PM Abdullah Badawi made a quick inspection of Kuching new prison complex near Borneo Heights.

KUCHING, Oct 21 – “Tenants” moved into the newly completed Kuching Prison Complex in Jalan Puncak Borneo, after a 10-year wait.

The new tenants comprised of a final batch of prisoners from the 389 who were transferred in stages starting Oct 17, from the 120-year-old former Kuching Prison Complex in Jalan Tabuan.

Construction of the new prison complex was delayed and later abandoned, forcing the Prime Minister to direct the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to investigate the cause of the delay.

Kuching Prison Complex Director Adnan Atan said the movement of prisoners who were either under remand, serving short term jail sentence or long term jail sentence, was carried out by officers from the Prisons Department and police.

“We started moving out the prisoners in stages, starting Oct 17 and the final batch arrived today. The old prison at Jalan Tabuan will be closed from tomorrow and all prison operations will start at the new centre here,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

In 2006, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited the 20.8 hectare site of the proposed prison centre that was abandoned since 1997.

The new prison that can accommodate 500 men and 150 women prisoners was supposed to be completed in August, 2000 at an initial cost of 165 million.

The prison complex also comprises 216 staff and officers’ quarters, a mosque and children’s playground. – Bernama