History turns to rubble

Authorities last night began tearing down part of a historic 115-year-old jail where Allied prisoners-of-war were held by the Japanese despite fierce criticism from heritage enthusiasts.

Critics of the controversial redevelopment plan say Pudu jail, which sits on prime land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, should be preserved because of its heritage and tourism value.

Heavy diggers began demolishing a huge segment of the 394-metre-long (1,300-foot) wall surrounding the Victorian-era jail Monday night, to make way for road expansion.

During World War II, Japanese occupation forces used the jail to hold Allied prisoners-of-war, many of whom were tortured and executed there, but Malaysia’s government has said Pudu does not qualify for heritage status.

read more

Video by Sunny Lim, Citizen Journalist