At the age 17, the average Malaysian teenager is usually struggling to prepare for one of the most important examinations in their lives – the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
But what if, at that very same age, instead of going to school, you went to jail because you were convicted of murder?
According to a report from The Malay Mail Online
, Jim (not his real name) was convicted of murder and was sentenced to jail
when he was 17 years old
. While his peers were sitting for SPM and preparing for the next phase in life, he spent his life behind bars at the Kajang Prison.
Some inmates would have given up hope at this point let alone think about continuing their studies. But for Jim, it wasn’t going to stop him from learning and getting a qualification in hopes of rejoining society one day.
Due to his determination, 14 years later, still in prison with an unknown release date, Jim managed to not only continue his studies, but he graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
with a CGPA of 3.26
from Open University Malaysia (OUM)
Jim was even allowed to leave the prison to attend the convocation ceremony which took place recently.
The now 31-year-old convict shows no signs of slowing down and is now planning to pursue his PhD in the same field. Bravo, Jim! Some of us don’t even have the will power and determination to continue our studies after Degree level due to the struggles one might face.
He has applied for a royal pardon, which was also supported by the Prisons Department. He is now a changed man and hopes to help other youths and prevent others from making the same mistake as he did.
“What is important is that I don’t feel ashamed of myself. The stigma is no longer there. I accept how the society might view me,” Jim told The Malay Mail Online
“One of the things I have learned in these past 14 years is how to control my emotions, so I will not let other people’s view take me down.”
“When I was in prison, I realised that I could influence people instead of people influencing me. So, I started influencing people of my age, not only about education but also about morals and religion.”
Jim hopes to set a good example to other inmates and wishes to repay his family’s gratitude for funding his education while he is behind bars.
This proves that no matter what obstacles you’re facing, or whatever circumstances you’re in, if you have a strong will and determination, you can achieve your dreams anywhere - even behind bars.
Well done, Jim!