That was happened from 1986 to 1995. At that time I went back and forth to Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary and several other prisons. Therefore, I made my social activities as my services to the inmates. The Prison was then still barren, no shady trees there. Then I took initiative to seek help for greening Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary, and got aid from Crops Research Board of Puspitek (Research Center for Science and Technology). There were tens of fruit trees of various kinds such as mango, guava, coconut and others.
When I was imprisoned at Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary in 2010, I saw the trees were already high, shady and bear much fruit. I couldn’t buy anything in the cafeteria or in front of the prison. I was not allowed to buy anything from where there was a flow of money from a crime. While in prison undoubtedly there is a lot of illicit money flow. So all the food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all were brought from home, including drinking water. But the special one was, that all the fruits grow in Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary were allowed to be eaten, said God, because the trees derived from my efforts.
So, I was very happy to eat the sweet guava fruit and the fruit were a lot. My assistance Ernawati, diligently picked the Guava fruit for me. Because that was the only halal food for me in prison, then I really enjoyed it. It was the time for me to enjoy my previous endeavor.
If I had never been asked by Mr. Ismail Saleh to teach dried flowers in the prison, maybe I was scared to be in jail when I had to go through it. It seems that God made me go through from one prison to another prison to make my social activities as a service to prisoners and ex-prisoners, in order to prepare my psychological state when I should face imprisonment. And truly, it could make me endure the condition. I have been familiarized with the smell of prison and the milieu before I was imprisonment. That is the wisdom.
Thus, when I was threatened to go to prison, it was not difficult for me to sincerely accepted it. Moreover, I knew the risk of conveying God’s Mandate to the public. I undoubtedly have to take all the dangers.
When I entered in Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary, some of the officers still recognized me well, including the Head of the Prison. And maybe, because I once had ever taught there, then I was treated well. The former head of Workshop, Madam Sarmi still recognized me well, and she treated me happily. I was often touched when she told me the times when I taught there in the past. And she still kept all the tools that I bought for the workshop. Thus, we enjoyed our moment together holding one more time the dried flower lesson for the prisoners in there. The difference was at that time I also had already become an inmate.
I went through my quarantine’s period by being alone in my room. And afterwards, I was still the only one who occupied it. And that was a privilege to me. So I should be grateful to the late Ismail Saleh who had asked me to teach there. I once ask Mr. Ismail Saleh for support to build Dry Flower Workshop at Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary, and he agreed. And then I was granted with the fund.
However, when I reached at Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary, I saw that the dried flowers laboratory room in that Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary was not well maintained, it became a warehouse of abandon stuffs. And the prisoners said to me, that place used for sneaky drug activities or courtship between inmates.
And I felt so guilty if I let that happen continuously, because I was involved in the setting of the room. Luckily I was asked by the Head of the Prison to teach dried flowers for the inmates. And Mrs. Etty, the Head of the Prison at that time, allowed me to renovate that dried flowers laboratory.
After I sought the funding from Eden’s friends, I gradually tidied the room. And so it became my classroom to teach there. My dried flowers class was just like an international class, for my students were from Iran, Thailand, Malaysia, Nigeria and others.
I taught dried flowers while introducing idealism to the principles of flower arrangement and I made it into a book, so when I got my freedom they still had my book that could be learned.
Martha Tilaar had ever come to visit me. And then she accommodated the cards made by my students and marketed it. But since I was free, I doubt whether the quality could still be maintained and fulfill the standard of her sense. But anyway I say thanks to the kind Mrs. Martha Tilaar.
In Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary I was placed in Melati block, the same block as Ola, the queen of shabu drugs who was once notorious for getting a clemency from Soesilo Bambang Yudoyono (Indonesian former President). Ola is indeed lucky that she could get a clemency. For actually Ola, “the general”, is the prison’s thug in Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary, it seems that all people are frightened of her including the wardens.
I wonder why many wardens willed to make good testimony for her, so she was entitled to be given a clemency, and she also succeeded to pass through all procedures to get clemency from the President. Whereas, all people know who she is. But what can we do, she has already received the clemency. In Indonesia luck indeed can be bought.
When I was in Pondok Bambu Detention Center I was placed in a crowded room, but in Tangerang Women’s Penitentiary I got a room for myself. I didn’t ask for it, suddenly I got that room and no other inmates stayed in that room until I was released. I just guessed, maybe I got that privilege because in the past, I once taught a lesson in that prison. And since I was alone there, then I wanted to renovate my room to make me feel comfortable. And I got the permission. Here is my room after it’s renovated:
I was allowed to replace the squatting closet to sitting closet due to my old age and I could not squat any longer, and I could not stand up after squatting. So I was allowed to replace it with the sitting closet.
Kamar ini biasanya diisi lima orang. Bayangkan, ruang sekecil ini kalau diisi lima orang. Untung aku hanya sendiri di sini. Dan aku menggunakan waktu banyak untuk menulis di kamar ini, terutama untuk menulis buku dan Pewahyuan.
This room was usually occupied by five persons. Just imagine, if this small room occupied by five persons. Fortunately, I was just alone in this room. And I spent most of my time in this room for writing, especially wrote books and Revelations.
Aku tak dipermasalahkan merenovasi kamarku ini, karena semua yang ada di kamarku itu bukan barang mewah. Apa-apa yang kupajang adalah buatanku sendiri atau buatan teman-teman di Eden.
I got not any problem in renovating my room, for all stuffs in my room were not the luxury ones. Everything I displayed in the room was self-made or a creation of my friends in Eden.
Thanks God, I am free, hooray….!
This is My Poem
Riding on the train everywhere
It isn’t like riding on a prisoner vehicle from prison to prison
I am free, ha..ha..ha…I am free
To be a free man doesn’t mean free in every way
I am still shackled in perverted accusation
However it is hard to free myself from that accusation
Before God proves that I am right
Freedom means nothing without freedom of beliefs.