KAJANG, MALAYSIA - The 12-year-old who murdered his tuition teacher's daughter nine years ago is today reading law - behind bars.
The youth, now 20, said he was very interested in law because he believed in justice.
'I have always been interested in studies. I am determined to get a law degree despite facing an uncertain future,'' he said at Kajang Prison yesterday.
Once a month his lecturer from Universiti Malaya would bring her class of 16 students to a classroom in the prison complex in Kajang.
'Other days I will study on my own, online,' he said.
The young prisoner told Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who led a delegation to the Kajang Prison Complex yesterday, that his will to study was strong.
The High Court had on July 1, 2003 found the youngster guilty of murdering an 11-year-old girl with a sharp object at her house between 3.30pm and 4.30pm on May 20, 2002.
Judge Datuk Ahmad Maarop had ordered the boy to be detained in prison at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Kajang Prison School of Integrity deputy commandant Chief Insp Nasir Md Ali said a Catholic association had provided scholarship for the young prisoner to continue his studies.
'We have 11 young prisoners taking up tertiary education. They can only continue tertiary education if there are sponsors,'' he said.
Inmate, Rishwan Afizudin, 23, is hoping to get sponsors so that he can continue his Diploma in Information Technology after his release in March.
Another inmate who is serving sentence for killing a schoolmate is into composing patriotic songs. The juvenile prisoner won the first prize in a Patriotic Song competition last year with Semangat Anak Bangsa.
Lee, who said parents should play a vital role to help prisoners turn over a new leaf after they are freed, called on private companies to provide scholarships to enable eligible prisoners pursue tertiary education.