Former inmates get second chance at Malaysian car wash
A car wash owner in Malaysia gives former inmates a second chance at his company. He started out with two former prisoners but now has more than 250 in his workforce. Partly because it saves money, he admits.
K Suraindran said his Butterworth-based company decided in 2019 to offer the jobs to those on parole when the cost of hiring migrant workers became too expensive.
“When we look at the total cost, including the levy and other expenses, hiring migrant workers is expensive. It is not worth it. We started with two parolees, now we have more than 250 in the company”, he told news company Free Malasia Today.
He no longer employs migrant workers and prefers to give parolees a second chance in society.
The company pays its workers minimum wage plus overtime. Above that, they also provide a place to live and meals, in accordance with an agreement with the prisons department.
According to Suraindran, the workers usually had three to four months to complete their sentences and during that period, his company would train the parolees in car detailing (waxing and polishing), setting up mobile car wash units, and regular car washing techniques.
Half of them stay
About half of the parolees the carwash owner hired would continue working for him after serving their sentences. While others would leave for greener pastures.
Only one prisoner had absconded in four years, out of more than 200 that the company hired.
The rehabilitation program is part of a government policy. Last September, it became known that Malaysia has saved RM270 million ($58 million) through various programmes under the prisons department.
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