Kamunting prison produces 12 tonnes of food monthly
The Kamunting Correctional Centre (Kemta) in Taiping produces over 12 tonnes of food supply each month through its agricultural and livestock breeding efforts.
Perak Plantation, Agriculture and Food Industry Committee chairman Razman Zakaria said Kemta was one of the prison institutions that had been conducting skills training in agro-agriculture, livestock breeding and fisheries to produce entrepreneurs for the past 20 years.
“The production covers food supply for all prisons in Perak and the Seberang Prai Prison Complex in Sungai Jawi, Penang.
“This includes supplying catfish and vegetables such as bean sprouts, kangkong (water spinach) and others two to three times a month to all prisons in Perak as well as Penang or the North Zone prison,” he said in a statement on Saturday (Oct 8).
When presenting Budget 2023 on Friday (Oct 7), Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said RM10mil had been allocated under the “AgroPenjara” initiative to expand agricultural and plantation activities involving 70ha of prison land.
Tengku Zafrul said the allocation was to expand stingless bee farming in the orchard of the Dato’ Murad Pre-release Prison in Melaka and to increase the supply of freshwater fish in the Kamunting Correctional Centre.
Meanwhile, Razman said the government’s efforts to provide job opportunities and skills to inmates in aquaculture as well as agriculture and livestock breeding had already begun in Kemta.
He said Perak was the main state for the production of marine products and aquaculture which was an important element for the government to prioritise allocations to develop the aquaculture project through the AgroPenjara initiative.
– The Star 08 Oct 2022 / Bernama
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Kamunting Correctional Center (Kamunting Detention Centre)
The Kamunting Detention Centre also known as KEMTA, abbreviation of Bahasa Malaysia: “Kem Tahanan Perlindungan Kamunting”, is a prison camp used by the government to detain and interrogate persons arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), located in Kamunting, Taiping.
KEMTA is also known as Malaysia’s Maximum security prison. Since open in Nov-1973, more than 2,700 people had been detained under the ISA, majority of them were communists.
Among notable events which prompted widespread use of the ISA were Operation Lalang in 1987 and the years during the Reformasi movement, beginning 1999. It is said that this is the site where the Malaysian authorities would hold up political prisoners. The centre has also been used to detain other groups of people declared by the government to be a threat to national security such as terrorists and cults. Some notable groups detained in Kamunting KEMTA detention centre includes the Al-Arqam cult and the Al-Ma’unah terrorist group.
Some Famous Detainees in the past were:
- James Wong – Federal opposition leader from Sarawak in 1974
- Anwar Ibrahim – Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister.
- Lim Kit Siang – Opposition leader
- Jeffrey Kitingan – Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah
- Karpal Singh – Opposition leader
- Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj – Parti Sosialis Malaysia leader
- Lim Guan Eng – former Finance Minister
- Mohamad Sabu – former Defence Minister
- Teresa Kok – former Primary Industry Minister
- Tuang Pik King – Civil rights activist
Kamunting Correctional Center
On 9 May 2014, the Kamunting (Taiping) Detention Center was officially changed to the Kamunting Correctional Center which was officiated by the Home Minister YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi.
In addition, this institution has also been gazetted as a Special Place of Detention on 16 January 2017 to accommodate prisoners detained under the Terrorist Offenses Act (POTA) 2015 who have been in Phase IV as well as those detained under the Security Offenses Act (Special Measures ) 2012 (SOSMA) for female prisoners.
Kamunting Correctional Center is characterized by an open prison in the minimum prison category that does not have a stone wall but is surrounded by two layers of anti-climb fence and is equipped with an Integrated Electronic Security System.
The implementation concept of this prison is based on agriculture, which is agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing in the production of products for the needs of prisoners in line with the concept of self-sufficiency that has been introduced by the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) and also for the surrounding community. Agricultural and fishery products such as kangkung vegetables, bean sprouts and catfish are also supplied to prisons in the state of Perak as well as prisons in the North Zone. Therefore, the prisoners who are placed here are only prisoners who undergo the program in phase iii (skills) iv (pre-release) and have passed phase i to phase ii in another prison.
In the middle of 2020, the Kamunting Correctional Center will also be used to house a new category of elderly prisoners (aged 60 and above) for the entire northern zone. In addition, there is also a category of Supervised Persons (ODS) for the Industrial Inhabitant Reintegration Center Program (PRPI) who carry out work outside the prison area such as at Syarikat Toko Hudaya, Parit Buntar (textile manufacturing) and Spritzer Factory (mineral water) in Taiping.
Sources: Malaysian prison department, Wikipedia