Villagers up in arms over sick joke

Lot 2947, Kampung Bukit Naga in Shah Alam, which became the subject of unwanted attention after it was labelled with an offensive name on Google Maps. — Pictures by Razak Ghazali
Lot 2947, Kampung Bukit Naga in Shah Alam, which became the subject of unwanted attention after it was labelled with an offensive name on Google Maps. — Pictures by Razak Ghazali

SHAH ALAM, Aug 4 — A quiet, nondescript alley in the heart of a century-old village has found itself in the centre of a storm because of an offensive and derogatory name.

On Wednesday, images began to circulate on social media showing the alley with its derogatory name on a road sign. It was even on Waze and Google Maps. 

By yesterday evening, the name was removed from the smartphone apps. 

Dusk had begun to settle by the time the Malay Mail team arrived at Kampung Bukit Naga in Section 32. 

The alley, about 100m long, has nine houses, including two under construction.

Retired agriculture researcher Ngaspan Sardan, 65, has lived at the end of the lane for almost 20 years. 

Originally from Tanjong Karang, he moved to the village in the 1980’s. 

Ngaspan said he was approached by a Chinese-language newspaper reporter earlier  as he was leaving his house for prayers at the nearby mosque, who informed him about the issue.

“This alley has no name; it is simply called Lot 2947 by the residents. By the time I arrived at the mosque, it was on everybody’s lips,” he said.

His wife, Norbayah Ramli, 61, said she has seen several cars driving by the alley throughout the day, filled with people who appeared to be non-local residents, taking pictures or gawking.

Village head Buang Ismail, 57, was first alerted about the matter at about 3pm yesterday, when an engineer from the District Department contacted him.

“She asked whether such a road existed, much to my shock. Shortly after that, I was contacted by the Shah Alam Municipal Council (MBSA) as well as the Klang district head, who asked the same thing,” he said.

Village headman Buang.
Village headman Buang.

Having led the village for nine years, Buang said Kampung Bukit Naga celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

“Lot 2947’s proposed name is supposed to be Lorong Haji Mydin, after one of the residents here. It is one of 40 alleys connected to Jalan Rezab Buang, which runs through the village,” he said.

“We began installing road signs in 2012 for all the alleys but we stopped in 2014 as it became too expensive, and some of the signs had been vandalised.”

The anger in Buang’s voice was palpable as he said the entire issue was “regrettable”.

“This is a major issue. Bad enough part of the name was obscene, but including a racial epithet as well was too much for me,” he said.

“I hope the authorities will investigate the matter down to its roots and take appropriate action. Find the person or persons responsible for this sick attempt at humour, and punish them sufficiently.”

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