21 elderly inmates at prisons: Minister of Home Affairs

|     Danial Norjidi     |

THERE are currently 21 elderly inmates at prison institutions in the country, as of March 13, 2019.

This was shared by Minister of Home Affairs Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the afternoon session of the 15th Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting on Thursday while responding to a question from member of the LegCo member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad regarding the number of prison inmates who are elderly and what programmes are provided to them in accordance with their mental, physical and spiritual capabilities.

The minister shared that as of March 13, 2019, there are 21 inmates who are elderly. Out of these 21 elderly inmates, 17 are male – 12 in Maraburong Prison Institution Phase One and five in Maraburong Prison Institution Phase Three – while there are four in the Women’s Prison Institution.

The minister then proceeded to speak on the programmes carried out at prison institutions. He began by sharing that the physical rehabilitation programme includes sports and exercising according to daily schedules.

Meanwhile, the spiritual rehabilitation programme includes religious activities such as Islamic religious education including memorising verses of Al-Quran, performing the five daily prayers, and in the month of Ramadhan taking part in Sunnat Tarawikh prayers and Tedarus.

There is also a psychological rehabilitation programme for guidance and motivation of inmates, through individual and group counselling.

“For elderly inmates who have health problems, their involvement in any of the rehabilitation programmes outlined, especially in vocational programmes, is subject to the health status of following the inspection and confirmation by health officers.

“Care for elderly inmates is also prioritised in terms of medicine and nutrition, taking into account their limitations and condition,” he added.

As an example, he noted that prison institutions have prepared soft diets especially for elderly inmates and at the same time health check-ups are routinely carried out by medical officers to ensure that their physical and mental conditions are maintained during the period of imprisonment at prison institutions.