Pudu Jail is Malaysia’s second oldest prison located in the commercial Pudu District of central Kuala Lumpur. Built in 1895 by the British administration of Malaya, this historical landmark sprawls over 7.8 hectares at the junction of Hang Tuah Road and Pudu Road. Its surrounding development includes integrated train services, shopping complexes, apartments, hotels and high rise offices.
Pudu Jail’s construction began in 1891 and was completed in 1895. It was designed by Charles Edwin Spooner, the state engineer and director of Public Works Department to fit 950 inmates. At the cost of RM 138 000 ($320 000), the prison was built in six phases using steel, brick and cement, all imported from British colonies4. Built in a jungle clearance named Pudu Village (south east of old Kuala Lumpur), the prison’s location seemed ideal during that period, being conveniently close to the city but not close enough to be a threat. Surrounding the prison walls were rows of shop-houses and residential of police and prison officers.
The prison became the central prisoners of war (P.O.W) camp in Malaya during the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945). Many members of the Allied Forces and locals were tortured and beheaded on prison grounds, some heads stuck to polls for all to see. They were believed to be buried around the hospital and behind the laundry workshop area9. Sweet potatoes were planted by the P.O.Ws on the prison grounds for food. There was also a chapel created from a cell by a prisoner named Padre Noel Duckworth to hold Sunday services10.
The post war period saw the formation of local organizations fighting for an Independent Malaya such as the The Young Malay Union (KMM) and Malay Nationalist Party. A large number of nationalists were imprisoned in Pudu Jail by the British Administration, among them Idris Hakim and Mustapha Hussain.
From 1960, Pudu Jail only housed remand and pre-released prisoners. Until 1993, about 180 criminals were hanged there, among them the notorious armed robber Wong Swee Chin a.k.a Botak Chin (1981) and Australian drug traffickers Brian Chambers and Kevin Barlow (1986). There was a serious overcrowding problem in 1980s when it housed more than 1,300 prisoners. The worst happened in 1985 where 6,550 prisoners accommodated in the 950 cells had to take turn to sleep.
Source from : Mariana Isa, read more at HERE
Pada malam 21 Jun lalu,Gua bersama Udey Ismail dan Ikmal Ibrahim telah menyaksikan sendiri peristiwa merobohkan benteng sejarah ni… Terus terang ada sedikit kesedihan yang terbit walaupun bangunan ini hanyalah tapak penjara…Penjara Pudu pernah menempatkan penjenayah yang digeruni di Malaysia…dan apa yang lebih penting, bangunan ini adalah bangunan sejarah yang berusia 115 tahun…pembangunan tidak salah tapi sejarah itu adalah satu cara sesebuah negara dikenali dan sejarah itu adalah benda yang tidak ternilai…tapi apa nak buat,mungkin zaman kini pembangunan lebih mendatangkan keuntungan dari sejarah,persepsi masing-masing,nilai sendiri…Aku harap jangan sampai pada genarasi akan datang, anak cucu kita hanya mengenal sejarah dengar mendengar cerita sahaja tanpa melihat sendiri bukti sejarah yang sebenarnya boleh disimpan itu…Enjoy the pics!