They are planning to demolish “historic Pudu jail, where allied prisoners were imprisoned and executed during the brutal Japanese occupation”. This has made Second World War veterans up in arms (malaysiakini).

These are photos I took in 2006 while travelling on the monorail in Kuala Lumpur. Not a pretty sight. But at least they speak to us of history and reminds us that evil and ghosts do exist.

Are we too afraid because they continue to haunt us by their presence? Or do we want to wipe out a part of history which is too ugly to remember?

The Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?is presently?used as confinement for drug offenders and is a location for administering corporal punishment through rattan caning.

The prison was closed for several years following the 1986 execution of Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, both Australian nationals, for the drug trafficking of heroin. It was reopened in early 2004.

The cells are reported to be horrific, each equipped with a window only the size of a shoebox. Ironically, the prison also features murals painted on the walls circling the compound, depicting scenes of nature. It is no longer used as a prison and while it was once open as a museum, it is currently a police station and can be viewed only from the outside. It is proposed to build a low security prison on the site for drug abusers in the future.

30 responses »

  1. mob1900 says:

    Look at how rundown the place is! Not even the haze-spell we’re having could hide THAT. Compare Pudu Prison to The Gulag at Siberia, The Gulag might pass off as a tourist resort.

    Showing these pictures of Pudu Prison might actually deter the current high crime rate we’re having. What do you think, Soosan? might wanne pitch a ‘Pudu Prison Campaign’ to those ministry people who lacks innovation and ideas. =)

  2. mob1900 says:

    sorry about ‘Soosan’, since I met her a couple of years back, she was the only ‘Susan’ I knew. lolx

  3. […] So it seems that Pudu Jail has reopened in KL. How sick. […]

  4. andy says:

    i know a guy called Gariel that will spend time there . Bless his soul.

  5. kai says:

    Please have some respect for those who died there. Not all of them were guilty.

    I don’t care if allied prisoners died there. To me they were the foreign invaders and briefly replaced by another invaders, the Japs. They (the allied) were trying to get back what they stole earlier. Same shit difference smell!

    If those dinosaur readers here can remember bodak Chin, I believe he died there too. A hard core criminal caught in the 70s. He was later sentenced to death with laws passed after his arrest and conviction. The mandatory death sentence law for possessing a gun without a license was only passed after his arrest and not before. This can only happen in Bodohland!

  6. kai says:

    This is a prime real estate. I wonder which running dog is going to be the lucky one to have it developed.

  7. caravanserai says:

    Pudu Jail
    On Pudu road once I walked
    Touching the walls
    Thinking of the people inside

    The scum of society
    The other side of the human beings
    Without them life must be very peaceful
    Inside the walls I got no chance to see

    I remembered the thugs
    The drug addicts there
    Pudu Jail won’t deter them
    It is just a home when others failed

    The ghosts of the past
    The haunting cry in the night
    If you listen intently
    You may hear those died inside

    The BN leaders don’t make it grand
    A tourist spot they have no idea
    They want to spend on things they can take
    Pudu Jail they think they will be there

    So Pudu Jail
    Standing still on the busy road
    Motorists passing by every day
    The old haunt people just forget

  8. Aiyoo Tambi says:

    What to do?
    Go to Pudu?
    Makan Poootu?
    Sudah Sapooduu?
    Change is GOOD.
    Build a Recreation Park in the City.

  9. Mamak Penang says:

    When talking about heritage building in Malaysia it is not showing our own Identity or Malaysian Culture but it mostly showing ‘Once in Malaysia there were Mat Salleh’s Tuan and The Malayan’s were Slave’s.Talking about malaysian Heritage untill now I seen none!.May it’s belongs to Indonesian Jawa’s or Sumatra’s Minangkabau,saudi arabia!.In Penang the Mat salleh’s tourists are very proud about their heritage not the penangities!!!!.Only the Nasi kandar is Malaysian Food!!!!.Mamak Penang much proud !!!.

  10. donplaypuks says:

    Alcatraz Prison or ‘The Rock’ in San Francisco is one of the top draws for local as well as overseas tourists’ in USA.

    With a little imagination, Pudu Jail can be converted into a similar tourist destination e.g. by incorporating a Wax Museum of Rogues Gallery like Madam Tussauds in London.

    KLites are sick of concrete and high rise developments. What, yet another lepaking shopping mall or condo/office? Bleaacch!!

    Come on Mayor, use your noodles. Stop the pillaginf of our history.

  11. F. Lin says:

    A country is not only define by its modernization but also its history and how they preserve it. Sad but what to do preservation doesn’t bring a penny to the current government. However, build new building does…

  12. Unlimited says:

    I am glad that they wish to get rid of this eyesore.

    Seriously, it looks terrible. Every time I see it, it reminds me of how badly we made prisons, even for the time. If anything, it symbolizes our inability to get rid of an evil which has been haunting us since it came into operation.

    Now, we are washing our hands of this monument to captivity with something that is more becoming.

    And I wish war veterans would stop crying about it, I am sure the private firm in charge of getting rid of it will erect a nice monument to the atrocities committed at the site. For a bunch of people who fought with their sweat and blood against all odds, they sure are being over-dramatic of getting rid of a bad memory.

    The people involved get none of my sympathy. Tear the place to the ground and erect something which contributes effectively to our economy. Any other relics can be transported to Museum Negara. Not everything has to be tragic when it comes to progress.

    Cheer up, kids.

  13. su says:

    I went to Pudu Jail as a class trip back in…. 1997 I think. We were told that it was closed for good, because of bad conditions. I never thought it had reopened.

    I don’t know about taking it down. For a child of 11 to go into the prison and experience the “atmosphere” in there was quite something. It might not be part of heritage, but it does give off some kind of “air”.

    What are they planning to develop on that land? Another shopping complex to fight with Times Square, Sungei Wang, Lot 10, Starhill and Pavilion? Or a hotel to compete with Berjaya, JW Marriot, Federal Hotel, Equitorial, Hotel Istana and Regent Hotel? Or another office block like Menara HLA, Amoda, Berjaya, and a truckful of others?

    Unlimited said that not everything has to be tragic. I agree. But not everything historic can be transported to the Museum. There are some things that can only be historic when it remains where it was.

  14. Unlimited says:


    – Your school chose Pudu Jail as a class trip? I can’t say I envy you at all. The place has a terrible atmosphere. We got sent to Museum Negara instead, where I actually had a good time. It’s a clean, well-organized collection of Malaysian History. Pudu Jail is just a depressing reminder of how badly we managed and constructed prisons. I am not saying pretend Pudu did not happen (because it did), I am saying, let’s erect a monument to remember it, but get rid of it for good.

    Also a financial building would be a huge improvement for the Kuala Lumpur cityscape. It would open up more jobs, bring life into the construction industry, it would make the city look more modern and aesthetically pleasing. Ultimately, Pudu gone equals KL prospering that little bit more. I am not sorry for choosing higher employment and a better economy over a bitter part of our history.

    I’d rather my fellow Malaysians have a job to feed their family then have a couple of war veterans who are retired dictate what to do with prime developing land.

  15. kai says:

    Should turn this prime real estate into a public park. This property belongs to the people and let it stays this way forever.

  16. jughead says:

    We can build another hotel, shopping complex and hyper market anytime and anywhere. But this place reflects the name is chinese – Pun san par – or half hill jungle in Cantonese or Hokkien. IT IS A HERITAGE BUILDING!!We should maintain all the building with some modifications and turn it into a tourist are.

  17. Lallang exile says:


    I agree with Donplaypullk.

    Savoury or sweet, Pudu Jail is an icon in KL. I remember the site very well ever since I visited KL as a very young child. It looked like a fortress to me then.

    Being opposite the KL Police HQ, I got a bird’s eye view of it years later as a journo and was AMAZED at how large it actually was.

    Remember the stake out in 1986, guys? Didn’t get to cover it, but boy, was it suspenseful?

    Please vote to KEEP this inreplacable landmark. We could turn it into an art gallery or something with kopitiams and restaurants around.

    Or convert it into a museum on its own right (like Alcatraz).

    The historical aspects are priceless, as it is important for our history and political development in the future. Planting more greenery inside the walls would make the place more pleasant.

    And, it is a welcome, low density air lung for the congested, overbuilt Pudu area!!

  18. riv says:

    Quick bucks always win in the end. Heck, they even wanted to demolish Merdeka Stadium (is the plan still on? on hold? cancelled?) some times ago. And that was the site of 1957 Declaration of Independence for God’ sake. Am I gonna tell my grandchildren that the ‘shopping mall’ is the place where we declare the Independence?

    Money, and ppl wonder why we put a fight against dbkl/ft ministers.

  19. Jong says:

    Hotel? … no, no I heard it’s haunted!

  20. tommycol says:

    sorry 4 all of you who are 4 preserving heritage ; fat hopes i think !! do you think the Ketuanan now will like to preseve a ‘monument’ to remind them that they too ,were once fighting to rid themselves of the KETUANAN Mat Salleh !! So much for KETUANAN!!!!!!!

  21. habibi says:

    find out more about “Jeff XXi” before you turn Pudu Jail into something….

  22. u-jean says:

    i actually thought pudu jail would be better off as a bdsm site. the least they can do is take my suggestion into consideration

  23. Bola Hangus says:

    They should not demolish it. Instead put all the guilty parties of robbing ,.stealin, thievin and pimpin of the malays rights there. That way the country can see on display the real crooks and traitors and this mistake never to recurr.

  24. mshyan says:

    did u hv pudu jail’s contact?
    my society decided go thr to 4 a look..

  25. ivan says:

    i love you

  26. mr.mark says:

    they should keep it open and continue to execute people in the public.and charge money for the poor malaysians and help clean up some of the eye sore places there..and clean up the air..or turn it into a fantasy hotel resort..lots of jail fantasies could be fufilled here!

  27. mr.mark says:

    i even walked through the gates of pudu prison and the guards stopped me and said i couldnt see the i figured i would bribe them with some cash, that usually works for the dishonest cops..but no tour..guess i will have to bring in a kilo from colombia to visit that dump

  28. nabil says:

    I do not agree with the idea of demolishing it. There are things that should be kept there as heritage. Yes it was not our masterpiece. But it is in our country. Have some historical values guys.

    It may look old and ugly. That’s because it was built 100 years ago! Have some common sense please. Why do we need so many shopping malls or hotels when those we have are not even fully occupied yet? We want to encourage our young generations with the culture of ‘lepak’? Rising the social problem? Why not we put them for a ‘free stay’ for one night, to make them realize that there is law binding us all and should we not follow, we will be punished.

    I am sad to hear that there’s a project going on to demolish it. We are lacking of historical spots. This place can be maintained and should be maintained. The government should spend some money there, rather than spending the tax payers money unwisely.

  29. S Lee says:

    Dear all, Hi Susan,

    I have started a fb page on Pudu Jail called Do You Remember? I invite interested people to leave comments, stories, legends, urban myths, photos or videos and share your experiences and knowledge about this fabled building. Man thanks

  30. Richard hall says:

    i was in pudu prison last week through a demolished outer wall and this place was awesome ,its definately haunted we were followed by light orbs and the smell of burning incence ,its being torn down but you can still see most of the jail

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