

“We should strive to build a loving community in which we should treat our parents or children with care regardless of whatever mistakes they might have made in the past or their status in society,” she said.

She said the Parents Day celebration would be held annually at the Kajang prison, adding that Wanita MCA was planning similar celebrations for Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Christmas to promote the spirit of 1Malaysia.

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