Friday, January 15, 2010

Pudu Prison

The Pudu Prison was built by the British in 1895 as a prison in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was used to house criminals including drug offenders and was a location for administering corporal punishment by rotan caning. The canings were administered in a special "caning area", so marked, not inside the building but in the grounds.
After the fall of Singapore, during World war II, the Japanese occupation forces incarcerated many English, Australian and New Zealand prisoners there.
1986 saw the execution of Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, both Australian nationals, at Pudu for the drug trafficking of heroin. More recently, the prison was closed for several years. It was reopened in 1997/98 as a museum and again for a short time in early 2004.
Eight supporters of the Hindu Rights Action Force were arrested and incarcerated in Pudu Prison following the 2007 HINDRAF rally. They were later released due to lack of evidence.
There are rumours that Pudu Prison is haunted. There have been reports of a strange Indian man walking the halls of the prison and disappearing around the corner. Supposedly, screams have been heard from rooms where hangings have taken place, and there are certain areas of the prison that are far colder than others. Russell Lee, the author of the book series True Singapore Ghost Stories included a story of a prisoner in Pudu Prison in one of his books. The prisoner reported hearing screaming from the rotan caning area, and he also heard the story that one prisoner committed suicide in order to avoid being caned. Supposedly his ghost stops the last stroke of the cane being given, and the prisoner personally reported this experience happening to him.
The cells were small and dark, each equipped with a window only the size of a shoebox. The prison also features murals painted on the walls circling the compound, depicting scenes of nature. These murals were painted by the prisoners, who used over 2,000 litres of paint to accomplish the task.
Pudu prison was finally closed in 1st November, 1996  and was reopened briefly  as a museum in early 2004. The area has been identified as a key site for mega development (70% commercial and 30% residential development) and is now in the process of being demolished for yet another downtown commercial development. I took the opportunity to photograph the external views of the jail and in particular the wall murals before these are ultimately demolished and lost.

1 comment:

Ouled Kenitra said...

memandangkan bangunan ini sedang dimusnahkan perlahan2, entry bro ini tentunya merupakan satu yg berharga dalam sejarah, kerana kenangan terhadapnya sekarang hanya berada pada gambar2