Thursday, June 24, 2010

Iconic Pudu prison wall torn down

KUALA LUMPUR: With just a few strikes from an excavator, parts of the iconic Pudu Prison wall came crashing down last night, marking the beginning of a new era for the historical area.

Even before the clock struck 10pm, people were crowding Jalan Pudu to witness the tearing down of part of the 394m prison wall.

Cameras were flashing the moment an excavator started demolition of the wall from inside the prison area at about 10.20pm.

Curious onlookers also hurried to pick up fallen bricks to take home as souvenirs.

An excavator knocking down the wall of the iconic Pudu Prison, the more than 100-year-old jail that is a historic part of Kuala Lumpur. Over the next 10 years, the site will be transformed into a modern mall and residential area. — IBRAHIM MOHTAR / The Star

The wall was full of mold, algae and weeds, indicating its old age.

According to a City Hall worker, two excavators would be used during the four-day demolition that will end on Thursday.

“A total of 25 workers will be involved in this project. We have put up plastic barriers along the demolition site and Jalan Pudu will be closed from 10pm until 5am during this period,” he said last night before the demolition work started.

“Cleaning up of the debris will be done in the morning at about 8am.”

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun was spotted among the crowd.

“I regret to see one of the oldest landmarks in Kuala Lumpur being destroyed. However, I will speak to the Government regarding the preservation of the wall facing Jalan Hang Tuah,” he said.

End of an icon: Passers-by watching the demolition of the Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur last night.

He said the architecture of Pudu Prison reflected the work of builders during the English colonial times.

An ex-prisoner Suharto Abdul Wahab said he went last night “to make sure the wall came down.”

“It is a pity that the building is going down because of its historical value. But I don’t have any sentimental memories,” said Suharto, who served time in the 1980s for drug possession.

“During that time, each cell could fit about eight or nine people. We were packed like sardines.”

Long-time resident of the Pudu area, Yong Kong Kin, 61, came with his son to witness the demolition.

“Although it is sad that the building is being demolished, it is necessary for the historical building to go because the ‘new’ society needs to make way for development,” he said.


Anonymous said...

Dear MP Fong,

First of all, thank you for your contribution to people of Bukit Bintang.

I'm a working class with office situated in KL. Previously communed using public transportation. Due to its dilapidated stage, difficulty in accessing to the stations cum many other problems like carparks, delays, technical glitches etc, I haven up and chose to drive straight to work.

Anyway, just like to highlight traffic issue in KL based on my personal experience. The reason why I highlight in your blog is DBKL, ITIS and all other government websites are as good as non existence as they will just ignore your complaints, feedback or ideas to improve of the system.

Notice the traffic lights at the junction of Pudu Jail is not tuned and co-ordinated properly for many months. Believe many complaints have been highlighted to the various depts but till to-date nothing been done. If you try to take a drive during morning and evening peak, you will notice and understand the root of the problem. Morning peak is ok, traffic police manage the situation. But in the evening, the traffic lights 'control' the flow and it is the major culprit that cause severe jams in Bukit Bintang/KL.

The timing of the light that allow traffic in flow to BB is too long in the evening compare to outflow from BB. Evening people leaving BB so outflow direction should be longer. I always see inflow from Dewan Pustaka road is always clear but traffic light still GREEN. Other 2 major directions from BB and Puduraya experience massive jam and it is everyday event.

Why DBKL and other not doing anything for months? Imagine how much fuel and many hours wasted just at these few traffic light junction?

Sorry MP Fong, it is not your fault. Not sure whether you can do anything to kick some of these fellos sleeping on their jobs.


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