Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jalan Alor no more

Malaysia has a fondness for changing street names. History of the nation is being wiped out slowly but surely. The latest casualty of this history-wiping exercise is Jalan Alor in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The street name, Jalan Alor, has been around for decades.

This street that runs parallel to yet another famous street, Jalan Bukit Bintang, is well-known by locals and foreigners alike. Jalan Alor is a food street and when night falls, the entire street comes alive with both human and vehicle traffic.

Jalan Alor serves one of the best Chinese food in Kuala Lumpur and some of the food-stalls and restaurants have been here for more than thirty years passing down the business from generation to generation. (The word Jalan is local for Street or Road.)

Yes, the famous Jalan Alor has been renamed according to The Star on Saturday. It is now known as Jalan Kejora. This change renders foodstall and restaurant names with "Jalan Alor" or "Alor" irrelevant. The owners of Nasi Lemak Alor Corner and the Alor Kai Yik (chicken wings) are among business-owners who are unhappy with the change.


The Star again headlined this issue today highlighting that Yahoo! returns more than 900,000 results. Indeed, it is that famous.

Yet, Kuala Lumpur City Hall is adamant that changing the name to Jalan Kejora - a move that has sparked a public outcry - is the right thing to do.

.....Another one bites the dust!

14 comments:

  1. I don't see why they need to change street names when there are more dire changes needed!!! It's the same with heritage buildings...is there a need to obliterate them?? Should we not be proud and preserve a piece of history of what's left...

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  2. Just out of curiosity, why DID they change the name?

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  3. The government says the new name will give the street a new image, but I don't see how. Anybody knows what 'kejora' means?

    'Kejora' is supposedly the name of a star. But heck, I don't know that. How do you expect foreign tourists to know?

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  4. They say kejora means venus...I also didn't know until I heard it from someone else. No tourists will understand what it means!

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  5. MBL, I think it has something to do with not wanting colonial history. I can understand we want to honour local dignitaries but sadly at the expense of losing some of the country's history.

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  6. MM, according to the authorities, they want to give the area a new image by renaming the roads with names of planets and the like. Frankly, I don't see how that could help when the names are in the local language.

    Kejora is the Malay word for Venus. There is in the vicinity one called Moon Street or Road, and another Star Hill Street. There's even one called Chestnut Street and various other non-related names but they have been there for ages. There are worse things that need fixing than changing road names for sure.

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  7. KS, the names in the local language will mean nothing to tourists whereas Jalan Alor is well-known to them. Things the authorities do, we will never understand. Oh well..

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  8. MBL, yes, Kejora is Venus and sadly it would mean nothing to tourists like what I told KS. How that is going to improve the image of the area beats me.

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  9. read about this. ive rarely been to jalan alor, but i am surprised with the name change too. wonder if this is the firsts for many?

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  10. QC, you mean the latest of many? So many road names in KL have been changed to local names already and up till today, I am still not familiar with most of the new names and I still refer to them by their former name.

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  11. oh my, i didnt know. but why are they doing so?

    act it has happened to malacca... lots of names have been changed. but some places they put both names - the old and new.

    eventually, ppl will sort of forget and get used to. unless its brought up in the elections?

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  12. Obliterating colonial history is the way I see it.

    At least they realise enough to put both the old and the new names alongside each other.

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  13. I think it's such a stupid idea to change a famous name. Why fix it if it's not broken? And I don't like this idea of naming roads after the planetary system. It's so irrelevant to that particular place.

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  14. Foong, my sentiments exactly. Let's hope for the best outcome from their review of their initial decision.

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