Multilingual road signs put up to boost Penang's tourism

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 22 Nov 2008

GEORGE TOWN: Lebuh Acheh and Lebuh Carnarvon are the first streets here to display the much-debated multilingual signboards.

While maintaining their Bahasa Malaysia versions, the four signboards along Lebuh Acheh have translations in Arabic, Chinese and Tamil while the Lebuh Carnarvon one includes a Chinese translation.

Implemented in phases, the project recently came under fire from certain quarters.

New attraction: Visitors to Lebuh Acheh in Penang will be able to see one of the much-debated multilingual signboards.

On Nov 4, Pahang accountant Nik Rizman Sapian filed an injunction at a High Court here to stop the Penang Municipal Council from putting up the multilingual signboards.

He claimed that the move would jeopardise the position of Bahasa Malaysia as the country’s national language.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who unveiled the signboards yesterday, said the state was merely adding other languages in the signboards while retaining Bahasa Malaysia in deference to it being the national language.

This was part of its efforts to boost Penang’s tourism and promote George Town as a place which welcomed everyone, just like in an airport, he added.

On the project’s critics, he said: “We don’t want to be racists like them. A leopard can’t change its spots.

“Let them continue to live under the coconut shell. We don’t have to follow them.”

He said each name plate cost RM150 while the pole cost another RM150, adding that some signboards retained their original poles.

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