KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 – A total of 1,757 inmates have successfully completed various training programmes under the Industrial Prison Programme since 2013. According to the National Transformation Programme (NTP) Annual Report 2015 released yesterday night, the inmates have completed certified skills training under Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM-SLDN), Sijil Kecekapan Kemahiran (SKK-CIDB) and Program Pemanduan Kenderaan Perdagangan (Metro).
The programme is aimed at upskilling inmates to increase their chances of finding employment upon their release, and at the same time to remove the stigma associated with rehabilitated inmates and reduce the rate of recidivism. And for this purpose, prisons have been set up with ‘in-house’ bakery facilities with training provided.
The report said that this initiative has also introduced an element of self-sufficiency, in which the bakery produces its own bread for the prisoners. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched the NTP Annual Report 2015 that addresses Malaysia’s transformation journey, including in some key socio-economic areas under the NTP over the last six years.
The programme emulates other prison programmes such as the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Programme in the United States, Prison Industries in Australia and Prison Industries Unit in the United Kingdom, noted the report. It said in aspiring towards 2020, these initiatives hope to see a greater drop in recidivism, a greater percentage increase in inmates employed after release, and an increase in the number of bakery facilities set up, as well as prisons that are self-sufficient in food.
Other initiatives to uplift the people’s socio-economy standards included the 1AZAM Programme which had helped many families escape poverty by providing means of generating sustainable income, financial assistance and skills training. In efforts to cushion the effects of the rising cost of living, the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) was introduced with the aim of providing alternative grocery items of a more affordable nature, compounded by high quality to the people.
The report said some RM86 million had been invested in the programme so far, and a total of 185 KR1M stores had been established nationwide since 2011. It added the government had also launched the Klinik 1Malaysia (K1M) initiative, which provided better access to healthcare at a RM1 fee. To date, there are 334 K1Ms operating nationwide.