Squabbling over road names!.......Don't people have better things to do? That was the controversy in Penang and Perak recently. Or is it because this two states are opposition controlled states that the main stream media finds it worthy to have the controversies flashed in the news?
Some names of roads in this country have been in existence since pre-independence, and in most instance, roads are named after important personalities or places through which the road travesed.
In Kuala Lumpur for example, we have road names like Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (formally Batu Road), named after the country's first King, and Jalan Tun Sambanthan (formally Brickfields Road), named after MIC's first President and a national leader. We also have Jalan Cheras and Jalan Klang Lama named after places.
Prior to independence, Kuala Lumpur had many roads named after British government officials e.g. Maxwell Road, Kenny Road, Hicks Road, Perry Road and others. The same goes to major towns like Penang, Malacca and Ipoh. Who exactly were they that the British authorities found it deserving to have roads named after them? They must be officials of great importance. However, these road names had over various periods of time being changed to Malaysian names, thus erasing a piece of our country's history, though many may say that it is of little significance.
Recently in Perak, there was a proposal by the local authorities to change the road name 'Jalan Silibin' to 'Jalan P. Patto'. As usual, this proposal became hugely controversial, supposedly because the late P. Patto was associated with the DAP. I just wonder, what will be the public reaction if the road were to be named Jalan Megat Jonid? I would appear that even naming or renaming of roads in the blessed country must have a political leaning.
In Penang, it was for a different reason. The Penang local authorities wanted to include other languages as well to the road name, but retaining the original road name. Again, there was public outcry.
Since naming of roads can be contentious among sensitive Malaysian, I would therefore like to proposed that future naming of roads be dedicated to the heroes of the country; those who had sacrificed their lives in defence of the country during the period of the World Wars, Malayan/Malaysian Emergencies and Confrontation. Here, I would refer specifically to our worriers from the security forces; but definitely not the kind of hero that one Penang UMNO Division had named recently or one that had won a medal at the Olympics.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 5.33pm on Nov 23,2008