Monday, October 27, 2008


Wistful Deepavali for inmates


The hopes of seven inmates at the Penang Prison here to meet their families in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration did not materialise when none turned up. Until the end of the special visitation period under the prison’s “Fostering Love” prograimne at 11am yesterday, their families were not seen. Of the 10 inmates selected to meet their families face-to-face for an hour yesterday, only three families came. Nathan (not his real name), 38, from Teluk Kumbar, was sad that his family did not come although they initially agreed to do so. However, he tried to mask his disappointment by saying that his family may have been busy with Deepavali celebrations at home. “Maybe they have other plans at home, but I hope to see them when the prison authorities allow our families to visit tomorrow or the day after,” he said when met at the “Fostering Love” event. For another inmate, Raju (not his real name), 52, from Georgetown, he could not feel the joy of Deepavali without the presence of family and friends. “It’s sad to see other families visit. I waited for my family since this morning but they did not come. I hope they will come on Wednesday,” he said. Meanwhile, Prisons Deputy Director, Mohd Sobri Mahdzir, said families that were unable to visit should have informed the department so that other inmates could be given a chance. However, he said, the Prison Department would allow families to visit inmates today and Wednesday. He added that the Fostering Love programme gave inmates with good behaviour a chance to see their families to foster better family ties. - Bernama