Built in 1882, the main prison building used to be first Rajah James Brooke’s rest house before it became the city’s first hospital. It is even older than Pudu Prison better known as Pudu Jail, which is located in Kuala Lumpur. The building, which only became a prison after World War 2, was also the site of the execution of Sarawak’s first freedom fighter, Rosli Dhobi, on March 2, 1950.
Some weeks ago, I went to Kuching old town to do something. On my way back, I passed by the Kuching Central Prison and saw something that was really shocking to me – it’s almost gone.
This prison was built on 1882. If it’s still “alive” today, it will be 129 years old. Sadly, the authorities decided to demolish it, instead of making it into a heritage site.
If you want to know why I only know about the demolition of Kuching Central Prison recently, it’s because I seldom go to the Kuching old town and whenever I go, I always use another route. But that day, I don’t know why I suddenly used that route. That’s why I only found out about that on that particular day. Maybe this is what we call “fate”.
I immediately parked my car at the lot nearby and went down to shoot some pictures for memories.
Even though the demolishing process is slow, I guess the whole prison will be gone in a few more months, which is really sad.
I can still remember that when I was still a middle school student, I always heard the siren from the prison, and see the prisoners moving around. They work, they exercise, walk, run. But now, those are all gone. Only memories are left. Why do they want to demolish this 129 year-old prison? Shouldn’t they keep it as a heritage site? It was built in 1882 and it should have high historical value. I really don’t know what are the authorities thinking. Money maybe? So for those who would like to have a last look at this ancient prison, please be fast.