Lending a helping hand is part of the job for officers of the law — but their daily good deeds rarely make headlines.

With that, we at Astro Ulagam have interviewed Tuan Annathurai Kalimuthu, Deputy Commissioner of the Prison Department to gain more insights on the overall crimes, programmes, and his career of being in the most prestigious designation in the prison department.

While many heart-warming stories of indomitable courage and grit have emerged from across the nation - Tuan Annathurai’s good deeds left us in awe.

A Deputy Commissioner of the Prison Department by profession and author by passion…

Asking about the juggle between being an officer and an author:

Writing comes easy when we have some meaningful information to share. Perhaps, Tuan Annathurai has had an interest in writing for ages, and it does entail working in most of our free time or during the weekends.

Knowledge is power, and sharing knowledge has the power to bring about change. Everything that we put out in the universe must help to make someone’s life better. When we start a project with that intent, it will always turn out well.

As the statement denotes, Tuan always wanted to give back a positive impact on our Indian community. That’s when he started to pen a book/module specially for the Indian Ex-convicts in dual languages - Malay and Tamil. In 2016, Dr. Shanmugasiva joined hands with Tuan to pen and publish a module bearing the title ‘Hindu Dharma’ upon DG’s request. Indeed a better way to enhance the understanding and knowledge about the Hindu faith, which is an important part of Indian culture and heritage.

Made a plethora of ex-convicts turn over a new leaf…

Tuan Annathurai is determined to change and help other prison inmates to turn over a new leaf and ease back into society. Asking about one of the stories of an ex-convict that he is proud of…

‘A young lad/boy (Indian) scores stellar results - 7A’s for his SPM, emerging as the top and first inmate student throughout his service.’

Having served prison time was both the bane and a turning point for the young lad. Along the way, his achievement has been a major milestone for him, and Tuan made the young man further his studies at Open University Malaysia with a Diploma in Management.

The fruits of his big changes are already taking shape. Speaking to him, Tuan has emphasized that education is an important part of rehabilitation. Thankfully, his interest in education and the support of Tuan Annathurai steered him back on the right track.

Asking about the skills and programs that have been initiated by the Malaysian Prisons Department:

Tuan has stated that there are a plethora of programmes provided for the convicts that teaches a variety of valuable skills to the convicts, including cooking, catering, bakery, frozen food, tailoring, dobby, handicraft, and spa and facial services. Besides that, they also have the opportunity of being involved in agriculture field activities that produce vegetables and fish. This not only provides the convicts with a means of earning a living but also helps to preserve traditional crafts and promote local industries.

Tuan Annathurai’s Dream Project….Halfway houses

‘ I want to give back to society.’

A halfway house is a facility provided by the Prisons Department in collaboration with NGOs to accommodate parolees (ODP) and ex-prisoners who have just been released after serving a prison sentence of up to three months.

Having a deep concern about our community, Tuan Annathurai is building a halfway house for ex-convicts with the help of a few Non-governmental organizations (NGOs). If everything goes well, his dream project is all set to be established in the year 2024.

Being an ex-convict does not mean the end of the world! To date, Tuan Annathurai's efforts to help ex-convicts reintegrate into society and rebuild their lives are truly commendable. He creates a brighter future not just for the individuals he works with, but for society as a whole.

"The future starts with each of us. Tuan Annathurai is showing us that we can all make a difference and create a brighter tomorrow for everyone."