“To me, prisoners are human beings too, so we cannot shun them. One day they are going to come out, and people should employ them. There’s always a stigma about employing ex-prisoners, but I would definitely employ them in my company…”

“When I teach these girls how to cook, we get to spend time together and I would listen to their stories. I ask them, what happened to you? Some of them told me how much they regret their mistakes. Some of them were too young so they didn’t even know what they did was wrong.

What we are doing here is to give the prisoners hope and to broaden their views on opportunities after leaving the prison. The recipes from my cookbook ‘Air Tangan Tengku Puan Pahang – Masakan Tradisional Pahang’ is the basis of this rehabilitation programme for prisoners. In the first class,I will teach the prisoners how to make ‘rendang’ paste and ‘asam pedas’ paste.

We want to give them training while they are here and get their mind active in contributing to the society and at the same time having sustainable income.

This is very important as we want them to be useful and accepted by the society. We hope this pilot project and initiative by the Malaysian Prison Department and support by Resorts World Genting will bear fruit.

If it is successful we hope to expand this idea to other prisons in Pahang and maybe other prisons in Malaysia in the future as well.

Apparently TPP doesn’t only stand for ‘Tuanku Puan Pahang’, it also stands for ‘Timbalan Penguasa Penjara’ (Deputy Director of Prison). They gave me a special ‘pangkat’ (title) because I am involved in the welfare and rehabilitation of these inmates. So I guess I am double TPP now. (laughs)”

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

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Captured at the “Beauty Behind the Wall” programme, a CSR initiative by KDYTM Tengku Puan Pahang (TPP) Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and Resorts World Genting, aimed to equip female inmates of Bentong Prison with culinary skills.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa and Amalina Davis

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(This post was first published on January 4th 2019)

“On the day that the prisoners will be released back to society, the Director/Warden will be there, and a list of his biography, weight before and after entering prison, crimes committed and time served will be called out…”

“We then give a test to see if they have changed and improved themselves. Each inmate will go to a religious class and be assigned their guru. If you’re Muslim you go to the Islamic classes and if you’re Buddhist or Hindu you go to those religious classes. We tell them ‘when you walked in here, you were empty, you did not know many good things. You now leave with goodness in you’.

Majority of prisoners here are Malays, about 60{eb97150a49149dc6c9e8165e90f1c9129bb6172e02a598b4264a1fc329d7d5bc} of them, with 40{eb97150a49149dc6c9e8165e90f1c9129bb6172e02a598b4264a1fc329d7d5bc} Chinese and Indians. There’s 3000 inmates in this (Bentong) prison, and 200 of them are women. The women are in mostly because of drugs, and the men’s crimes vary from drugs to rape and assault.

Most of the prisoners are here because of drug-related crimes. For inmates, their uniforms vary on color. We measure them by months. If you’re here for more than 12 months, and for many years, you will be wearing the dark blue uniforms. Those who had attempted to escape out of prison will be wearing those black and white striped uniforms that you see in the cinemas. New prisoners wear the orange colored uniforms.

They spend their time doing work – we pay them and they gain valuable skills that they can use after they have served their prison sentence.

There’s 4 workshops the can work on – laundry, sewing, metal works, gardening and making chairs out of rotan.

We want to show that here in Malaysia, even though they are in prison, we are training them in useful vocational skills so that they have a chance for the future.

Death row prisoners (those who have been served death sentences and are awaiting their time) are not allowed to go out and work. They are secured in the maximum security cells, with only 1 hour a day given to go out on a break.

Their food and meals are specials too – the chicken that we serve does not contain any bones. This is because they can potentially use this to end their own life”.

– Humans of Kuala Lumpur

Captured at the “Beauty Behind the Wall” programme, a CSR initiative by KDYTM Tengku Puan Pahang (TPP) Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and Resorts World Genting, aimed to equip female inmates of Bentong Prison with culinary skills.

Photostory by Mushamir Mustafa

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8
(This post was first published on January 4th 2019)

’Once you start doing drugs, you just can’t quit.’

“Most of the female prisoners under my surveillance are around 20 years old. They were high school dropouts that got involved in drugs.

Their story usually goes like this. They go to pubs, became friends with ‘bad boys’, got addicted to drugs, got pregnant, and the boys just leave them. That’s how they got sent here.

I always see the prisoners as my daughters and sons. When I see some of them coming back to prison for the second time, it breaks my heart.

Growing up, I never thought I’ll end up becoming a prison officer, but I’ve been doing this for 20 years now. I always wanted to be a model, but my late father insisted that I join the uniform. That’s why I am here today *laughs*”

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Captured at the “Beauty Behind the Wall” programme, an initiative by KDYTM Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and Resorts World Genting, aimed to equip female inmates of Bentong Prison with culinary skills.

Photostory by Samantha Siow
Edited by Amalina Davis

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(This post was first published on December 5th 2018)

“I have been working as a police officer for 14 years. My team leads the inmate rehabilitation programme in prisons in Bentong, Kajang and Sungai Buloh…”

“We strongly believe that each inmate has a chance to rehabilitation if we give them that chance.

Part of the rehabilitation programme includes giving courses on cooking, baking, sewing, weaving, driving busses and operating heavy machinery. At the end of the programme, we will give them a certificate of completion, and this certificate can be used to find jobs outside. If they have jobs after being released, hopefully they won’t commit crime like stealing and robbery to earn a living. 

Some of the inmates are lazy to take these classes, as they view it as tiring and wasting time. We have to force them to commit to these classes. Otherwise, its so easy for them to reoffend once being released. I have seen it happen so many times, prisoners coming in and out of jail because they don’t have a purpose once they leave. We try our best to provide them with that purpose.”

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Captured at the “Beauty Behind the Wall” programme, a CSR initiative by KDYTM Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah and Resorts World Genting, aimed to equip female inmates of Bentong Prison with culinary skills.

Photostory by Amalina Davis

Do you have a story? Let us know here: https://forms.gle/ht4HsvbxgSgcKS5h8

 

(This post was first published on December 4th 2018)