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YOURSAY ‘Prison is for repentance but that is not the case in Malaysia.’

In prison, one dipper for all, says Uthaya

Be Fair: The Malaysian prison system sucks and the worst is that it is supposed to rehabiliate a person, but in Malaysia once you go in you come out worsened. That’s why our crime rate is growing exponentially. This includes the stupid, so-called Pusat Serenti. These places are breeding centres for the current cause of the rising crime rate.

Theeyes82: I am utterly shocked with these revelations. Prison is for repentance but that is not the case in Malaysia. How can they deprive a prisoner of food? Dipper? What about diseases? Cruel. Really cruel. Gruesome to even imagine the scenes inside.

Myop101: I don't think any human should be treated in such a manner, what more a mere political prisoner. The government should reform the prison to make it more humane. I am not asking it to be turned into a hotel but please, allocate more money for food, medical treatment and basic hygiene needs.

Terjah: I suggest that Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar write his memoirs as a prisoner in a Malaysian jail. It will surely be a best seller.

Wg321: Uthayakumar should not complain. He should count himself lucky. Anwar Ibrahim was blindfolded, kicked and punched until he fainted the whole night and was left on the cold cement floor of the underground police lock-up to die by that notorious ex-inspector-general of police (IGP), Rahim Noor.

He was nearly blinded and left to die if not for a kind-hearted police officer, Ramli Yusuf, who took pity on him and saved Anwar's life.

Remember his famous ‘Black Eye’ which has become the icon of PKR? The present IGP, Khalid Abu Bakar, did not give Uthayakumar a black eye. What is he complaining about?

Anonymous_1371547149: Wg321, why don't you go to prison and experience what Uthayakumar suffered before you suggest he should not complain? So, the inhumane treatment of Anwar should be the benchmark, according to your logic?

MVA: I wonder if the prison authorities are humans who fear God. Being deprived of your freedom is the price the prisoners pay, but a civilised country will ensure they are given basic necessities like clean and hygienic cells and basic, edible and nutritious food. They should also not be given any mental or physical torture so that they can reflect and atone for their mistakes or crimes.

If the prisoners are treated badly, I guess the majority will leave the prison with vengeance on their minds rather than gratitude for helping them to turn around.

The Malaysian Ant-Corruption Commission (MACC) and our chief secretary to the government should investigate to ensure it is not another form of corruption to compel relatives to pay for the well-being of their kin in prison. Let's not forget prison personnel are civil servants!

Vasudevan: This is the Third World mentality and culture which we continue to live in. How many people are subjected to such cruelty - no matter how low the prisoners are, they are still human. Anyway, what goes around will come around - the law of karma is all-powerful.

Oriole: This is reflective of some of the most primitive descriptions from the Second World War. What are human rights bodies in the country and outside doing to speak with this man? Amnesty International, Suhakam, Suaram, Human Rights Watch. Why the silence?

Negarawan: Please keep that ‘gayong’ for Najib Abdul Razak and Zahid Hamidi to use later. Perhaps Allah has reserved a ‘gayong’ for them already.

Uthaya recounts horrors of a Malaysian prison

Yeoh Chee Weng: To Uthayakumar: I felt very aggrieved reading the sufferings you had to endure. I hope that friends and sympathisers will spread the inhumanity of the Kajang Prison conditions to as many public media and social networks as possible in order to redress these wrongdoings.

David Dass: Uthayakumar speaks eloquently for the plight of prisoners. He is a lawyer who ought to be seen as a political prisoner and not as a criminal. What he says puts us to shame. I remember the Henry Gurney Detention Centre in Malacca. The wardens were professional - well-trained, disciplined and kind. They saw themselves as professionals.

In my early days of practice, the prisons were not overcrowded, drugs were not part of the prison scene and the rehabilitative aspect of incarceration was important. Now we throw them in overcrowded prisons and do not really care how they are treated. They are so many youths in remand who are not receiving any kind of education. Whatever help they receive they get from volunteers.

We are supposed to be heading towards developed nation status. We should remind ourselves that how we treat the least among us will reflect the kind of civilisation we are. Prisoners deserve a better deal.

Positive thinker: Uthayakumar, after reading what you said I have come to the conclusion that either you are a pathological liar or you are a psychiatric patient. There is no such thing as doctors examining the patients standing six feet away. Are you insane? Which doctor in the world would ever do that? You are lying through your teeth.

No wonder you have been demanding RM3,000 from people who have come to you for help to take up matters to the government. This was much before your imprisonment. In short, I will say you are a misfit as a social creature. You are a wasted creature unfit to be classified as a human being. No wonder nobody has any sympathy for you. Not even the judge who sent you to jail.

People like you are dangerous creatures in society. No wonder even your own brother kept away from you. I say this to you. Go away. Go far away and stay away from society. Just go and mind your own life. You cannot be of any use to society. You should be a forgotten issue. Stay away from Hindraf.

Snake-in-the-grass: There are so many people who beg to get into prison, where they don't have to worry about three meals a day...

Slumdog: You are a courageous man, P Uthayakumar, and you bore the brunt of Umno’s Sedition Act. Unfortunately, you paid the ultimate price of incarceration in jail. Don’t be surprised, because of your honest and frank disclosure of your time in prison, and the conditions within, you may be hauled up by Umno’s boys in blue with another charge under the Sedition Act.

SS Dhaliwal: I know what you say is true, Uthayakumar. Ironically, the true meaning of 1Malaysia is being practised in our prison system due to uniformity of treatment. No peruntukan for toothbrushes but a personal jet for a VIP on her personal excursions. Why not let the families sponsor toothbrushes, since sharing them can spread diseases that can be contracted by innocent civilians upon the release of the prisoners?

Ronald: I have read Alexander Solzhenitsyn's book ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, about the forced Russian concentration camps in Siberia. From what I hear from Uthayakumar, our prisons could possibly be worse. This government ought to be shamed of itself.

Sa tombs: I have been to the same prison but the treatment that I received was different. It is true that all prisoners are treated equally and there is no race barrier in one prisoner treating another prisoner with kindness. It is NOT TRUE that the prison doctors treat you by standing six feet away from you. They do examine you and for critical illness you are sent to the Kajang Hospital. There is also a ward for severely ill prisoners in the prison itself.

If the prisoners misbehave that punishment is meted out. This is NOT done cruelly, as stated by Uthayakumar. Most times when family members visit you, they buy your essentials from the canteen and often those who can afford it buy for the poorer inmates as well. The camaraderie among prisoners is something that should be studied and you will truly achieve 1Malaysia.

Of course, you have bigots among the wardens, BUT they are very rare. So, Mr Uthaya, you are not fair in your comments.

Fightforjustice: Sir, you truly are a brave man to fight for our fellow Malaysians. I wish you and your family a very warm Deepavali and pray for you to continue to speak out for justice for all.

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