Malaysia

No heritage site for Pudu Jail, development will commence

Driving past Pudu Jail side wall on Jalan Pudu will be a distant memory soon for city dwellers after tonight's demolition. - Picture by Choo Choy MayDriving past Pudu Jail side wall on Jalan Pudu will be a distant memory soon for city dwellers after tonight's demolition. - Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Pudu Jail a Kuala Lumpur icon whose 384m wall will be reduced to rubble tonight, will not be turned into a heritage site. It will however become a mixed development zone.

When responding to a question by Fong Kui Loon (DAP-Bukit Bintang) in Parliament today, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Awang Adek Hussin said the government had decided that the 115-year-old Pudu Jail was “not something to be proud of” and hence should not be turned into a heritage site.

The jail has become a solitary figure in among the rapid development around it over the years. - Picture by Choo Choy MayThe jail has become a solitary figure in among the rapid development around it over the years. - Picture by Choo Choy May“The government has studied the matter and decided that the site is not a heritage site and will not be turned into one.

“To our opinion, it is not something to be proud of... there may be other things that we can be proud of, compared to a jail, although it (Pudu Jail) is old.

“Therefore, there are no plans for us to build a museum there,” he said.

Awang Adek said the mixed development project would include a transit centre, serviced apartments, office spaces, recreational areas, hotel and commercial spaces.

“The development is divided into six phases and will be developed in stages over a 10 year period beginning from the first quarter of next year,” he said.

Awang Adek added that 40 per cent of the development would house residential properties while the remainder would be for commercial spaces.

“A large proportion of the commercial lots will be owned by UDA Holdings Bhd and will be rented out,” he said.

To a question by Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) on the viability of initiating a development project at the Pudu jail site in view of the impending property glut in Kuala Lumpur, Awang Adek said:

“The government has also taken into account the current market position as well as the projection for the next 10 years and that is why the development will be in stages.

“It is not just RM5 billion at one go and it is a mixed development, not just residential areas.

“Residential spaces will only take up 40 per cent of the total development and the remainder will go for commerical spaces,” he said.

At 10pm tonight, the iconic 394-metre long wall of the Pudu Jail will be demolished.

The wall’s construction began in 1891 and was completed in 1895 at a cost of RM15,360.90. It had once displayed the world’s longest mural.

Much of the prison interior has already been brought down. - Picture by Choo Choy MayMuch of the prison interior has already been brought down. - Picture by Choo Choy May

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