Pudu Prison will not be a heritage site


Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin

KUALA LUMPUR (June 21, 2010): The 115-year old Pudu Prison will not be turned a heritage site, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin told Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang) in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“The government is of the opinion that it is not something we can be proud of. There are many other things we can be proud of compared to a jail. And so, there is no plan for a museum,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Fong on whether part of the front wall of the infamous prison would be preserved.

Fong said he was disappointed that the building was being demolished as it would mean the longest painted wall recorded in the Guinness Book of Records would also be torn down. He also asked whether a museum would be built at the original site.

The Pudu Prison, formerly known as Pudu Gaol located in Jalan Hang Tuah, was first built in stages in 1891 on a 10-hectare site and was completed in 1895.

It was officially closed in 1996 when construction of the new prison in Sungai Buloh was completed.

The Pudu Prison wall stretching about 300 metres will be demolished at 10pm tonight to enable widening of the road and the Jalan Pudu underground passage construction.

Earlier, replying to his original question, Awang Adek said UDA Holdings Bhd (UDA) will begin a mix development at the site comprising a transit centre, serviced apartments, office spaces, recreation centres, hotel and commercial space.

“The development is divided into six plots which will be carried out in stages over about 10 years beginning from the first quarter of 2011," he said.

“In terms of distribution of lots, 40% would be residential properties while the rest would be for commercial covering offices, businesses and hotel."

He said a large proportion of the commercial lots will be owned by UDA and rented out.

To another supplementary question by Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor), Awang Adek said the government had taken into account current market positions and projections for the next 10 years.

“That’s why the development will be in stages, not just RM5 billion at one go, and it is a mixed development. So, its impact on the property market would not be a burden,” he said.

Later, at the parliament lobby, Fong said he would prepare a petition and collect signatures from the public to support a proposal to retain the wall and send it to the Kuala Lumpur mayor as soon as possible. -- theSun


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