via Free Malaysia Today, 09 August 2020: A feature of Pulau Jerejak or Jerejak Island in Penang, an island prison that once house those afflicted by leprosy and prisoners of war.
When people think of Penang, they think of the sandy beaches of Batu Ferringhi, the Unesco Heritage Sites of George Town and the lip-smacking street food one can’t get enough of.
Largely forgotten is Pulau Jerejak, off the coast near Queensbay Mall. A RM20 two-way ferry ride will take you to this 3.62 km parcel of land in 10 minutes, a tiny island that has played multiple roles through the decades.
Besides functioning as a station for immigrants once, Pulau Jerejak was also a famous leprosy centre, and after World War II, used as a camp for refugees and displaced persons. There was also a tuberculosis (TB) isolation hospital built there.
Much later, everyone would speak in hushed tones about how the island housed the country’s most notorious criminals in a maximum-security prison.