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Saturday October 18, 2008

Jalan Alor folk unhappy with name change

ONE of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular hawker hotspots has got to be Jalan Alor. Like it or not, its name has always been associated with the food sold there.

However, that name was changed early this week by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to Jalan Kejora, leaving many traders and residents furious at the move.

“Why must they change the name when it is already popularly known among the locals and tourists?” fruitseller Loke Yew said.

Loke had been trading along the road for the past 35 years selling local fruits and drinks.

Shocking move: The name change caught traders and residents by surprise.

“I saw a lorry coming by on Tuesday afternoon, we thought they were changing the old signages to a new one, but when we saw the road had been renamed we were shocked,

“You can’t change a name overnight without proper planning, just like how you can’t change a person’s name as you like,” Loke said.

Trader Azmi Aznal, whose family have operated a nasi lemak stall on the pavement at the Jalan Alor junction for more than 26 years, is also joining in the protest to keep Jalan Alor’s name intact.

“Even my stall is called Nasi Lemak Alor Corner and now City Hall has changed the road name for no apparent reason, how are tourists going to find my stall?

“Does that also mean I should change my stall’s name too,” Azmi asked.

The 28-year-old who runs the business with his parents and siblings said Jalan Alor is a name that is already marked on the map and most tourists who visit the country would definitely make a stop there as delicacies from all races are found along the popular road.

One of the most popular stalls along the road, especially for those partying late into the night, has got to be Wong Ah Wah’s barbecued chicken wings.

“We are known as Alor Kai Yik (chicken wings) by some and, now that the name has been taken away, how are the tourists going to find us?,” said Wong Mew Chan, 55, who runs the stall from 5pm to 4am daily.

Banker Lim Gim Teik, 25, said he would often stop by the stalls whenever he was in the area at dinner time.

“Everyone in my family knows the stalls so well and even cab drivers know it without having to direct them,

“It makes no sense changing the name,” Lim said.

Australian tourists Jenny O’Connor and Caitlin Coppock said the street was an awesome sight at night and they looked forward to visiting the stalls.

“Every country has this sort of eating area somewhere and tourists like us enjoy visiting. With the new name, it would definitely confuse some of us when trying to find the place in the future,” O’Connor said.

Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun is conducting a signature campaign with residents and traders on Jalan Alor which he would submit during a meeting with the mayor next week.

Jalan Alor’s name was changed at the request of the National Economic Action Council following decisions made in its exco meeting.

With regard to that, DBKL’s Road Naming Committee concluded in its meeting that the name of Jalan Alor be changed to Jalan Kejora to go with other roads in the vicinity named after the stars.

The change is also to meet requirements under the road naming guidelines.

However, the old name of Jalan Alor will still be shown on the signage to prevent confusion.

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