KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 — The controversial renaming of eight major roads here after the Malay rulers is purely to honour the former heads of state and not part of any Malay agenda, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
Taking to Twitter to address the growing furore over the move, Khairy pointed out that the Malay rulers selected were those previously elected as Yang di-Pertuan Agong and deserving of the commemoration.
“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state for all Malaysians. Why link the effort to rename major roads in KL after them to the Malay agenda?” he wrote on this @khairykj account.
“Previously it was Batu Road. This became Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Eventually people accepted it. There is no problem,” he added.
The youth and sports minister explained that the decision was made by the Cabinet “months ago”, and that there should be no issue with the move.
Khairy also contrasted the current outcry to Penang’s renaming of a newly-built seafront promenade after the late Karpal Singh, the DAP leader killed in a car accident earlier this year.
“Everybody was relaxed when the Sungai Pinang promenade in Penang became Karpal Singh Drive. Now when renaming roads after heads of state, Twitterjaya is all bothered!” he remarked.
Malaysians have set social networks abuzz with bouquets and brickbats over Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) renaming of eight major roads and byways after Malay rulers.
While some users have lauded the move, the majority of the comments have questioned the necessity of the changes and the lack of public consultation prior to the decision.
Others have also alleged of attempts to reintroduce feudalism in the renaming.
The renaming process will start tomorrow with the installation of new road signs by DBKL.
The roads that will be renamed are Jalan Duta to Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim, Jalan Khidmat Usaha to Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, Jalan Ipoh (between Jalan Segambut and Jalan Pahang intersections) to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Persiaran Duta to Persiaran Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, Jalan Khidmat Setia and Jalan Ibadah to Jalan Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, Lebuhraya Mahameru to Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar, Persiaran Mahameru to Persiaran Tuanku Ja’afar, and Jalan Semarak to Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.