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SUNGAI BULOH, Oct 19 — Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman will hire three former convicts to work at his office at the ministry as an initiative to change the stigma and negative perception on the group.
He said the former convicts were youth who had completed their jail sentence to work with him within a certain period of time, to be determined later.
He said that the initiative was part of the ‘Yellow Ribbon’ campaign implemented by his ministry, aimed at changing the public’s perception of former convicts, especially among youth, and thus giving them a second chance in life.
“I will discuss this matter in detail with the Prisons Department and related ministries so that they (former convicts) can be stationed in my office and I will personally monitor them.
“We need to walk the talk. If I officiate this campaign but not doing anything about it, then how can I expect the private sector and the community to accept former convicts,” he told reporters after launching the programme at the Sungai Buloh Prison here today.
The programme, implemented in collaboration with the Prisons Department, the Home Ministry and non-governmental organisations, was aimed at creating awareness among for the community, thus enhancing support systems for former convicts.
Syed Saddiq said that if the former convicts were able to perform well in his office, it would prove that the community could also accept and support them.
Earlier in his speech, which was also attended by the Sungai Buloh Prison juvenile inmates, Syed Saddiq said he would hold talks with related parties from the government and private sector to find a better mechanism for former convicts to turn over a new leaf after they had completed serving time.
He said it was unfair when youth who committed a mistake were marginalised after being released from the prison while they had a long future ahead and needed help to avoid from repeating the mistakes. — Bernama