Journal Entries of Kluang Prison Detention (Part 5)
Journal Entries For Day 27 – 26.03.2018 (Tuesday)
Day 27 Noon
My family member had paid off my fine by noon time. From Pekan Nanas, they put me on their Immigration truck and sent me to Kluang Prison. On arriving, we were waiting outside of Kluang prison and not knowing what was happening. After some time, they transferred me inside the prison. It became clear now that they are not releasing me even though my daughter had paid the fine.
And this was the start of my Kluang imprisonment on the afternoon of day 27th. This prison is two plus hours of drive from Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot on the Immigration truck along bumpy and rough roads terrain.
A look at Kluang prison and life inside
Set in forested surrounding is Kluang prison, a considerably huge complex. From the Google image, you can see seven tri-section top view designed prisons buildings. These seven buildings are for the different categories of prisoners such as death row prisoners, for life sentence prisoners, violent & hard core prisoners and petty crimes prisoners and so forth.
Outside the main entrance is a building, food court/canteen, and some amenities. These catered to the prison officers and their families as well as for outside visitors.
Once inside the huge prison complex, we were ushered to wait while the processing of handing over is going on. After the hand over, we had to queue to show all our personal belongings to the prison officer. The prison officer took custody of these personal belongings and issued a receipt for these items.
The prison guard fancies a S$100 bill among my few S$100 bill. He then told me that he had never seen a one-hundred Singapore dollar bill. And he asked to have one for souvenir.
Kluang prison administrative section
Next we were led to the main administrative section for the prisoner-in-boarding procedure.
We were led to a room, lined up against a wall, stripped and searched for any hidden objects. Here are a few garang-type prison guards dishing out the usual merciless treatment to prisoners while doing this routine.
These sadistic officers would randomly pick upon someone to beat up wantonly. Another standard behavior is the officers yelling fiercely and taunting as in typical prison regimented setting.
After the search exercise, they took us to the main administration office. This is where they conducted the interview, paperwork registration procedure and particulars confirmed by the prison police officers.
Other buildings surrounding the main administrative sections are the cook houses, the building for laundry, prisoners workshops and officers quarters. These are within the same security zone.
Kluang Prison guard brutality
During the interview, paperwork and documentation exercise, one of the prison officer picked upon one particular Bangladesh national prisoner. It was a random and unfortunate event for the Bangladesh national. The officer beat him up brutally and mercilessly with his hand-held “torture” weapon.
As this sadistic officer was inflicting his torture, this prisoner was crying out loudly in great pain from this torture.
While this was going on, no one among the other prison officers nor anyone in the same vicinity intervene or says anything.
It is also a rule that all prisoners are to look down at all times or they will be punished.
I overheard from other prisoners that the local-born Malaysian of certain race have deep animosity against Bangladesh nationals as the reason why this happened.
Kluang prison sergeant’s scam
Following, they bought us to another section to await our standard prison attires for the prison sergeant to issue to us.
During this time of waiting, one of the runners for the prison sergeant started making an announcement to all the prisoners. He was pitching that the prison sergeant could offers a package consisting of telephone card, one set breakfast with coffee at canteen and hygiene items for RM 75.
In no time, there was a queue of prisoners waiting to transact the money to the sergeant and he then alters the amount on our receipt to minus out the RM 75. About this transaction; on the day of my transfer back to Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot, the prison sergeant refused to deliver the package when I insisted for it. Clearly the prison sergeant had scammed many prisoners through this trick.
Next stop is the issuing of our prisoner’s attires. They issued the standard prison clothes to us for our change out from the personal clothes that we were wearing. They then tagged our personal clothes, handed over to the runners for storing in the prison holding store.
Prisoners’ standard cropped top
Next is they were going to have the hair on our head fully shaved off as it is the standard prisoner’s appearance. We took our turn to have our hair fully shaved. Once everyone had their head fully shaven clean, they took us inside the main complex where the prison buildings were. We had a fairly long walk to reach the prison building.
The prison officers led us from the administrative section to the prison building. I remembered that it was a long walk. We passed by the Prison Medical Center which is at the far end in-between the rows of prison buildings.
They brought us to one of the last three prison buildings past the Prison Medical Center.
Kluang prisoners cells
The prison buildings have three different sections in a tri-wings top-view design with two levels. On each level, there are rows of open-view cells adjacent to one another. These individual cells have iron-rod grills and gates to secure the prisoners inside. These rows of cells are on both sides facing each other throughout the whole length of building. They locked us in one of the many cells on the lower level.
Each individual cell of approximate 250 square feet space can holds about thirty prisoners. We had to sleep on hard cold concrete floor. There is no window but a row of opening with iron bar grills high up on the wall behind. Through this opening, the cold chilly wind from the forested surrounding blows into the cell. This cold conditions from the cold chilly winds outside and the hard cold cement floor were bad for people with weak health or having asthma.
As for our meals, each of us was given a food container to collect our food from some cell representatives collecting on our behalf. These representatives collected from the main food distribution point outside. The food was horrible as expected from prison setting.
Free movement allow within the building security zone
There was no freedom for us to be let outside of this cell for the next few days. Those other inmates who had been here after a week or two were let out of their cells to walk around the common corridor and the outside space of the cells within certain times.
We heard that amongst the prisoners, there were also a few Singaporeans that were locked up in this prison. We also heard that there is a head amongst the prisoners who control many prisoners to run errands for him. Many illegal stuffs are available through him at a high price and the illegal stuffs are smuggled in by prison offices, then sold to him for high prices. This head lives like a king with good food, making money and allowed entertainments and special treatment from prison officers. Many of the tales about this head came courtesy of the Chinese national prisoner who volunteers his professional massage service to this head.
It is a good thing not to be out there and interact with the other prisoners as these are real criminals and gangsters background looking to recruit others into their gangs. Once when I was outside after being allowed out for a visit, one of those gang head was seated at a table supervising his henchmen-prisoners started engaging a conversation with me.
He asked for the reason for my stay as well as asking for my contact number. He claimed that he will be released soon and wanted to contact me in Singapore after his release. That is one of the main reasons why young people should avoid prison to avoid mixing with criminals and syndicated gangs.
Journal Entries For Day 28 – 27.03.2018 (Tuesday)
Day 2 in Kluang prison (Day 28 in detention)
The building within the complex and nearest to the main entrance is the visitors building within the first security zone. This is a building for visitors to meet the prisoners separated by a glass panel. It was quite a huge place with zoning and numbering. They would direct you to the zone and number where your visitor will be there. At this numbered desk is a linked telephone to talk to your visitor on the outside.
My daughter’s visit
On this day my lawyer kindly drove my young daughter more than 2 hours to this Kluang Prison to visit me. My daughter stopped by a supermarket to buy local food, snacks and items for me before reaching the prison. The good thing is that the accompanying lawyer helped to advise her what items were allowed under prison rules.
They brought me outside food, snacks, coffee and essential hygiene items which were really God-sent items. This is the first time to taste outside local food and have real coffee after 28 days.
A guard escorted me to this visitor building and allowed to meet and conversed with my daughter for half an hour.
Here I was told that I will be released by Malaysia Immigration on 4.4.2018 based on information my lawyer and the Singapore Attaché Office helped to obtain from the Malaysian Immigration.
The three Indian national prisoners
We decided to pay the fines for all the three Indian nationals so that they would not have to spend prison time of six months for two of them and four months for one of them.
This will help to send them back as soon as possible to their families in India who are facing financial hardship because they were very poor. They are the main bread winners working to feed the family.
They were in this predicament because of unscrupulous agents who deserted them after collecting their agency fees and even disappearing with their passports.
Miraculously my daughter managed to raise just enough funds for all four of us to pay the total fine amount.
The China national prisoner
Interestingly in this prison I met a China national whom I get along well as we can converse with each other in the Chinese language and also I helped interpret for him to English.
He narrated that his wife paid his compounded fine after the sentencing. A week had gone past and he is still in Kluang prison.
Through a visit from his wife, he came to find out that his wife had gone to Immigration @Setia Tropika to find out about his release. The officer she approached told her to give RM3,000 if she wants her husband released earlier. This was payment for service to do “something” to help her husband. After the wife paid up, Immigration made arrangement for his release soon after.
Journal Entries For Day 29 – 28.03.2018 (Wednesday)
Day 3 in Kluang prison (Day 29 in detention)
My daughter has been dropping by the Singapore Attaché office to give regular update to the attaché as to what is happening to me. With the attaché request for information on me to the Malaysia Immigration, they have to arrange to release me from this prison on this day. Because of the Attaché’s involvement, my daughter was probably spared paying RM3k, the RM3K paid by the wife of the China national to secure his release without further delay.
We and the three Indian nationals knew we were going to be released when we were brought to the prison administrative office to prepare the release paperwork. We were all scheduled to be released on the same day tomorrow and had to get ready for the discharge early next morning.
Journal Entries For Day 30 – 29.03.2018 (Thursday)
Day 4 Morning in Kluang prison
Early in the morning, we were taken out from the cell to have our breakfast at the main area where all three sections converged together. Here we can mingle with all the other prisoners and had a quick breakfast.
Soon after we were escorted to the main administrative building for the discharge from prison procedure. Soon after we collected our clothes and our belongings and brought before a senior prison officer who approves our discharge documents.
After that we were taken to a waiting tour excursion bus for the transfer and ride back to Pekan Nanas Immigration Depot.
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