ALOR STAR: It was a memorable Ramadan for some 50 inmates of the Alor Star Prison when they were given a rare opportunity to break fast with their loved ones at the prison facility here recently.

The event was made possible, thanks to the collaboration between Islamic Aid Malaysia (AIM) and the Institute of Islamic Understanding’s (Ikim) Radio and the cooperation of the prison’s authority.

IAM president Zawahir Abdullah said the Imarah Ramadan programme was organised to strengthen the relationship between the inmates and their family during the fasting month.

“This is the first time this programme has been organised to give the prisoners an opportunity to celebrate Ramadan with their family members.

“This Iftar programme is one of the ways to show that we as members of the community care for the welfare of the prisoners and their families and at the same time make them feel accepted by society,” he said.

Prison Management director Datuk Jamaludin Saad had lauded the effort as it allowed the inmates to meet face-to-face and share Iftar meals with their loved ones.

“This programme should be held annually and we must credit AIM and IKIMfm for their effort,” he said.

Present were Alor Star Prison director Datuk Abdul Hassan Hussein and IKIMfm senior producer Fairuz Noordin.

The inmates’ families were also given some groceries to reduce their burden throughout Ramadan.

Prisoner, Zamri (not his real name), 32, said the visit from his family during Ramadan would be an affirmation of their forgiveness.

“I feel so happy to see my mother and I also took the opportunity to seek her forgiveness.

“Though I am glad that I have been given this opportunity to celebrate Ramadan with my family in prison, I really miss the moment of being together with my parents,” he said.

Shamila (not her real name), a mother of two, who has been in jail for two years due to drug trafficking, was happy to meet her father.

“It is like a dream come true because I finally get to hug and kiss my father. This Ramadan is more meaningful to me,” said the 28-year-old mother.