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A mental hospital was built in Batu 3, Jalan Skudai, Johor Bahru. The hospital was named Mental Asylum but it was better known as Hospital Gila Batu 3. This site is now a major commercial and residential area. Before the hospital was built, all patients with mental illness went to Woodbridge Hospital in Singapore for treatment.


The hospital name was changed to Lunatic Asylum.


HRH Al-Marhum Sultan Ibrahim had ordered for the hospital to be relocated. PMO, Dr G.H Garlick found a suitable area and the construction for the new hospital started by Dobb Company from England.


The hospital construction was completed and the cost was RM 1,618,100.00. It was officiated on 30th October 1937. The hospital area is 635 acres but the built up area is only 110 acres. The hospital is 16km from Johor Bahru town. The hospital was renamed as Johor Mental Hospital.


World War II

Singapore was bombed on 8th December 1941. The Australian army and staff had moved to Singapore a week before the Japanese army invaded Johor Bahru.

During the Japanese invasion, the hospital was operating as usual and it had provided shelter for victims of the war.

The Japanese invasion was an unforgettable tragedy when the Hospital director, Dr Perinbam and Dr. S.D Luther was brutally murdered in front of the hospital staff.


The British was back in power. They had took over the hospital and converted it to Jungle Squad headquarter.


The hospital started re-hiring staff.


1st April 1952, the hospital began it operation post war. Dr Ratnasamy, followed by Dr David Lennox became the medical superintendent. Dr D. Lennox is the first psychiatrist in the hospital. He had made a lot of change in treatment for mental illness.


The Honourable, Tun Sardon Hj. Zubir, the Minister in Ministry of Health had officially named the hospital as Hospital Permai.


In March 2012, Hospital Permai had moved into a new location in Persiaran Kempas Baru.

Hospital Permai began to shift towards new direction. The numbers of beds was markedly reduced. Patient’s treatment is more focused in the community. Rehabilitation program such as Supported Employment and Social Enterprise are the highlight. This new rehabilitation approaches have attracted many agencies from all over Malaysia as well as outside Malaysia such as Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Indonesia and South Korea