Hardly a tourist destination but I happened to walk past it on my way from the Zoo to the Perak Museum. Taiping Prison is one of the earliest permanent penitentiary institutions in the Federated Malay States. It was built in 1879 to quell further unrest in the wake of the Larut Wars. The original prison could only accommodate 50 prisoners. Its walls were nine feet high and the five buildings within the compound were built of half brick and half timber. It also housed a hospital and an administrative office. In WWII, during the Japanese occupation (1941-1945), the prison was used as a public prison and also a Japanese prisoner-of-war detention centre. It was during this period that all records about the prison and its inmates were destroyed.
Due to the many clashes between immigrants (of various clans) in the early history of Taiping, the Perak Prison (as it was called then) was established in 1879... The first ever jail established in the country, the Perak Prison was the main prison for long sentenced convicts of the Federated Malay States (FMS)... It housed the Government Printing Office, a bakery and a laundry, where the prisoners did light work... Today, it is the country's best example of a 19th century gaol complex. It has been proposed for a prison museum... Since its inception, the prison in Taiping is still the Prison Headquarters of Malaysia - the only Government Dept where the HQ is housed in Taiping.
As Taiping prosper from its tin mining activities, social problem arises in the form of numerous gang fightings between the various clans. To addres this issue, the Taiping Prison was established in 1879 - the firts ever prison in Malaysia and another firts for the town.
Take a peek at the prison if you happened to be in Taiping.