THE decision by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to rename eight major roads has not gone down well with city folk.
In a statement by DBKL, well-known roads such as Jalan Duta, Jalan Ipoh and Lebuhraya Mahameru will be changed to reflect the names of past Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The installation of new signboards is expected to begin today.
As the news broke early yesterday morning, city folk took to social media to vent their disbelief and frustration.
Some questioned the need for the renaming exercise in the first place, while others lamented that the renaming of the roads would affect mapping and navigational apps for mobile users.
The GPS mapping software for Malaysia is updated every three months as the geographical information changes with new roads and highways built to connect the city to other parts of the country.
Facebook user Yiu King Ng said road names should be made short and simple for drivers to know where to go.
“Writing letters to those addresses also would be a hassle. Hopefully, DBKL will reconsider their decision and keep it simple,” he said.
Another user, Adrian Amalraj, said the names of these roads were part of Kuala Lumpur’s history.
“I suggest DBKL change those less-familiar roads in KL to the new names. Even the businesses along these roads would have to update their mailing addresses and business cards,” he said.
Twitter user @chrisven11 said it would be harder for people to remember the longer names.
“From short and easy-to-remember road names to longer road names is not wise”
Another user, @ANISbettyAZMAN, said the renaming would create a lot of confusion.
“Changing road names. I don't see the need for it. Plus, how are you going to explain to people not used to KL?” she said.
Meanwhile, Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng said while he respected all the previous rulers, he suggested the society can honour their names for new roads instead of changing the names of existing roads.
"This can avoid confusion among the public and additional taxpayers’ money for changing the signboards," he said.
He said some of the eight roads are historical and iconic as they have been well-known for a long time.
"The Cabinet should perform a referendum to find out what the public thinks of this move.
"They should be given a chance to have a say in this," he said when contacted yesterday.
Bukit Bandaraya Residents Association chairman Datuk M. Ali questioned why stakeholders were not engaged when such a proposal to change major road names was put forth.
"Why keep it hush-hush and DBKL suddenly made the announcement? DBKL and the government should have been transparent and not announce it two days before implementation," he said.
He also questioned if this would incur a huge cost and affect the city's coffers to change the old signboards and road signs.
Jalan Duta will now be called Jalan Tunku Abdul Halim while Jalan Khidmat Usaha will be referred to as Jalan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.
Jalan Ipoh, which is the stretch from Jalan Segambut to Jalan Pahang, has been renamed Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah.
Of the other roads, Persiaran Duta will now be referred to as Persiaran Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin while Jalan Khidmat Setia and Jalan Ibadah will be known as Jalan Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.
Lebuhraya Mahameru will have its name changed to Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar, Persiaran Mahameru to Persiaran Tuanku Ja’afar and Jalan Semarak to Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra.
When contacted, a DBKL spokesman said the renaming was per the Cabinet’s decision, declining to elaborate.
A similar outcry had erupted in 2008 when DBKL attempted to rename Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang to Jalan Kejora without consulting the traders and residents. The attempt was dropped following severe criticism.