Saturday, May 24, 2008
The name Pulau Jerejak, was given by fisherman who lived on the island. Long before it gained its alias as the Alcatraz of Malaysia, because of the Jerejak Prison. This 362ha island is located between the Penang Main Island and Seberang Prai. It's an island rich with history, flora and fauna.
The following years, saw an upsurge in drug related convictions that resulted in the highest number of detainees in Jerejak, 982 to be exact.
As a security measure, fisherman from nearby island were given strict instructions to keep a distance of 200 metres from the beach area of Jerejak. However, 7 inmates still managed to plan a getaway. The escapees were inmates who worked outside the prison area and were nearly finishing their sentences. The first escape incident in January 1988, saw 4 inmates 'leaving' the island while the second incident in May 1988 saw 3 inmates flee. The exact escape routes of these inmates still remains a mystery.
In it's course of closing down the prison, 900 detainees were transferred to prisons in Johor. The first transfer involved 100 detainees whom were sent to Muar Prison, Johor. The following transfers were in groups of about 60 detainees and were all stationed at the Simpang Ranggam Prison, Johor.
The last group left on 13 August 1993.