INDOMITABLE SPIRIT Of MAN–FREED After 30 Years; No ANGER, REMORSE, REGRET for Misdeed-with POSITIVE OUTLOOK in LIFE -"I Hope Society Will Accept Me"
UPDATE: Oct 05 06
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Free at last; from NST
Prison after 30 years. TAIPING: There was no high drama when the nation's longest-serving prisoner stepped out of the Taiping prison into his father's arms yesterday.
Pak Rashid just hugged and kissed 78-year-old Talib Arabullah. There were no
tears. He was not sad at having spent 30 years, 11 months and nine days of his life
behind bars: It was the joy of having a life once again. "I felt joy on Sept 30 when I heard that I would be released soon. But that is nothing compared to the ecstasy I feel now," said Pak Rashid, whose real name is Salleh Talib.
The 57-year old bachelor still has no idea about what he intends to do with
his life but one thing is sure. He will be his own man despite not having held a job in three decades. The idea of setting up a small business to earn a modest income is somewhere in the back of his mind.
"And if my jodoh (match) arrives, I will get married," he said in an interview minutes after walking out of the prison gates. There are also the skills he learnt in prison, including woodcarving, shoe-making and the making of walking sticks that could come in handy. "I don't mind going back to meet new inmates in prison. I want to give them hope that there can be life after prison."
According to prison director Narander Singh, he would be using Pak Rashid for talks in schools about crime. Pak Rashid, who was sentened to life imprisonment for armed robbery in 1976, was granted a pardon recently by the Sultan of Kedah.
Talib wants to celebrate Hari Raya with Pak Rashid and his three other sons in Baling. Pak Rashid has no qualms about returning to the place where he committed the crime that took the best part of his life. "I am a changed man. Prison life has taught me a lot and I intend to carry these lessons with me wherever I go," he said. But for now, his focus is on his faith.
The interview over, he excused himself to walk over to a grassy spot just opposite the prison to continue what he had been doing for 30 years - praying.
Best wishes, Pak Rashid by Aniza Damis, NST OCT 4 06
WHEN I met Pak Rashid three fasting months ago, I thought he was the prison imam. A slightly-built man, he walked several steps behind prison officers who were briefing me as I walked through his Taiping Prison cell block. Pak Rashid was, and remains, unlike any other prisoner I have interviewed. He was calm and quiet; he did not seem curious about me, or curious to know about anything in the outside world. He was not hostile, cynical, or in despair.
I believe such calmness could only have come from years spent getting to know one's self, and being at peace with that. Pak Rashid had lived in prison longer than he had lived on the outside. He told me, if it had not been for God, he would have harmed himself long ago. I did not doubt it. The thought of being thrown into prison at the peak of one's youth, with so much energy and life, behind bars, without an expiry date other than death, made me claustrophobic.
After that, several prison officers approached me, imploring me to tell the outside world about this nice man who, they felt, deserved a second chance. I double-checked with other officers and warders, and they all concurred. It was a strong endorsement. When the first Pak Rashid story came out on Raya Day in 2004, many people empathised with him, and lawyers and politicians promised to help get him out. Even so, the wheels turned slowly.
Thereafter, whenever I visited Taiping Prison, I would avoid meeting Pak Rashid, because I did not want to raise his hopes up, especially since I had nothing in hand. The news that Pak Rashid is finally free makes me feel very happy. I had asked him, two years ago, whether he would be afraid to live in the outside world, after all this time on the inside.
He said, very calmly: "No." Spending forever in jail would be worse. My best wishes go with him, with hopes that society will embrace him, without smothering him. May he experience all of life that he missed out on - the spectacular and the mundane.
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Pak Rashid Looking For Help To Start Business;
TAIPING, Oct 4 (Bernama) -- Pak Rashid, Malaysia's longest-serving prisoner until he stepped out of the Taiping Prison Tuesday, is relishing life as a free man and hopes to start a business for a living. He intends to put his skill at making leather goods, which he learned in prison, to good use if he can get the capital or a loan to start a business.
"I need the capital to buy the necessary tools and equipment," he said when met at his family home at Kampung Dusun Madinah, Changkat Jering, here Wednesday.
Pak Rashid, whose real name is Salleh Talib, 57, is keen to be a cobbler, "But I only want to repair shoes and if there are soccer teams or any quarters looking for a cobbler to repair shoes, they can give the contract to me," he said. Pak Rashid and his friend, Jamil Ahmad, were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1976 for an armed robbery in Baling, Kedah, involving more than RM50,000 that was to be paid as salary to Felda workers. They were then 27 and 26 years of age respectively.
Pak Rashid was released from Taiping Prison after being there for 30 years, 11 months and nine days following a pardon granted by Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah of Kedah. Jamil was released from the Sungai Buluh prison. Asked what led him into crime, he said it was because of pressure from a hard life.
"Prior to 1976, the situation in
"That has also been my wish. From there I can prove to society that I did not idle away my time in prison and there were many lessons that I learnt which I want to share with society," he said. He urged youths to stay away from drugs, which he said was the source of all evils.
"From my experience, many of those who get involved in crime are hooked to drugs," he said. Having spent most of his life in prison, Pak Rashid said he had difficulty sleeping in his family home. "I could not sleep until morning. Perhaps it is the change in the surrounding. I still feel as if I am dreaming," he added.
Pak Rashid, who was the imam at Taiping Prison, said it would not be easy for him to adapt to his new life. "During my young days, a cup of coffee or tea was just 30 sen or 40 sen, but now it is more than RM1. This is one of the challenges, to adapt to the present situation and cost of living," he said.
Pak Rashid is staying with his youngest brother, Abdul Wahab, 37, at the family house where they will look after their father, Talib Arabullah, 78, who is paralysed. Pak Rashid has a younger sister who lives in Pokok Asam and two other brothers, both in Baling, Kedah.
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We all must be very moved - he was down but not out. This is a very good example of the indomitable spirit of man jailed for 30 years and freed and totally incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished and look forward to being accepted by society again. With no anger, remorse, regret or moral anguish arising from repentance for past misdeeds, he has the positive outlook in life to be a useful human being again showing no penitence
This is a typical example of our struggle for survival. We are all multi-dimensional beings who inhabit many realms and who exist throughout eternity; developing continually into more creative and fulfilled individuals.
By acknowledging and, whenever possible, following our impulses, we can discover the purpose of our lives and learn how to act in such a way as to benefit both ourselves and the world. This is the life we are all facing and living. We make and create our own reality - wherever we go.
"My Life is Mine, and I Form It"
We must tell ourselves this often. We create our own life with our all beliefs as an artist uses color. We are given the gift of the gods and there are no limitations to the self except to those we believe in. We should never place the words of gurus, ministers, priest, doctors, psychiatrists, scientists or even FRIENDS higher than the feelings of our own being for self-understanding and growth and answers to overall life situations.
We must all speak our names with affirmation each morning and our rightness in the universe. We all create our life through the inner power of our being (whose source is within us and yet beyond the selves that we know)
We must use our creative abilities with understanding abandon, honor ourselves and move through the godliness of your being. Never trust anyone who tells you that you are evil or guilty by reason of your nature or your physical existence and who leads you away from the reality of yourself.
This freed man did not follow those who told him that he must do penance, in whatever form but trust instead the spontaneity of his own being and the life that is his own.
If you do not like where you are, then examine closely those core beliefs that you have about life in general. Bring them out in the open, discard them for changes. There is nothing within yourself to fear.
We must all realize that our physical experience and environment is the materialization of our beliefs. If we find great exuberance, health, effective work, abundance, smiles on the faces of those who you meet, then take it for granted that our beliefs are beneficial. If you see a world that is good, people like you, take it for granted again, that your beliefs are beneficial.
But if you find poor health, a lack of meaningful work, a lack of abundance, a world of sorrow and evil, then assume your beliefs are faulty and begin examining them. Change your beliefs and life changes.
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TAIPING, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- "I hope society will accept me." That was what 57-year-old Salleh Talib said when he walked out of the Taiping Prison after serving 30 years behind bars today. "I want to help and serve the community with all the knowledge and skills I picked up throughout my 30 years in prison," he told reporters who had gathered to interview him.
Salleh was convicted of committing armed robbery in his kampung in Baling, Kedah, in 1976 and was sentenced to life imprisonment and six strokes of the rotan. Last August, the Pardons Board, chaired by the Sultan of Kedah, granted him a pardon making him the longest serving prisoner to obtain one. Clad in a blue shirt, dark blue slacks and Muslim skullcap, he broke out into a wide smile as he took his first few steps of freedom
On hand to welcome him were his father, Talib Arabullah, 78, who is semi-paralysed and his two brothers. "I met him several years ago. I'm very happy," said Talib, who became paralysed 14 years ago following a nerve disease. "I know he did not do that (robbery) but other people said he did. He had many friends," said Talib of the crime his son was convicted of.
Salleh said: "I'm extremely happy and very grateful. From the moment I was told on Sept 30 that I would be freed and until I actually walked out of prison, it felt like a very long time; seemed like a year." He then handed over a pair of crutches he had personally made from meranti and cengal wood five years ago to his father.
"This is for you dad. I made them myself," he said sounding moved and happy at the same time. Salleh said that he wanted to use his skills in shoemaking and woodcraft to start anew besides cooperating with the prison authorities in an awareness campaign.
Asked whether he wanted to find a wife, Salleh said his priority now was to find an honest living before he could think of getting a wife. "But it's all Allah's will, he added. He also thanked the prison staff for giving him the support and hope all this while