“While I was inside (prison), what really struck me was the sacrifices made by my spouse. She waited for me for 40 months, giving me a second chance. That’s the really super marvellous thing she did. She could have just left me with four kids, like how I left her. And I didn’t leave anything for her, monetary or whatsoever. Yet, she survived on her own and even managed to clear my debt of several thousand dollars with Singapore Power. She suffered for the family and waited for me. Why can’t I support them? There is no excuse for me not to change.
After this latest release (June 2014), it dawned on me that I am a father, and I started to think like a father. I have not been a responsible dad previously. But this is the best time of my life – to have the chance to start all over again and do my part. I used to be an executive in a shipping company but for a fresh beginning, I wanted to start from the bottom and work my way up. Currently, I’m a supervisor in a cleaning company, which I joined two years ago.
My wish for the children? To give them proper education and lead by example. Children won’t listen to you; they imitate you. So I tell myself, whenever I want to ask my children to do something, I must do it first. Take praying for instance. If I say, ‘Mary go and pray?’ she won’t do it. But if I say, ‘Mary, come let’s go and pray,’ she will follow me.
Only my eldest knew where I went during that time. I don’t know if my girl (second child) or other boy (third child) were aware. I don’t think they are so naïve though. But my wife never mentioned anything, that’s her way of keeping the news from them about my incarceration. She has been a good wife, never talks bad about me to my children until today.
When I stepped out, I was really happy that my children were willing to accept me, especially my eldest son. There was no awkwardness. I count my blessings every day.
To my friends who asked me how I change, I would share with them these two valuable lessons:
- The blaming game – never blame others for whatever that had happened to you. You do the thing, you are answerable for it.
- Gratitude – I have been given chances. Seriously, be grateful for everything you have.”
–Mohd Hamzah Omar, 51 years old, Father of five