Pop-up prison exhibit in Penang showcases history of Malaysia’s first two inmates


At the International Museum Day Festival 2024 in Dewan Sri Pinang, George Town, the Malaysian Prison Museum’s sales space is highlighting the history of trendy prisons, together with the story behind Malaysia’s first two prisoners.

Prison Officer Sergeant Major Ahmad Fesal Noor stated that guests may be taught concerning the nation’s first prison, constructed at Fort Cornwallis, and the story of the two inmates introduced from Bengal, India, by British authorities in 1790.

Based on analysis, he added, the first prison in the nation was intently associated to the institution of a settlement on the island in 1786 by Sir Francis Light, nevertheless its existence was solely detected in 1811 primarily based on the stays of the prison inside Fort Cornwallis (a bastion fort in George Town, constructed by the British East India Company in the late 18th century).

The booth's design invites the public to glimpse into a cell through a peephole, offering a firsthand look at the confined conditions. Photo: Bernama The sales space’s design invitations the general public to glimpse right into a cell by a peephole, providing a firsthand have a look at the confined circumstances. Photo: Bernama

“In March 1790, the British authorities introduced two males, Eyeno Deen Sheikdan (Ainuddin Sheidan) and Mohamed Heiant, from Bengal to Penang to be imprisoned there as political prisoners, making them the first two inmates in Malaysia, thus marking the existence of trendy prisons in the nation,” stated Ahmad Fesal at Dewan Sri Pinang.

“They have been used as low-cost labour to construct infrastructure and financial actions. The second prison was constructed in Chowrasta Lines, however resulting from overcrowding of inmates, Penang Gaol, a brand new prison was constructed and used in 1849, which nonetheless stands right this moment (generally known as the Penang Remand Prison).”

Ahmad Fesal added that the history of the Pulau Jerejak Moral Rehabilitation Centre, as soon as used to accommodate leprosy sufferers, can be on show.

A view of the pop-up exhibition, where visitors have the opportunity to view a diverse and historical array of prison-related artefacts. Photo: BernamaA view of the pop-up exhibition, the place guests have the chance to view a various and historic array of prison-related artefacts. Photo: Bernama

At the exhibition, he stated guests may additionally see numerous prison-related gadgets on show, together with the unique cell door from the 1870s, prison cell keys from the Nineteen Sixties, and the unique stone of Fort Cornwallis.

The sales space’s structure is designed to depict the grim prison setting, permitting the general public to look by a cell door peephole to see the circumstances inside a prison cell.

“We need to educate and supply insights to the general public concerning the difficult life in the slender cells of prisons, the place 23 hours are spent confined throughout the cell and just one hour for launch,” he added.

Thirty-eight businesses, establishments, and museums in Malaysia are collaborating in the International Museum Day Festival 2024, which runs till May 22. – Bernama

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