07th April 2020
Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA)
Living behind bars is not an obstacle to contributing back to the society. Prisoners here have shown this by tirelessly sewing personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel who are frontliners in the state’s efforts to curb Covid-19. Away from the public eye, a group of 24 inmates in Puncak Borneo Prison in Padawan have switched gears and turned their sewing skills towards creating the protective outfits which are highly in demand in local medical institutions. Speaking to DayakDaily, Puncak Borneo prison director Hamdan Salleh Majin revealed: “The inmates use their skills in measuring, cutting and sewing the special materials called sterilisation wrap which is in accordance with the Health Department’s standard operating procedures (SOP). This is to help replenish the diminishing stocks of PPE which are highly needed by medical frontliners who are in contact with Covid-19 positive patients.” On March 31, the Puncak Borneo prison received 300 units of materials from Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA). Yesterday, they received another batch from SMA and the inmates didn’t waste any time by immediately taking their respective spots in the prison’s sewing workshop. Expressing pride in the inmates’ eagerness and willingness to contribute to a good cause, Hamdan said they started to sew straight away on March 31 and can produce 600 sets of stockings, caps and face masks in one day. In fact, they finished sewing the first batch of materials in just two days. “We ran out of materials very fast because the inmates were really concentrating hard to complete as much and as fast as they could so that the PPE can be delivered to those who needed it most. “We also hope that many more companies or NGOs out there will send us the materials (according to specification) so that our inmates can help to stitch them,” Hamdan said. The finished products will be delivered straight to the State Health Department. As long as there are materials available, the Puncak Borneo prison sewing workshop will continue to operate so that they can produce more. So while the country is facing the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems like this is also an ideal time to give these inmates a helping hand to contribute back to society.