JALAN Bayu Mutiara in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, is now known as Jalan Chian Heng Kai.
The road was renamed after the late Datuk Chian Heng Kai, who was a two-term DAP Bukit Mertajam MP.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the stretch of road connecting Jalan Bukit Tengah and Jalan Song Ban Kheng, is one of the major roads in Bukit Mertajam.
“Although Chian was from Muar, Johor, but we still renamed a road in Bukit Mertajam after him to recognise his contributions to the people of Bukit Mertajam and his fight for students in Chinese schools to be taught their mother tongue,” he said in his speech before opening the renamed road recently.
Lim said Chian joined DAP in 1966 and was once the vice-chairman of the party.
“He won the parliamentary seat in Batu Gajah, Perak, in 1978 and had been elected as the Bukit Mertajam MP for two continuous terms since 1986.
“He was a great fighter who fought for mother tongue to be taught in schools and because of his struggle, he was detained under the Internal Security Act in 1976 and jailed for almost five years.
“I hope that the younger gene-ration could follow Chian as a role model, especially his strong spirit, firm principles and his love to the nation,” he said.
He added that Chian passed away in May 14, 2011, and was laid to rest in his hometown in Johor.
Chian’s wife Datin Tan Chui Swee thanked the state government for remembering her late husband’s contributions.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the state would consider naming new roads or renaming existing roads, not only after politicians but also leaders in the society who had contributed to the state.
Also present at the ceremony were Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang, DAP adviser Dr Chen Man Hin, state executive councillors Chong Eng, Lim Hock Seng and Phee Boon Poh, Senator Ariffin Omar, Seberang Prai Municipal Council president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif and Chian’s children.
Several roads in Penang have been renamed after DAP leaders and MPs since Pakatan Rakyat took over Penang in 2008.
In August 2011, a new 800m-long road in Raja Uda, Butterworth, was named after former Bagan MP P. Patto, who had died of a heart attack.
A seafront promenade in Sungai Pinang was also renamed from Lebuh Sungai Pinang to Persia-ran Karpal Singh after the former DAP chairman was killed in a road accident on April 17 last year.
A new road connecting Jalan Jelutong and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway was named Jalan Ahmad Nor, who was the first Malay MP to represent DAP for the Bayan Baru seat in 1990, which he won the same year.