Celebrating Raya behind bars

KUANTAN,  13 July 2017:

Any mother would be grieved to not be able to celebrate Hari Raya with their child who has been imprisoned as a result of mixing with the wrong crowd.

For sixty-four-year-old Hamidah (not her real name), ever since last Ramadan, she has felt a mix of sadness and longing for her son Rosli (not his real name), 30 – who had to undergo the fasting month and celebrate Syawal behind the bars of Penor Jail here.

Hamidah who attended Penor Jail’s Aidilfitri programme, Jalinan Kasih 1Malaysia, yesterday with her husband and Rosli’s three children – aged between six months and three years – was given the opportunity to meet her son and enjoy a Hari Raya meal together.

For inmate Rosli, who had been imprisoned for nine months since March due to drug addiction, the life-humbling experience of celebrating Aidilfitri behind bars stirred strong remorse – especially when thinking of the fate of his elderly parents as well as his beloved wife and three small children.

Rosli was among a group of 15 inmates chosen from more than 1,500 prisoners from the jail to participate in the programme.

For another inmate of the programme, Haslam (not his real name), 60, this Hari Raya was the most meaningful as he got to finally meet his wife following his imprisonment since 2010 for drug trafficking.

Commenting on the programme, the director of Penor Jail, Datuk Abu Hasan Hussain said the annual event provided the inmates with the opportunity to celebrate Hari Raya with their families, without being separated by boundaries.

“The inmates were chosen for their record of good behaviour as well as other criteria.”

– Bernama

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