In and out of jail for 16 years, now this dad wants to behave for his little girl.
It is the simple things that chewed him up.
Like holding his daughter's hands. Or catching her as she fell while learning to take her first step.
He missed out on them because while she was growing up, he was behind bars.
Desmond (not his real name), 40, was an inmate at Changi Prison from 2010 to 2014 for assisting in illegal moneylending activities.
He has other convictions too and for more than 16 years he was in and out of prison.
All that changed when he saw his daughter for the first time, in 2010. She was a four-day old infant then.
He would see her again only five years later.
Desmond said: "I fell in love with my daughter as soon as I saw her. I regretted all the things I did in the past instantly. I just knew that I couldn't live my life like this any longer."
And he has been determined to turn his life around.
In prison, after seeing his daughter, the usually tough man said he wept quietly whenever he was alone on Chinese New Year.
His routine on the special day would include a simple meal, a pre-recorded programme - usually a comedy - and then returning to his cell.
The tears would start as soon as he tried to fall asleep.
This year, Desmond spent his Chinese New Year with his family and "hope, excitement and happiness".
His Vietnamese in-laws are in town to join the celebration and they will be going sightseeing. He will also be visiting family, friends and his employer.
Since his release last July, he has found accommodation, a stable job and built up his savings - all to be a better father to his girl, now five.
APPLIED FOR FLAT
With the help of his MP, he applied for a two-room rental flat in Marsiling and secured a long-term visit pass for his wife so that the family could live together.
With the help of the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score), he has found a job in the media industry.
Drawing a salary of nearly $3,000 a month after a recent pay raise, the diploma-holder, who took a course in graphic design while in prison, hopes to buy his own BTO flat in two years' time.
Desmond recalled how he was filled with guilt that he could not support his family financially and emotionally for the five years he was in jail.
His wife Lisa (not her real name), 27, returned to Vietnam to raise their child with her family's support.
Desmond's father died many years ago and he never knew his mother.
He was previously jailed twice for criminal breach of trust and spent more than 11 years in prison for that.
Desmond, who had never held a real job before the one he has now, said he always tried to be a businessman.
Throughout the interview, he was candid about his "stupidity" and said he was always looking for "easy money".
He recalled how he got into the moneylending business: "My money quickly ran dry after I was released from prison and had no job. Then, a call came asking if I needed money."
Lisa, a housewife, was also unaware of his past until he was caught six years ago.
Calling her a "very brave woman" for standing by him, he said she was another reason he was determined to never go back to his old ways.
He said: "She told me that if I ever go to prison again, she'll leave me. I'll never see her and our daughter again."
Lisa has noticed the change in her husband.
They met in 2007 when she was studying in Singapore.
She said in Mandarin: "He used to be very playful and always wanted to go out drinking with his friends. But he's a lot more responsible now and plans for our future."
Desmond stresses the importance of seeking the help available from various organisations, such as the Singapore After-Care Association. (See report at right, above.)
And he is now contributing to the inmate community by sharing his experiences with former offenders.
He volunteers with the Industrial & Services Co-operative Society, which provides support to ex-offenders and their families.
He said: "I'm not doing this to make myself look good. To me, it's about accountability.
"I want to be constantly reminded of my past so that I will never go back to my old ways."
"I fell in love with my daughter as soon as I saw her. I regretted all the things I did in the past instantly."
Job crucial in ensuring ex-inmate does not reoffend
Ex-offenders are given a list of numbers they can contact, said Desmond.
But not everyone can put his or her pride aside to seek help, he said.
"It's not a bed of roses once you are released from prison. Your money will run out if you don't have a proper job and you could turn back to crime.
"For the sake of my family, I was not shy this time and approached everyone I could to seek help."
Miss Asher Tay, 24, (above) his case manager from the Singapore After-Care Association (Saca), said Desmond was a "success story".
He approached the association two months before he was released from prison.
They helped him find accommodation and employment.
Miss Tay said: "Desmond had initiative and was clear about meeting his goals."
She said a stable job and financial stability is crucial in ensuring that an ex-offender does not go back to his old ways.
"He needs to contribute and become a valuable member of society. Once he feels a sense of belonging, he wouldn't want to jeopardise that."
Fewer jobs secured before release
Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (Score) helps inmates find jobs before their release.
It assesses an inmate's suitability and job readiness, and helps him find work in industries such as manufacturing, logistics and hospitality.
But there has been a fall in the number of inmates securing jobs before their release.
And this was despite the increase in the number of employers registering with Score, from 3,876 in 2013 to 4,433 last year.
The organisation said the drop in securing work was partly because of a decrease in the number of inmates at the tail end of their sentences who indicated a need for employment assistance.
By the numbers
Number of inmates securing jobs before their release
Number of convicted imprisonments in 2014: 11,595
As at Dec 31, 2014: 9,754 convicted inmate population
SOURCE: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE