Pudu Prison (entrance), KL, Malaysia - March 2015

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HughieD

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My second report from Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur. This is another site my research turned up and is probably best described as a 'mini-explore'. The place in question is the site of the former Pudu Prison - or to be more precise the prison's former entrance. Prior to the prison being demolished in phases between 2012-2013 this would have been one mega-explore, if I had been here a few years earlier. Here's what it looked like before it got knocked down:



There's a lot of history about this place so here's a brief overview.

Pudu prison was completed by the British Colonial Government in 1895 to house the ever-increasing number of criminals on short sentences. The large complex could house up to 6,000 inmates, some in the prison's infamous cells with windows the size of a shoe box. The prison came with its own allotment making it self-sufficient in vegetable cultivation. Shortly after opening an epidemic of Cholera in August 1895 killed several hundred of the prison's inmates; the source was finally traced to the gaol's well, although the problem took several years to rectify.

The prison was used extensively in the first half of the 20th century until World War II when the prison was seized by Japanese forces and used to hold allied Prisoners of War. After liberation the gaol was used by the Malaysian Government to hold an increasing number of drug traffickers falling foul of the government's new, strict anti-drug laws. Being caught in possession in excess of 15g meant an automatic death penalty by hanging - many of which were carried out in Pudu. The prison had been almost forgotten in the West until it came to prominence in 1985 when it was used to hold two Australian drug smugglers, Brian Chambers and Kevin Barlow, caught with 1401.9g of heroin. After controversial trail in which both blamed each other and an unsuccessful appeal the mandatory death penalty was handed out and both men were hanged in Pudu in on 7th July 1987 despite a plea for clemency by the then Australian prime-minister, Bill Hayden.

The prison was also famous for housing the longest-ever painted mural painted by inmate Khong Yeng Chong in 1984. He even later returned to the jail as a free man to finish the painting and guarantee it a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The prison finished its regular service in 1996 and was used only occasionally for a further three years. In 1997 part of the prison was opened as a museum but due to small visitor numbers soon closed its doors. The subsequent years saw many plans to develop the site into a shopping-centre come and go while many protesters lobbied the government to list the building as part of Malaysia's architectural heritage. The government didn't share their view describing it as "Something to hardly be proud of". Ultimately this valuable piece of real-estate proved too lucrative not to develop and in 2010 a phased demolition began. By December 2012 the site was clear with just the front entrance and a section of the wall plus the prison fountain left remaining. Work will finally commence on a multi-million pound shopping complex later this year.

Here are the pictures:

Front gate from street level:

16586642618_3073105864_b.jpgimg8019 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of right turret:

16773056651_93890ccd35_b.jpgimg8017 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Second street level view:

16586829800_894a2ae602_b.jpgimg8015 by HughieDW, on Flickr

View from ‘inside’ the prison:

16151925444_67ae02b371_b.jpgimg7998 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Side view of turret with small section of perimeter wall:

16154320523_a270e12038_b.jpgimg8012 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Guard hut:

16773181642_293c945cc5_b.jpgimg8010 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Steel gate from inside:

16586717818_8c89f18e9a_b.jpgimg8000 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up of lever mechanism:

16586902440_ecd16b23de_b.jpgimg8009 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Front view of steel entry gate:

16586922660_11d77957a6_b.jpgimg8007 by HughieDW, on Flickr

Close-up on door arch with construction date (1895):

16586760208_b07a3a1e7d_b.jpgimg8001bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

View of left-hand side of entrance:

16154407793_9b85171054_b.jpgimg8003bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Internal metal ladder to turret top:

16773280902_293c945cc5_b.jpgimg8005bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
 
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UrbanX

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The scale of that is immense! It looks tiny until you notice the stair flights!
Nicely done sir, thanks for sharing :)
 

Mikeymutt

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Even that entrance is impressive..bet it would have been amazing exploring that..well done sir
 

DirtyJigsaw

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Liking this! Very nice. Like the stair ladder shot alot
 

Sectionate

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Looks good, I only ever shot past this on Monorail when I worked out there and wondered what it was for.
 

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