Raya cookies from prison

They normally start making the cookies at 8am, from baking the cookies to packaging them in jars under the supervision of the officers at the centre.

07 Apr 2024 11:00am
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BATU GAJAH - Despite being behind bars, 33-year-old Fifi (not her real name) does not want to miss out on making preparations for Aidilfitri, like baking Raya cookies and cakes, even though she is not able to celebrate the occasion with her family.

Together with five other inmates, Fifi baked eight types of biscuits - Almond Crunchy, Swiss Strawberry, Chocolate Chip, Onde-onde Gula Melaka, Pineapple Tart, Pot Nutella, Rainbow Delight and Swiss Nutella - for sale to the public.

Fifi is one of five female inmates at the Batu Gajah Rehabilitation Center (PPA) involved in the National Dual Training System (SDLN) at the pastry workshop whose project includes producing Raya cookies, which they started in 2017.

They normally start making the cookies at 8am, from baking the cookies to packaging them in jars under the supervision of the officers at the centre.

According to Batu Gajah PPA Director Assistant Prison Commissioner S. Tanabal, this year alone, 1,900 jars of the Raya cookies have been sold at the gallery of the prison headquarters in Kajang.

"We also receive orders from staff at the centre and the cookies are also sold to the public at the centre’s Vocational and Industrial Section Sales Gallery. So far, more than 5,000 jars of the Raya cookies have been sold,” he said when met by Bernama.

He said apart from baking, other skills certificates offered to inmates at the centre are sewing, carpentry and rattan carpentry.

"This is to equip the inmates with skills which they can use when they return to society,” he said.

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Besides the skills offered at the centre, he said, the female inmates also received training on beauty spa management outside the prison premises, at the Spa My Pride, which provides a variety of beauty massage services and facial treatments.

The spa is open to the public by prior reservation, he said.

The Batu Gajah PPA currently houses 499 inmates, consisting of detainees under the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures 1985) with a detention period of up to two years.

The only PPA that houses female prisoners, the Batu Gajah PPA, previously known as the Henry Gurney Women's School, now has 41 female inmates.

The products made by the inmates are placed at the Industrial Vocational Sales Gallery at the centre for sale to the public, For any inquiry, the number to contact is 05-3632255. - BERNAMA