Sometimes when you read the news on criminals, you see pictures of them in prison uniforms of different colours. In Malaysia, the prison uniforms worn by OKT (orang kena tuduh) and criminals have eight colours: purple, orange, white, red, green, blue, fluorescent green, and red-white.
Yes, even reprimanded detainees are given their own colour to differentiate them from convicted criminals. The colours represent the prisoner’s sentences according to their crimes or cases.
1. Purple Uniform
If the prisoner is wearing a purple uniform, he or she is a suspect awaiting the outcome of the court’s trial during the detention period. Therefore, it is not necessarily classified as a prison uniform.
2. Orange Uniform
Detainees wear orange-coloured uniforms in the detention centre. The same uniform also identifies suspects apprehended by the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission). However, because the colour does not indicate that the wearers are convicted prisoners, it is not considered a prisoner’s uniform too.
3. White Uniform
Prisoners sentenced to less than 6 months in prison wear a white uniform. They must attend an awakening course organised by the Malaysian Prison Department before being released.
4. Red Uniform
In their first three months in prison, prisoners who have been incarcerated for more than six months wear red uniforms. The colours of their uniforms were then changed for identification, and the prisoners were also allowed to participate in human development programme courses during this time (PPI).
5. Green Uniform
Prisoners will change their uniforms from red to green after three months of stay. They will start shifting to the green uniform from the 3rd to the 18th month of their incarceration. The second stage of PPI courses is also compulsory for prisoners, with related classes such as religious studies or group therapy.
6. Blue Uniform
Prisoners sentenced to more than 18 months or life in prison wear blue uniforms. They will be able to participate in various technical courses within the prison once they have completed their PPI courses.
7. Fluorescent Green Uniform
Prisoners who are about to be released wear fluorescent green uniforms. This applies to all inmates, who are also permitted to work on the prison’s perimeter under the supervision of Malaysian Prison Department officials. The convicts usually change their initial uniforms three months before their release to fluorescent green ones.
8. Red & White Uniform
Inmates on death row wear red and white uniforms. They are awaiting their execution, the outcome of their appeal, or a pardon from the head of state while their sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment.
Source: China Press.
Anis Sharina contributed to this article.