06 Mar 2004

Joint News Release - Parts of the Changi Prison will be Preserved

The Government has decided to preserve a symbolic part of the Changi Prison which has historical significance and heritage. While it is necessary to tear down the Changi Prison which is structurally very old, the Government will preserve a 180m stretch of the prison wall facing Upper Changi Rd North, which includes two corner turrets. The main gate of the prison will be relocated to this wall as well.

2 The Preservation of Monuments Board will gazette the preserved structures as a National Monument. To give organisations that have an interest in preserving the heritage of Changi Prison an opportunity to play a role in the preservation process, selected artefacts from Changi Prison have been offered to the National Heritage Board, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Australian, British and New Zealand High Commissions.

3 With the scarcity of land in Singapore, it is necessary to tear down Changi Prison, which cannot be run as a modern prison to support our rehabilitation efforts. The new Changi Prison Complex will optimise resources, provide rehabilitation facilities for our inmates and provide a more conducive environment to house the inmates.

4 The Changi Prison holds special memories for many civilians and war veterans who were incarcerated there during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. Built in 1936, the Changi Prison is one of our most poignant historical symbols of World War II (WWII). It housed the convicts in the Straits Settlements and subsequently, the Allied soldiers and civilians during WWII. Between 1942 and 1945, the Japanese interned about 76,000 prisoners of war at the prison and the surrounding areas. The Changi Prison thus serves as a landmark symbolising the suffering of the soldiers who defended Singapore.

5 Given its historical significance and heritage value, we are carrying out the redevelopment sensitively to maintain our links with the past.

6 The demolition of Changi Prison is scheduled to begin some time in the middle of this year.

Ministry of Home Affairs
Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts
Prisons Department
6 Mar 04
Last Updated on 26 Feb 2015
Back to top