In Australian English, Malabar Hilton is a familiar name given to the Long Bay Correctional Complex, a correctional facility located in Malabar, Sydney, New South Wales.
—Cf. Jesus Hilton, a familiar name given to St Vincent’s Private Hospital, in Darlinghurst, an inner suburb of Sydney, New South Wales.
These are the earliest occurrences of Malabar Hilton that I have found, in chronological order:
1-: From the column Things We Hear, edited by Kevin Perkins, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 22nd August 1982:
Gem of a postscript in the catalogue of events surrounding Harry M. Miller 1, the man whose entrepreneurial flair shines through, even during a slight period of repose at the Malabar Hilton. In a written denial to prison officials that his bull sale printing was done in Long Bay, Miller pointed out: “I am a man of integrity.” Later he owned up to the printing. Meanwhile, the Miller fan club rolls on, though perhaps with not quite the same insouciance. Sydney writer Denis O’Brien is half way through a Miller biography.
1 Harry M. Miller (1934-2018) was a New-Zealand born Australian promoter, publicist and media agent. In 1982, he was found guilty of aiding and abetting the misappropriation of $728,000 in funds, and sentenced to three years in jail.
2-: From Slipper! (Sydney: Prospect Publishing, 1988), by Clive Galea (born 1933)—as quoted by Gerald Alfred Wilkes (1927-2020) in A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms (Sydney University Press in association with Oxford University Press Australia, 1990):
‘If ever two young tearaways were destined for a return visit to the Malabar Hilton it was us.’
3-: From the column Back Page, edited by Candace Sutton, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 4th August 1991:
Disgraced medical entrepreneur Geoffrey Edelsten 2 emerged from Long Bay jail on Friday with a new hair colour, new suit and a cholesterol problem. Edelsten, now on a vegetarian diet to ebb a level which soared from 5.6 to 9.5 on Malabar Hilton fare, recalls one incident when the prison pasta was so disgusting the inmates threw it into the yard and the jail had to bring in Kentucky Fried Chicken. “The spaghetti was floating in three inches of fat,” recalled an appalled Edelsten.
2 Geoffrey Edelsten (born 1943) is an Australian medical entrepreneur. In 1990, he was convicted for perverting the course of justice and soliciting an assault.
4-: From Innocent man’s 11-month jail ordeal, in the column Murphy’s Law, by Chris Murphy, “a leading Sydney criminal lawyer”, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 8th December 1991—in January 1991, John Norman Watkin had been wrongfully charged over a $52,000 bank robbery:
Where was Watkin when the robbery was taking place at 4.40pm? He had been fulfilling a requirement of enforced regular attendance at a government facility colloquially called the Malabar Hilton.
5-: From the column Back Page, edited by Candace Sutton, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 10th January 1993:
Affable NSW Justice Minister Wayne Merton 3 says his predecessors boasted of selling Long Bay and Parramatta jails but he really intends to do it. Michael Yabsley 4 made a big noise about turning the Bay into a Club Med-style resort and Terry Griffiths 5 splashed on the front page with his plans. Merton claims he will see the Malabar Hilton turned into housing. Developers need only apply.
3 Wayne Merton (born 1943), New South Wales Minister for Justice from 22nd October 1992 to 26th May 1993.
4 Michael Yabsley (born 1956), New South Wales Minister for Corrective Services from 24th July 1990 to 6th June 1991, New South Wales Minister for Tourism from 6th June 1991 to 24th June 1992.
5 Terence Griffiths (1944-2009), New South Wales Minister for Justice from 28th June 1991 to 23rd September 1992.
6-: From In Brief, in the column Murphy’s Law, by Chris Murphy, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 7th March 1993:
My brother’s keeper: Shortly after solicitor Chris Watson’s former client Ian Saxon pleaded what they call the PanAm defence and took flight from the Malabar Hilton on Tuesday, the prisoner’s brother, for no apparent reason, lost access to his lawyers when he was shanghaied by prison authorities and taken to Maitland jail.
7-: From Failure of the quick fix, in the column Murphy’s Law, by Chris Murphy, published in The Sun-Herald (Sydney, New South Wales) of Sunday 5th November 1995:
On Tuesday it took three strong flat whites [= three cups of white tea] to revive me after a yarn with an old customer in the excellent Lifestyles education bunker for selected HIV positive prisoners at Long Bay. The narrow pleasant compound shares a sunny little yard with the suicide section. Suicide prisoners have psychiatric problems or want to die because they have been plunged into an abyss by a long sentence.
The pleasant prisoner picked up HIV on the heroin-peddling crime cycle. He pays his way painting Bad Boys Club and Malabar Hilton tee-shirts, making pottery and is learning how to eat and care for his health and the rest of his life. If drugs had been prescribed and his problems counselled this now insightful young man would never have seen a jail cell.