Decision to retain Chetty Padang’s heritage made after taking into account stakeholders’ input

The refurbished Chetty Padang as seen from Jalan Kota in Klang.

THE controversy sparked by Klang Municipal Council’s (MPK) unilateral decision to rename Chetty Padang appears to have been settled, with the recreational field’s original moniker likely to be retained in some form.

Selangor infrastructure and public amenities, agriculture modernisation and agro-based industry committee chairman Izham Hashim said there were plans to retain the area’s heritage following discussions with stakeholders.

“We are coming up with an acceptable or compromise name while retaining the heritage,” he said.

Izham told StarMetro that Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari would make the announcement but stopped short of confirming a date.

“The Selangor government has discussed with stakeholders and the issues have been ironed out.

“We discussed Chetty Padang’s name change at the Selangor Economic Council meeting and it was brought to the weekly State Executive Council meeting around three weeks ago to decide on the matter,” he said after attending the Entrepreneurial Development programme at Shah Alam City Council’s (MBSA) auditorium.

Izham added that the state understands its heritage value and need to retain the name.

StarMetro had previously highlighted the issue where former athletes, politicians and Klang folk had objected to the new name — Dataran Majlis Perbandaran Klang.

They complained that they were not given an opportunity to give their views on the matter after MPK announced the change.

After the chorus of disapproval grew louder, the council decided to take down the “Dataran Majlis Perbandaran Klang” sign on the archway at the refurbished field known to locals as Chetty Padang in Jalan Bukit Jawa, Klang.

The sign was taken down on June 4.

Chetty Padang, which was a training ground for many local athletes, got its name from Chettiar merchants of India’s Tamil Nadu who sold salt in bullock carts at the field in the 1940s.

They were also involved in the moneylending business across the field at Jalan Raya Barat, Klang.

Additionally, the 150-year-old Sri Nagara Thandayuthapani Hindu Temple and the Nattukotai Chettiar townhouse on one side of the field are managed by the Chettiar community.

The 1.34ha field had undergone a much-needed facelift, with the construction of a 3m-wide walkway, a maze and fountains, which was completed in May.

Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry special task force council member N.P. Raman said it was time for the Chetty Padang name to be restored as that was what locals called it.

“We are Malaysians living in a multicultural nation.

“Chetty Padang is a name that has character and history — it will unify our township, state and nation rather than divide it.

“We hope Selangor government will restore the name and not ignore the historical facts,” added Raman.

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