On an epidemic outbreak of beri-beri: in the New Gaol, Kwala Lumpur, Selangor, Federated Malay States, during the years 1895, 1896, 1897 & 1898
McClosky, Arthur James
Kwala Lumpur is the chief town in the State of Selangor, on the West coast of the Malay Peninsula and. is 30 miles inland from the sea coast.The New Gaol is situated one mile from the town and the site on which it is built was an old disused graveyard and was low lying and swampy. In the process of its construction the contents of no less than 500 graves were removed. As a.burial ground it was chiefly used for Chinese who had been employed in the extensive tin mines in the neighbourhood.It is, therefore, quite possible that the majority of the bodies that were buried here may have died of Beri -beri. I am of opinion this ill-chosen site, on which the gaol is built, has an important bearing on the cause of this epidemic. In fairness to the medical authorities of the State of Selangor., I may state that they were not consulted on the choice of this site and were in no way responsible for it. The construction of the gaol was commenced in January, 1893, and was completed and occupied, with the exception of the Infirmary, in January 1895. The Infirmary was completed and occupied on 23rd April, 1895, so that between January and April, 1895, the sick prisoners were treated in the Old Gaol Infirmary. At the time of the removal of the prisoners to the New Gaol, on January 1st, 1895, the various gaol yards had not been levelled and these were subsequently done by the prisoners.