Malaysian Prison Department

The Malaysian Prison Department (Malay: Jabatan Penjara Malaysia) is a department controlled by the Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs responsible for jails where offenders sentenced by the courts are held. These jails also act as detention and recovery institutions.

Malaysian Prison Department
Jabatan Penjara Malaysia
Logo of the Malaysian Prison Department
MottoMesra, Ikhlas dan Berbakti
(Friendly, Sincere and Dedicated)
Agency overview
Formed19 March 1790 (1790-03-19)
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Operations jurisdictionMalaysia
Size329,847 km (127,355 sq mi)
Legal jurisdictionNational
Governing bodyGovernment of Malaysia
HeadquartersKajang, Selangor, Malaysia
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • KJP Dato' Sri Hj. Zulkifli bin Omar, Commissioner General of Prison
  • TKJP Dato' Haji Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Razak, Deputy Commissioner General of Prison
Parent agencyMinistry of Home Affairs
UnitsTrup Tindakan Cepat

The department is headquartered in the Malaysia Prison Complex (Kompleks Penjara Kajang) in Kajang, Selangor in the Klang Valley.[1][2]

Prisons are different from other institutions or organisations found in a modern society. They are places where a group of trained personnel manages and looks after a group of people known as prisoners who are not there voluntarily and are instead forced inside and prevented from leaving by guards, walls and gates. A Prison Department cannot choose its clients and they have no power to release them. These prisoners have to live according to set of prescribed rules, and their movements are tightly controlled.


During the era of British rule and until the arrival of the Japanese in 1942, penal institutions were the responsibility of the individual states' governments with their respective regulations. In the Straits Settlements, a Superintendent based in Singapore, acted as the supervisor and inspected the institutions under his jurisdiction.

The Straits Settlements were the earliest to build their own prisons while the Federated Malay States did so only after the British set up a responsible department. The Taiping Prison, better known as the Taiping Gaol, the largest at the time, was built in 1879. Prisons were built with the main purpose of bringing suffering to the inmates in the hope that this would deter people from committing crimes.

In 1881, Sikh warders were brought in to assist Malay warders while vocational instructors from Hong Kong were used in an effort to introduce trades to the prisons. Among the earliest of these were rock breaking and carpentry. An attempt was made to categorise the inmates in 1882, then in 1889 European warders were appointed at some prisons.

With the formation of the Federated Malay States, Taiping Prison became a detention centre for long-term prisoners from Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. In 1923, a visiting justice system was introduced and prison industries expanded to include printing work, weaving, sewing, rattan weaving, and metalwork. Rock-breaking work was abolished in 1924 and replaced with the pounding of coconut husks.

During the Japanese occupation (1941โ€“1945), the Imperial Japanese Army also used the prisons for POWs. All records of the prisons and its inmates for this period were subsequently destroyed by the Japanese.

After World War II, the Prison Office was established to administer all prisons in Malaya. The post-war era saw the return of peace, and modern administrative methods were introduced. The 1948 Malayan Emergency resulted in an increase in inmate numbers, which in turn caused overcrowding in the prisons. This disrupted the development of the prison system and it was only towards the end of 1949 when peace returned that prison development could be carried out smoothly.

The Prisons Ordinance 1952 and the Prisons Regulations 1953, based on the "modern treatment" concept, were introduced to replace old legislation. In 1953, the Criminal Justice Bill was passed, which abolished use of the cat-o'-nine-tails and replaced the term "penal servitude" with "prison".

Following Independence Day in 1957, the first Prisons Commissioner was appointed to take charge of the administration of all prisons in Malaya. In 1963, with the formation of Malaysia, prisons in Sabah and Sarawak came under the jurisdiction of the Prisons Department.

On 2 November 1995, the Prison Act 1995 was introduced to replace the former Prison Act which in turn was superseded on 1 September 2000 by the Prison Regulations 2000. The previous acts and regulations had been in use for a long time, thus changes and reforms were necessary to meet current needs and demands to streamline prison management and administration.

In an era of development and modernisation, the Malaysian Prison Department realises that it should not to be content with its past achievements, but should instead move forward and innovate in order to assist the prison administration in dealing with modern culture through criminology, penology and overall social control.[3]


  1. The fourteen-point star represents the 13 States and the Federal Government of Malaysia, while the star and the crescent symbolise Islam, the official religion of Malaysia.
  2. The crossed keys symbolise the authority and responsibility delegated by the department in the performance of its duties.
  3. The paddy flower symbolises solidarity and close co-operation by multiracial staff at various levels in the hierarchy.
  4. The green background, the official colour of the Prisons Department, signifies allegiance to the Malaysian leader.



Cheerful, Sincere and Dedicated
Shall faithfully carry out departmental duties to uphold the national criminal legal system and shoulder the task of rehabilitation of offenders entrusted upon the department by the nation with full responsibility and dedication.
Green colour
Symbolises the objective of the department to reform citizens who have lapsed into moral decay and turn them into productive individuals who are once again able to fit into society as useful citizens able to fulfill their social obligations.
Sketch Heart and Hand
Symbolises the commitment by society to re-accommodate ex-convicts into social institutions without any kind of prejudice which may jeopardise their rehabilitation programme.
Silver background

Symbolises the sincerity of the departments management system in generating commitment and co-operation among society at large, offender families and the department to ensure the success of rehabilitation programmes.

Prison department organisational structure

Prison heads

Director General of PrisonCommissioner General of PrisonKJPDato' Seri Zulkifli Omar
Deputy Director General of PrisonDeputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKJPDato' Alzafry Mohamad Alnassif Mohamad Adahan
Deputy Director General of PrisonDeputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKJPDato' Jamaluddin Saad
Deputy Director General of PrisonDeputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKJPDato' Haji Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Razak
Perlis Prison ChiefSenior Assistant Commissioner of PrisonPKKMat Johir bin Asin @ Hashim
Kedah Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPSabri Yaakob
Penang Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPRoslan Mohamad
Perak Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPTan Tian Heng
Kelantan Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPHamzani bin Che Ibrahim
Terengganu Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPAhmad Saidi Hamzah
Pahang Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonKPDato' Ab Basir bin Mohamad
Kuala Lumpur Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonKPDarussalam bin Budin
Selangor Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonKPDarussalam bin Budin
Negeri Sembilan Prison ChiefSenior Assistant Commissioner of PrisonPKKRahmat Bin Rani
Malacca Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonKPAbdul Aziz Mohamad
Johore Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonKPAbd. Wahab Kassim
Sabah Prison ChiefCommissioner of PrisonTKPSuria Idris
Sarawak Prison ChiefSenior Deputy Commissioner General of PrisonTKPAjidin bin Salleh

List of Commissioner General

Commissioner GeneralYear
Captain Es Lilley1 April 1946 - 11 September 1949
Captain Ov Garrat11 September 1949 - 1 October 1956
Ft. Lt. WB Oliver1 October 1956 - 2 October 1957
Tan Sri Murad Ahmad3 October 1957 - 24 July 1977
Dato' Ibrahim Hj. Mohamed25 July 1977 - 30 April 1988
Dato' Nik Ariffin Nik Omar1 May 1988 - 7 November 1989
Dato' Mohd. Yassin Jaafar1 March 1990 - 7 February 1994
Tan Sri Dato' Seri Mohd Zaman Khan9 February 1994 - 31 December 1997
Dato' Omar Mohamed Dan1 January 1998 - 16 October 2001
KJP Datuk Mustafa Osman17 October 2001 - 1 June 2009
KJP Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar1 June 2009 โ€“ present

List of Deputy Commissioner General

Deputy Commissioner GeneralYear
Dato Ibrahim Mohamed
Dato Nik Arifin Nik Omar
Mohd Nadzry Kushairi1990 - 1993
Datuk Omar Mohamad Dan1994 - 1997
Datuk Mustafa Osman1998 - 2001
Donald Wee May Keun2004 - 2005
Samsuddin Tan Sri Murad2005
Dato' Seri Zulkifli Omar2005 - 2009
Dato' Wan Mohamad Nazarie Wan Mahmood2007 - 2011
Datuk Hassan Sakimon2009 - 2017
Dato' Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Abdullah2011 - 2017
Dato' Alzafry Mohamad Alnassif Mohamad Adahan2017 - current
Dato' Jamaluddin Saad2017 - current
Dato' Haji Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Razak2017 - current



  • Malaysian Prison Headquarters, Kajang
  • Sarawak Prison Headquarters, Kuching
  • Sabah Prison Headquarters, Kota Kinabalu



  • Pokok Sena Prison
  • Sungai Petani Prison
  • Alor Star Prison


  • Penang Prison
  • Seberang Prai Prison


  • Taiping Prison
  • Tapah Prison


  • Sg. Buloh Prison
  • Kajang Prison
  • Kajang Women's Prison

Negeri Sembilan

  • Jelebu Prison
  • Seremban Prison


  • Ayer Keroh Prison
  • Sg. Udang Prison
  • Banda Hilir Prison


  • Simpang Renggam Prison
  • Kluang Prison


  • Bentong Prison
  • Penor Prison


  • Marang Prison


  • Pengkalan Chepa Prison


  • Puncak Borneo Prison
  • Sibu Prison
  • Miri Prison
  • Bintulu Prison
  • Sri Aman Prison
  • Limbang Prison


  • Kota Kinabalu Prison
  • Kota Kinabalu Women's Prison
  • Tawau Prison
  • Sandakan Prison

Correctional Centre

  • Perlis Correctional Centre

Juvenile School

Defunct Prison and Headquarters

Weaponry and equipment

Malaysian Prison Department operators are equipped with multi-specialized weaponry and marine assault vehicles, including:

Standard Weapons Origin Versions Quantity Notes
Handgun/Revolver Types
Glock 17  Austria Standard Not known In used by prison senior officers as well as Trup Tindakan Cepat (TTC) special team.
Smith & Wesson Model 15  United States Standard Classified The S&W .38 service revolvers used by the low rank prisons peronnels.
Smith & Wesson M&P  United States Standard Not known In used as service pistols of Prison Department
Shotgun Types
Remington 870 Shotgun  United States 18.5mm breaching shotgun Not known Used as main service shotguns.
Submachine gun Types
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany Various types Unknown Use by TTC and Prisons personnels
Assault rifle Types
Colt M16  United States M16A1, M16A4 Unknown In used by Prisons Department, TTC using the M16A4 with SOPMOD equipment
Sniper Types
Accuracy International Arctic Warfare  United Kingdom Standard Unknown In used by TTC
Grenade launcher Types
CS Mk.IV  Malaysia Standard Unknown TTC used
Machinegun Types
FN MAG  Belgium Standard Unknown -
Non-lethal weapon Types
Taser X26  United States Standard Unknown -

Major cases and incidents

1981 Botak Chin

On 1 January 1981, Wong Swee Chin or known as Botak Chin made an unsuccessful attempt to escape from his cell in Pudu Prison. During his attempt, he stabbed several prison wardens but was seriously injured during the struggle. He was executed in the morning of 11 June 1981. Ironically, none of the charges were murder however he was sentenced to death solely for the possession of firearms, a capital offence.[7]

1986 Pudu Prison siege

The Pudu Prison siege began when six prisoners led by Jimmy Chua held a doctor and a laboratory technician hostage on 17 October 1986 and the siege ended six days later on 22 October 1986. On 22 October, the hostage crisis ended without bloodshed when the Malaysian police counter-terrorism group Special Actions Unit (UTK) of PGK stormed the prison and rescued the two hostages led by commander Dato' Zaman Khan.[8]

1987 Kuantan Prison hostage

In January 1987, three Indonesian prisoners arrested Magistrate Mariana Yahya at Kuantan Prison for ransom. However, for up to 24 hours, two of them were shot dead and another was arrested. Mariana was finally released.[9] Datuk Ibrahim Mohamed, was the man who led the Prison Department and as the Director General, his role is very significant in the effort of liberation.[10]

Famous inmates

Botak Chin, an infamous gangster who was allegedly betrayed by his own men, was executed here on 11 June 1981 for the possession of firearms.

In 1986 Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, both Australian nationals, were executed in Pudu Prison for trafficking heroin. In 1989, Derrick Gregory, a British national was also hanged for heroin trafficking.

In 2001, Mona Fandey was executed.


  • Patahnya Sebelah Sayap (Break Half Wing) โ€“ Malay drama created by Ayie Mustafa[11]
  • Disebalik Tirai Besi (Behind The Bar) - Malay drama produced by MDAG Marketing Sdn Bhd[12]

See also

  • Malaysia portal


  1. "Home." Prison Department of Malaysia. Retrieved on 7 August 2014. "Malaysia Prison Complex, Kajang Selangor." Map.
  2. "IBU PEJABAT PENJARA MALAYSIA." Prison Department of Malaysia. Retrieved on 7 August 2014. "Bukit Wira, Beg Berkunci No. 212, 43000 Kajang, SELANGOR DARUL EHSAN"
  3. "Prisons History". Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  4. "Prisons Motto". Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  5. "(Malay) Penjara Pudu ditutup operasinya pada bulan Oktober 1996".
  6. "(Malay) Penjara Sim Sim telah ditutup pada tahun 1981 dan banduannya dipindahkan ke Penjara Sandakan".
  7. "Botak Chin stabbed prison officer". Berita Harian.
  8. "Pudu Jail siege (Malay)". Agenda Daily.
  9. "Kuantan Prison Hostage".
  10. "Hero of Kuantan Prison siege". Suara TV. 20 March 2016.
  11. "Malay Drama - Patahnya Sebelah Sayap".
  12. "Malay Drama - Disebalik Tirai Besi".
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