A New Chapter

1 December 2008: A new month – and the end of one BIG chapter in my life. This is an interlude to the final (I think) post of my “KL Rocks!” series of posts about my trip to Kuala Lumpur on 19 Nov. I just have to mention this because of its significance – today is the LAST time that I have to report at the police-station. It was Number 24 of 24.

Yes, that pesky once-a-month “sign balai” reporting that is one of the SEVEN orders that I had received from the Pasir Mas Magistrate Court on 31 October 2005.

It had all started after I was detained at around 9AM on Thursday, 11 August 2005 when I entered an acquaintance’s house at Kubang Bemban, Pasir Mas in search of morphine.

Unknown to me, it was then being ransacked by four policemen (and one woman) who had entered from behind. A preliminary urine drug test done at the district police-station turned up positive results for morphine and methamphetamine (pil kuda) – substances that I had consumed a couple of days previously by intravenous means. Pending confirmation of the urine results, I was sent to be remanded at the Pengkalan Chepa Prison for almost three months before the court decision was finally made. Here’s what the orders say: (would be great to have access to a scanner)

BORANG 3  ADK/3B: 016841


(Perenggan 6(1)(a) dan subseksyen 6(2)



Bahawasanya (THE PERSON WHO WAS TO BECOME CENDANA287) Kad Pengenalan No (IC Number) berumur 45 tahun yang beralamat di (Address) [kemudian daripada ini disebut “orang tersebut”], diperakui oleh Dr. Siti Fatimah bt. A.Rahman, seorang *pegawai perubatan kerajaan sebagai seorang penagih dadah mengikut pengertian Akta:

Dan bahawasanya atas syor Pegawai Pemulihan, dan setelah memberi orang tersebut peluang untuk membuat representasi, saya AZMAN BIN MUSTAPHA, seorang Majistret di Pasir Mas memerintahkan supaya orang tersebut –

(a) menjalani rawatan dan pemulihan di Pusat Pemulihan Gambang, Pahang selama tempoh dua tahun; dan

(b) selepas itu menjalani pengawasan oleh *pegawai polis selama tempoh dua tahun di bawah syarat-syarat yang berikut:

(i) orang tersebut hendaklah tinggal di kawasan Pasir Mas

(ii) orang tersebut hendaklah sentiasa memberitahu pegawai tempat kediamannya dan tidak boleh menukar tempat kediamannya atau meninggalkan kawasan tempat kediamannya tanpa kebenaran bertulis Ketua Pengarah;

(iii) orang tersebut hendaklah melaporkan diri di Balai Polis Tok Uban (sebagaimana yang ditetapkan oleh Mejistret) tidak lewat dari 72 jam setelah dilepaskan dari Pusat Pemulihan dan pada 01 haribulan tiap-tiap bulan kelendar antara 6.00 pagi dan 6.00 petang;

(iv) orang tersebut tidak boleh mengambil, menggunakan atau memiliki apa-apa dadah berbahaya;

(v) orang tersebut hendaklah menjalani apa-apa ujian pada bila-bila masa dan di mana-mana tempat sebagaimana yang diperintahkan oleh pegawai; dan

(vi) orang tersebut hendaklah menjalani apa-apa program bagi pemulihan penagih dadah yang diadakan oleh Kerajaan.

Diberi di bawah tandatangan saya dan meterai Mahkamah di Pasir Mas, Kelantan pada 31/10/2005

[AADK Pasir Mas Number: 147/05]  [Magistrate’s Rubberstamp]

Well, that was it. This is the standard form that is used throughout Malaysia where only the entries in bold differ.

So, had it been followed 100%, I would only have been discharged (not “freed” as with “convicts/criminal cases”) on 30 October 2007. Thankfully, the people who had drafted this act (Drug Dependants Act) had also given power to the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) Director-General under sub-section 12(1) to shorten the “treatment and rehabilitation in Pusat” period as he deems fit. Most of the inmates would be released/discharged within 16 months or less.

However, those who had committed “serious offences” while in Pusat (rioting especially) – and who were usually transferred to the Tegar Pusat which is located inside the Kajang Prison (but run by the AADK, not prison warders) – would have to do the full stretch.

[By the way, please don’t get me started by coming up with a statement like “A longer treatment and rehabilitation period ensures BETTER RESULTS” … like “The success rate would double if the period is doubled – 2 years to 4 years”. Should anyone ever come up with this statement, I’ll TRY to be polite and not call him “STUPID FOOL AND SIMPLETON“. Even if he holds a PhD from Oxford University]

Anyway, I found myself back at this very place in Pasir Mas where I’m typing now at around 11.30 PM on 18 December 2006; for I was given something that each and every inmate in every Pusat Serenti look forward to – this “Watikah” (Charter? – have to invest  in an English-Malay dictionary):

BORANG 15 Serial Number ADK/15: 020041 Dated 12/12/06 and signed and rubber-stamped by: IZHAR BIN ABU TALIB; Ketua Penolong Pengarah (Institusi), Agensi Antidadah Kebangsaan, Kementerian Keselamatan Dalam Negeri that shortened the original order – dari 31/10/05 hingga 18.12.2006 [typed exactly as seen – the first date was printed by computer while the second is in blue ball-point pen]

THANKS Tuan Izhar, whoever you are!

**Footnote: If I am not mistaken, those contravening the (a) order – by running away – are subject to a maximum three years prison and three strokes of the rotan. For contravening any of (b) i to vi, it is three years and two strokes. Well, looks like I had managed to save myself from these. On 18 Dec I will be going to the Pasir Mas district AADK and get my “confirmation of having adhered to court order” certification. That will bring this very important chapter of my life to an official end; and open a new one.

**Footnote Number Two: To Mat Salo, Elviza and Mohd Zawi – You folks have been up to something, haven’t you?:-) I have been getting `strange’ comments and signals the past couple of days…


17 thoughts on “A New Chapter

  1. congratulations, my dear brother! no looking back, ok? :D

    “watikah” = letter of credence

    p.s. rather than a bilingual dictionary, get yourself the latest ‘dewan eja pro” mat. the dbp has bundled in the software its kamus dewan v4, its kimd & kmid (e-m/m-e dictionaries) as well as the dewan thesaurus and all dewan specialized glossaries of terminologies to date.

  2. Oooh… I know how that must have felt. Once I was in the office and I needed to translate something, of course I didn’t have the requisite dictionary. Keep reminding myself to get one but never actually got around to do it.

    We? Up to something? Always, bro, always…

  3. M Cendana,
    If by any chance they want to send you elsewhere from your present dwelling under any pretext at all, do let me know. I will try to pull a few strings however small, to stop it. Working from home close to your love ones is too good to pass up. Me up to something with Elviza and Mat Salo? No way. If it is to help you, maybe.

  4. @pibani
    She seems to be a nice woman. BTW when it comes to “examination by a doctor” as stated under the Act, I feel it’s just for show. It’s the “urine test result” that is critical – no doctor will dare to certify you as a “penagih dadah” if it comes in negative; regardless of how heavily addicted you are.

    The magistrate – he’s now in Kota Bharu. He’s the one presiding in that case against Nik Sapea (sp?) who was accused of attacking Tun Mahathir at the Pengkalan Chepa Airport a few years ago.

    I was sore with him for so long; resenting getting that order while others “with worse records” were given only supervision. It was something that tormented me a lot – until I let go. Come to think of it, all those wonderful things that I later experienced (and now too) would not have happened had he not sent me to Gambang!

  5. Mat Cendana,
    Urine test takes a long time to be confirmed. The reason is to give time to some people to find the right amount of RM to decide on whether the end result is positive or negative. A doctor friend told me that his relative came to him for RM to ensure that the result is negative. Of course he didn’t give him. Now you wonder no more why it took so long to do that simple test.

  6. Bang Zawi,
    Three people who were arrested with me on that day – and who later were bailed out – had their cases dropped because their urine results were “negative”. And I know for sure how “clean” they were…

    Incidentally, one of them was detained again early last year. Couldn’t manage to “adjust” this time. Fortunately (is it really?), he received only a Pengawasan order and not sent to Pusat.

  7. mc,

    the positive way you look at your gambang interlude is truly inspiring. not many people i think can go through “baptism of fire” and raise like a phoenix.

    i hope the guy you said got off light but just tripped again doesn’t fall a third time. poor man!

  8. @mekyam
    This guy in his late 30’s – it depends how you define “fall”;-)
    I just hope he won’t get detained again – never mind what he takes. BTW he’s quite a nice guy – and the “dakwah” type too who takes prayers seriously. It’s just that he likes ganja, and the occasional pil kuda (methamphetamine).

    He had spent two years in Simpang Renggam in the late 90’s under the “LLPK” Preventive Measures law, plus banishment to another district after that. Mohd Zawi should know him – or at least must have seen him before, for Pasir Mas is “like that”.

    The Gambang Episode – I’ve said a lot about it but I’m going to say it again: It was a present from God. although it sure didn’t look like it on 31 Oct 2005.

    I was shell-shocked when I received that order – I felt I had “done everything possible”. My representation to the court was EXCELLENT; and I hope this doesn’t come across as “perasan” – all who had read it said so.

    And I took care to fast during that month (it was two days to Raya); plus observe the daily prayers; plus other sunat prayers while in prison … asking from God that I be given a mere supervision and not sent to Pusat.

    So how did I feel then that four other people with me were given supervision but not me?? And they definitely have “worse records” than I had (one was from Penang, under banishment orders for crime).

    But a few weeks after that, I KNEW; I SAW IT… God was giving me a MUCH BETTER DEAL than the supervision I had prayed for where I would only have gotten “immediate freedom”.

    That court order above – it was actually a gift wrapped in gold. It should be etched in gold, especially that part about “Pusat Pemulihan Gambang”.

    I often wonder what things would be like now had I actually gotten that supervision “and immediate freedom” that I had asked for. Would life “be better”? Somehow I don’t think so. I’m grateful that I was sent to Gambang – I certainly wouldn’t trade it for anything having experienced what I had experienced at that blessed place.

  9. so ya finaly graduate eh? congrats n happy graduation, hope ya can help your “ex-service” man and woman who still a frequent pusat or perhap their warden a lesson or two.maybe ya could write a book out of it…

  10. @lunaticg
    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I’ve visited your blog, and I must say that it’s unique – a Malaysian site about coins collections.

    Your handle – I’ll bet that you are the “tech type”:-) Not many would use a handle like this. In fact, not many would know what IPv6 is and why it should replace IPv4.

    Anyway, I don’t know whether the term “graduation” is accurate. Yes, it is – concerning the court order. But “Recovery”? Definitely not, for that event on 1 Dec is just “another day”. It’s a lifelong process, and the REAL day I graduate is the day when I die. For, on that day, it can be GUARANTEED that I will never ever suffer a relapse.

    BTW I hope you are not seeing me as “strong” or what; in the sense that I’m `better than other addicts’. I’m not; and this is no false modesty. I face each day as they do, with the same desires, temptations, slips and what not. Which is why fellowships like Narcotics Anonymous, plus the activities orgabised bt=y the AADK are very important – we can draw strength from each other.

    About writing a book – you know, maybe I should seriously get down to it. It’s in the mind but things have gotten really hectic at the moment . It’s very important, but more important right now is to “work like other people” again. Once I get the hang of it, I can then allocate some time to writing a book.

  11. @ahmad zahiruddin
    I had seen your earlier comment at the post of “Merdeka & Puasa in prison, and Raya in a lockup”:

    “i was in cendana rest house at 12 disember 2006 until 21 february 2008. peace!!”

    OMIGOSH!! This has gotten my nerves tingling!!
    Not only were you at Gambang, you were also at that great Cendana hostel!! And we had missed each other by just a week – had I been at Gambang and not gone to PKAADK Kuantan in September, that is.

    But I’m a bit puzzled with your duration here – 12 Dec 2006: Do you mean “entered Gambang” instead? If you had been at Cendana since 12 Dec, that means you had stayed in Pusat for around 16 months – quite possible though, if you had “disciplinary problems”:-)

    I’m taking into consideration the 3-4 months one usually spends in “Orientasi” (were you “A” or “B”?) as a red-shirted Phase One “Botak”.

    If you were in Cendana from that time, you would surely know the “Tok” (Prefect) at that time – it would be Ganesan, who had replaced me (at MY insistence). And after him, it was “Chegu Li”, who was also from Pasir Mas.

    Ahmad Zahiruddin – PLEASE come here often, okay? I’ve CC’ed this reply to your email too (hope it’s valid) – You are one VERY important person whom I have a lot of questions to ask … “the missing link” as to what had transpired at Gambang and Cendana since I left.

  12. @Ahmad Zahruddin
    Unfortunately, my email to the address you had given had bounced back.

    BTW were you from the Cendana of Gambang? I seem to remember a conversation with someone who had been around (the “three times or more in Pusat” category) when I was there – he mentioned that quite a number of Pusat Serentis had also used this particular set of names (of hardwood trees). So, “Cendana” is not limited to Gambang alone.

    That’s why I had found your sentence quite odd – of being in Cendana IMMEDIATELY and not after an orientation period first. That is the system at some pusats where – upon the two-week stay in Detox – a newcomer is sent straight to his hostel. Here, ALL the phases are there, including the “Botak” red-shirted Phase One. But that’s NOT the system used at Gambang.

    And your date of discharge – this sound like “elsewhere” … Jerantut definitely use this system. I had checked the date – it was Thursday. No issue with that. However, at Gambang, you would have been released on 15 Feb. Or 29 Feb. But definitely NOT 21 Feb (unless Gambang has used a new system)

  13. To Tehsin and everyone:
    Sabbarrrr… I’m chasing TWO “Extremely Urgent” deadlines at this very moment, and one “Important”… Okay, try calling/SMS your friend in Setiawangsa, please, and ask her this – “What time did Mat sleep?” She knows…

    “After Friday prayers tomorrow” is the earliest that I’ll probably be able to write that one. I’m very sorry, but I can’t leave the ones in front of me yet:-(

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