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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari has clarified that the decision to allow bilingual road signs with Chinese characters in Shah Alam was made in 2017 before he took over the state’s administration.
He said in a Berita Harian report today that the matter was also not brought to the Selangor state executive council to be decided before it was implemented.
“But I have checked, it was never brought to the Exco (Selangor State Executive Council). But there was a proposal in the meeting of the Permanent Committee on Local Government. That matter was brought (in the meeting) and considered as policy and implemented,” he was quoted as saying by the local daily’s portal.
Amirudin, who was sworn in as mentri besar on June 19 this year, was responding to questions on how the road signs featuring Chinese characters could be approved without the Selangor government being notified.
The previous Selangor mentri besar was Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is currently economic affairs minister.
According to Berita Harian, Amirudin said the Selangor government will comply with the Selangor Sultan’s November 19 decree for bilingual road signs featuring both Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia to be replaced with signs in Bahasa Malaysia only before the state ruler’s 73rd birthday on December 11.
Amirudin said he had asked Selangor exco member Ng Sze Han, who currently chairs the Permanent Committee on Local Government, Public Transportation and New Village Development, to review the policy on road signs to avoid the same issue from recurring.
The Shah Alam City Council had prior to the decree explained that the existence of the dual-language road signs with either the Jawi script or Chinese characters were in line with the Selangor government’s Permanent Committee on Local Government’s 2017 decision based on the locations of the road signs.
It was referring to the Selangor government’s permanent committee’s January 13, 2017 decision that besides using the Latin script in dual-language road signs, Jawi script would be used in traditional villages and Chinese characters in “new villages”.
But the Shah Alam City Council had on November 20 said it upholds the Selangor Sultan’s decree and will replace road signs with those only in Bahasa Malaysia, adding that the dismantling work for such signs was being carried out in stages and expected to be completed soon.