Anwar whisked away from HKL without treatment, claim lawyers
Uthaya recounts horrors of a Malaysian prison
In prison, one dipper for all, says Uthaya
Uthayakumar, who was sentenced to an initial 30 months under the Sedition Act in 2013, said that he had highlighted it because it was not his case alone - it happened to everyone.
Relating his experience with the ‘multipurpose dipper’ in Kajang prison, Uthayakumar said prisoners use the same dipper to wash their wounds and soak their underwear in.
The dipper refers to the “gayong” used to fill water to wash oneself with after using the toilet.
“When there is a shortage of food trays, wardens dump food into the dipper, from which inmates will eat from with their bare hands, even those with scabs on their hands.
Uthayakumar said once, he even saw a prisoner vomit in the dipper.
As for the food, Uthayakumar said the menu is tasteless. He calls his prison term diet as complete detoxification of the human body.
“It is the first time I heard of sup air (water soup). If there is oil traces on any of the food, it is considered to be such a treat. There is almost no oil, which explains why most inmates have very dry skin,” said Uthayakumar.
He said one can either accept the food or go hungry for the rest of the day.
'In the dark room, Malaysiakini saved me'
Due to his often “smuggled” and written complaints, he was placed in the ‘dark room’ thrice.
“I had to sleep on the cement floor, with the longest experience for 14 days. I was in solitary confinement with no pillow, no blanket and no toiletries. There is a small window which opens up to the corridor and when they off the light, it is pitch black. The door is of hard steel.
“Despite being a hardened activist, I felt helpless that I could not even save myself.
“I kept myself busy by having a routine in the dark room. I would walk in circles, at times a thousand circles. Then I would go to the small tap and wash myself. Then the food comes. Then I walk circles again in the cell. Once it went on for five days.”
However, on the sixth day, an officer pulled him outside the cell and told him that they had read his complaints which were published in Malaysiakini.
“At that moment I was thinking, if not for Malaysiakini it was during my worst times in prison, I was hitting rock-bottom…that in a way, Malaysiakini was my saviour.”
Uthayakumar has initiated contempt proceedings against those who were allegedly responsible for his conditions of imprisonment.
Yesterday: Uthaya recounts horrors of a Malaysian prison
The interview was jointly conducted by Zakiah Koya, Alyaa Azhar, Ahmad Fadli KC and Prasadh Michael - Malaysiakini, 23/10/2015