Thoughts of her daughter stop her from using drugs
When Madam Liyana thinks of taking drugs, it is the thought of her youngest daughter Yuna which stops her from acting on her cravings.
Said the former drug addict: " When I think about such things, (my youngest daughter's) face suddenly appears in my mind."
Yuna, 10, and her half-sister Anita, 17, who received the Iscos bursary award last Friday, are among Madam Liyana's five children.
Their names have been changed to protect them.
Yuna has two half-brothers, aged 25 and 23, and another half-sister aged 20. They are Madam Liyana's children from her previous marriage.
It took jail terms in 1994, 1995 and 1999 for the 43-year-old to realise that her drug use almost ruined her family.
It was during her second jail term that Madam Liyana had her biggest regret: She did not get to see her grandmother for the last time.
The housewife said: "She was the one who took care of me.
"When I was released from prison the second time, I thought she was still alive. But I never got to take care of her."
Madam Liyana, who remarried after she was released from her third jail term, lives with her husband and three daughters in a three-room flat.
Her two sons live on their own.
Her husband, the sole 0breadwinner, earns about $2,200 a month in the sales industry.
Yuna, who was at the interview, widened her eyes in shock as her mother shared these incidents.
Born in 2005, she was not privy to much of her mother's past.
It was the first time she realised how much she meant to her mother.
"I was very touched when she said that about me. She reminds me of a superwoman," said Yuna.
Anita, a nursing student at the Institute of Technical Education, recalled feeling "lost because I was being passed around, from one caregiver to another".
She said: "The first time... I cried a lot. The second time, I was used to it. I was still a little bit hurt, but the impact was not so harsh."
Listening intently to Anita, Madam Liyana said: "I feel ashamed."
She hopes to show her detractors that it is possible for a leopard to change its spots.
"When you try to change, people won't trust you 100 per cent. They always say you will never change.
"I take it as a personal challenge. I will prove it to you," she said.