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Farewell Queenstown Remand Prison

By my queenstown on Sunday, June 20, 2010 with 12 comments

When Calvin Klein unveiled its Spring-Summer Collection for 2010 at Queenstown Remand Prison and invited Asian super stars like Ethan Ruan, there were faint hopes among the Queenstown residents that the authorities were finally abandoning their bulldozer approach in removing any structures or buildings that represented Singapore's heritage for economic "pragmatism." However, these hopes were plain castles in the air. There seems to be little or negligible sympathy on Queenstown residents who had to nurse their pain witnessing their "fields of care" disappearing at an amazing rate.

The iconic watch tower

Queenstown Remand Prison

Remand prisoners were held at Outram Prison located at the peak of Pearl's Hill in Telok Ayer between 1847 and 1945. After World War II, Outram Prison faced overcrowding problems with over 500 inmates. Living in unhygienic and unsanitary cells, a new prison was needed to house the prisoners. Therefore, Queenstown Remand Prison started groundbreaking in 1963 and opened officially on 23 September 1966 by Othman Wok, a year after Singapore's independence. The former remand prison was later demolished to make way for developments in the city.

According to an ex-inmate, each cell measured 6 feet by 12 feet long. There was basic amenities such as sanitary, bed and table in the cell and each room to cater to the needs of the inmates. Each morning, the prisoner would be allowed some free time out of his cell for a shower, a call or interaction sessions with other inmates. Meals were taken in a giant canteen.

Cell at Block E

Queenstown Remand Prison was famous for two things. Firstly, tele-visiting, an electronic means of communication, allows inmates to be visited 'remotely' at a conveniently located Prisons Link Centre and eliminates the need for visitors to go to relatively distant Institutions for visits and having to go through elaborate security procedures. Secondly, screams and ghosts were believed to be haunting the prison which housed famous inmates such as American teenager Michael Fay and author of Singapore, My Home Too, Chee Soon Juan. Many ghost busters have mentioned in forums that spirits and ghosts were spotted at night.

This iconic prison is currently being demolished and all it leaves behind is a green pasture that will be developed into residential and commercial sites. Farewell, Queenstown Remand Prison..

Half the structured has been removed

Lessons and prayer sessions used to be conducted in the hut

Where visitors register and be screened before entering

Jalan Penjara which leads to the prison

Block D

Block E


A cell in Block E

Staircases in Block E

Go, Going, Gone....

It will be completely removed by August 2010

Category: My Father and I , Places



Anonymous said...
June 20, 2010 at 3:21 PM

26 years with group of childhood friends and the last few to move out. This will be memories kept deep in our hearts. Nothing beats staying in a quarters.

Anonymous said...
June 21, 2010 at 9:37 AM

There was a Judo Club. We went there when we were students of Queenstown Secondary Technical School in 1976. First day orientation, one very important thing that must be adhered: "Do not climb on any strutures. You will be shot before being questioned!" This is one hell of a warning to students.

Anonymous said...
June 26, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Having stayed near the prison since I was born, it is definitely heart-wrenching to come to accept the fact that it has now been demolished or close to a flat piece of land. I still remember the days when I would take a quick glance at the prison while strolling along Margaret Drive to the library or supermart. The prison will forever has a place in all our hearts, especially for the residents of Queenstown where the prison has been there with us throughout our years in Queenstown.

Ng Hou Seng said...
July 22, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Hi fellow residents of Queenstown,
If the old don't go, the new would not come-I just need your consensus to move forward towards a brighter tomorrow.Look at the development guide plan for the area. I'm sure you'll be full of envy & admiration. First let's say a big thank you to all those who had contributed in one way or another. Let's rejoice in the forthcoming 45th Birthday celebrations at Global Indian International School.
Thinking of the sweet past memories!
Ng Hou Seng.
22nd July 2010.

Anonymous said...
November 22, 2013 at 5:56 PM

just no

Unknown said...
March 4, 2014 at 3:04 AM

In 1985, I was put to jail for traffic offences. I was 23 years old at that time. I was sentenced to one month jail for failing to pay the fine of $1000 by the court. When I arrived at Queenstown Remand Prison, it was like hell! I saw many inmates mostly had their body tattooed. Those days people who have tattoos are mainly gangster or drug addicts. I was with 3 other inmates sharing a cell. I can't believe that I have to eat, sleep and shit inside the cell. For 3 days, I just can't get use to the toilet bowl which they use the water for wash face and drinking. My one month experience I had is enough! I heard that Queenstown Remand Prison is a short sentence prison or temporary for those who are waiting to be sentence to longer jail term, then later will be transfer to Changi Prison. After my release, I vow that I will never go to the place like hell again! Now the prison had been demolished, and where is the new place for remand prison? *******Actually I never been to Queenstown area. When I was released, I tour around Queenstown shopping center for 3 hours. I had my meal at Margaret hawker center before I went home.

Unknown said...
June 8, 2019 at 6:25 PM

Now already dimolis what building they

Savant said...
February 27, 2021 at 7:12 PM

I was a student in that class.

Unknown said...
September 8, 2021 at 5:51 PM

Remanders club. Missing my childhood

Anonymous said...
January 9, 2022 at 10:44 PM

thank you so much for posting this. This place was my childhood... I still remember almost every night the kids will play police and thief together

Anonymous said...
February 2, 2022 at 4:24 PM

Queens town remand prison used to be my home in 1997.. every time I drive by.. it send me full of memories.. repent to crime you did.. seeking hope in order to change.. so that you could rejoin society.. HOPE is very important. Without it you can never change.

Anonymous said...
July 11, 2023 at 11:14 PM

It's sad that it's gone. This place made my childhood complete. So nostalgic. Doing prison time in there falling in love after release and so on... I guess life has to go on..

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