Pudu Jail era
By: Affendi Daud
Pudu Jail had ceased on November 1, 1996 with 1,578 inmates and 502 staff was transferred to a modern facility outside Kuala Lumpur (Sungai Buloh Prison).
It was famous and built in February 1896 at a cost then of fifteen thousand ringgit. Known as Pudu Goal.
The first building within the walls was the prison block. It looks X shape or two letter Yís, one upside down and joined at the stalks. Three storeys tall and had 240 cells.
It was designed to house 600 prisons. Built by the British Administration and completed by 1895.
Its position in the heart of Kuala Lumpur town. Kuala Lumpur grew up around it but in the midst of the growing, the building coming up and the traffic jammed with vehicles.
The streets, shops and restaurant selling food look crowded. Yet the wall kept Pudu Jail in its own private world. It must cruel punishment to be part of a city, yet a part from it.
A century of history behind it. Although all that remains now is the building. The memory, Block D, Death Row and the Execution Chamber, the last moment of prisonerís life, nearer the entrance of Execution Chamber. Within the chamber is long and narrow ending in a glass partition to the actual execution area. The executions are carried out between 5:00 am to 6:00 am. While the family waited outside in a separate building to receive the body when the execution was done.
Now, Pudu Jail is being promoted as a tourist attraction instead of to be demolished. Its value cannot be measured with the market price of the land it occupies in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It is part of Kuala Lumpurís history something that cannot be recreated.
According to Malaysian Prison Department, Pudu Jail has to close because it is too old to remain as prison. Furthermore, Pudu Jail is located at the strategic place for further development of Kuala Lumpur town planning. It is not necessary to have Pudu Jail in such area. It also causing the future plan and development of Pudu Jail especially to expand the building. Everyday Pudu Jail accepts prisoners and every year there is an increased of prisoners in Pudu Jail.
This increased has made difficult for the prison staff to monitor closely the prisoners and the building cannot be expanding anymore. When there is incident prisoner escaped, the respond to get them back are difficult and delay.
It also affects the safety of the citizen near the Pudu Jail area. Main function of the prison is to admin the law to prevent the crime and protect the citizen. When Prison Act 1953 was approved, the system of the prison has been arranged to support the lacking of the cell.
Prison law has fixed that the discipline and order has to endure with fair but emphasize without over the boundary in relation to the safety of prisoners and the society.
The prison personnel have to influence the prisoners by showing good examples and leadership to get cooperation from the prisoners. The prisoners also have to encourage them to restore self-respect and responsibility attitude for them to build again the moral and to help forward attitude to be a good citizen. Always encourage them to carry on with their perfect life and be useful to the society when they have been released.
The Prison Department has the vision to create excellent service through effective prison management system. This is to gain a respect and famous as implementation of responsibility in supporting and strengthen the crime justice system.
Prison Department introduces modernization program with new prison building with less depend on the manpower. Modern monitoring system without using high wall concept as at Pengkalan Chepa (Kelantan), Jelebu (Negeri Sembilan), Marang (Terengganu) and Simpang Renggam (Johor).
New prison at Sungai Buloh operates since November 1996 ago. The Sungai Buloh prison built and completed with the latest computer security system, the prison surrounding anti-climbing wall, electronic censor and closed circuit TV.
Facility for prisoners and new cell also had been built with latest designed and material.
Now, the prisoners no longer experience uncomfortable small and confined cell. It is also important facility for rehabilitation program and physical exercise.
The changes have been planned for new prisons to have good relationship with the prisoners.
The changes including introducing self service system during having meals. The prisoners also have permission to us telephone for contacting their relatives.
Changes also been done to focus rehabilitation which always been used by using therapeutic approach.
Other than that, quality of medical service for prisoners also being upgraded.