KOTA KINABALU: NURUL (not her real name) took a two-hour bus ride from Kota Marudu to meet her husband at the Central Prisons Department under the Program Jalinan Kasih Hari Raya-Merdeka-Malaysia here, yesterday.
She is among 53 families who were selected to see their loved ones who are serving jail terms.
"I've never failed to visit my husband whenever there is an opportunity, which is at least once a month.
"As a wife, I have to be by his side in good and bad times and I will continue to give him my support mentally, emotionally and spiritually," said the 26-year-old.
Nurul's husband, Azman (not his real name) was sentenced to imprisonment in 2010 under Section 376 of the Penal Code for rape. He is scheduled to be released in 2020.
The couple has three daughters aged between 3 and 6. They do not know their father is in prison.
"It's hard to tell them the truth because they are still young. So, whenever they ask about their dad, I lie and tell them that their father is working."
Azman, 28, said he was happy to be able to meet his wife.
He said that life inside and outside prison was very different, but that he had managed to learn new skills in jail.
"When you are out there, you are free to do whatever you want. Here, you are watched and supervised.
"I'm glad I have a supportive family because that is what makes me strong.
"I don't want to think of the past. I am looking forward to building a new life and being a better father and husband."
Meanwhile, State Prisons director Suria Idris said the programme was aimed at strengthening ties between family members and inmates.
He said the department would continue to organise family gatherings as it gave inmates something to look forward to.