SECOND CHANCE FOR 29 WHO WALK OUT OF TAIPING PRISON UNDER OBB

Twenty-nine prisoners freed today at the Taiping Prison face a second chance to make good as they walk out the tall gates as prisoners released under licence (PBSL).

Repented and to atone for past mistakes -- that was the expression of a prisoner to be known only as ‘Wan’, a 28-year-old sentenced to jail for drug-related offences, who was freed today under the Licensed Prisoner Release (OBB) programme in conjunction with Merdeka MADANI “The Long-Awaited Return” at Taiping Prison here.

Wan said he has been imprisoned here since March 13 and his actual release date is on Oct 4.

The youngest of four siblings said he was determined to change his life for the better and wanted to work gainfully and not repeat the mistakes he made before.

“I will set a good example and advise children (my nephews) not to follow Pak Su and be a useful person,” he said here today.

Wan first strayed into taking drugs when the 18-year-old was influenced by his own peers and stressed by family problems.

However, Wan said he now wants to return to his family and make up for past mistakes and wants to make his family proud of his reform.

“I will also advise my friends not to tempt people like us (ex-convict) into old ways when we are trying to leave the past behind,” he said.

Meanwhile, a prisoner who only wanted to be known as Amir, 25, said he was bent on turning over a new leaf and help his family after this to take responsibility as the eldest of five siblings.

Amir, who was supposed to be freed in October due to a conviction for stealing a motorcycle, was also released under the OBB programme.

Amir said he was determined to make a fresh start by finding a job and promised to display good behaviour when socialising with the community.

“God-willing, I can (change for the better), I don’t want to be stuck with bad company anymore. This is my seventh offence and I have been in and out of prison since I was 17 years old, that is enough,” said Amir, who was previously involved in a drug-related case.

Meanwhile, another prisoner known as ‘Hafiz’, 40, said he was interested in running a motor workshop and hopes to get the chance to do so.

Hafiz, who was jailed for assault, said he admitted to having a hot temper, but was determined to change and not repeat such ill-mannered behaviour in the future.

“After this, I will likely do more charity work with the community. I am indeed keen on becoming a mechanic and open a motor workshop one day,” said Hafiz, who was to be freed on Sept 23.

The 29 prisoners released on licence under the OBB (Orang Bebas Berlesen) programme today will thus start a new life from today, with eight of them invited by their families, another 12 sent to undergo paid skills training through CSI (Corporate Smart Internship) with the industry, while the remaining nine are sent to intermediate homes in Ipoh.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency