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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Prisoners help make PPEs for Sabah frontliners

A group of inmates involved in sewing PPEs for frontliners at the Kota Kinabalu Prison.
KOTA KINABALU: Prison inmates here have helped stitch personal protection equipment (PPEs) for Sabah frontliners.
Under the supervision of the Sabah Prisons Department, a select group of exemplary prisoners has sewn more than 17,000 PPEs for such workers statewide since the first week of the movement control order.
One of the inmates, Mike (not his real name) said he was sorry for the crimes he had committed and that this was his little way of helping the “heroes” of the country in the war against Covid-19.
“I hope this small gesture can somehow help our frontliners who are bravely fighting the deadly virus outside the prison walls.
“This is the only thing I can do,” he told a media group that was allowed into the state prison compound today.
Another man, who identified himself as Samsul, said it was an “honour” to be contributing to the fight against the pandemic.
“I am glad to have this opportunity to help. Our frontliners are working round-the-clock to heal the sick and curb the spread of Covid-19. To be able to do my part is an honour to me,” he said.
Sabah health director Dr Christina Rundi welcomed every bit of assistance from the inmates, saying the PPE supplies were constantly needed due to heavy daily usage by frontliners battling Covid-19.
She hoped this programme would give the inmates a new sense of purpose, adding that society should offer these individuals another chance at a new life after they finish serving their prison sentences.
Sabah and Labuan Prisons director Suria Idris said they only picked inmates who had passed an evaluation test for this task.
“Only those displaying good behaviour and have traits which we deem suitable were selected for this work,” he said, after receiving material to make PPEs from the BTC Group at the state prisons headquarters in Kepayan here today.
Chairman of the Sabah Prisons Board of Visiting Justices (BVJ) Katherine Lee Mei Oi said in the face of adversity, it was moving to know people from all walks of life, including prisoners, were united in doing their bit to beat the virus.
“There are many talents and skills in prison the public may not be aware of. BVJ would like to urge the public to help open the doors to job opportunities for these inmates after they have served their sentences,” she said. - FMT

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