Jalan ALor is going to have a name change to Jalan what-have-you.
For those never been to KL, Jalan ALor is a street right next to Jalan Bukit Bintang, the most important Commercial road in the city. It used to be a red light district , but now the street has many hawkers and food stalls and some 2-star and no-star hotels catering to the budget tourists from overseas.
It is a well known street, and in most internal portals on tourism , you will probably find a mention of this street, if the portal talks about Kuala Lumpur. To local, even if we do not go there (I have never been there for so many years except passing by in cars), it is a landmark and a major tourist draw to the night city life. But I am not alien to the street as some of my patients stay in that street.
Now, some little napoleaons cum smart-alecks have decided that the name is too obnoxious and a name change is in order. It is like all your life, your friends have been calling you Jackie, and then suddenly, some power-that-be asks you to change your name to Jieko…or something like that.
It is like changing the name of Kuala Lumpur to Kuda Lari.
What is the rationale of changing such a name? Is it to spend a huge sum of money changing the road signs, official street maps etc… Or is it to satisfy the self important ego of certain napoleons , to be able to cause headaches to traders in that area? And to cause problems to tourists and visitors who might still be using the old name of Alor?
Imagine, you need to inform all your business partners, local or overseas, about the name change. You need to print all your stationary again, your name cards again. You need to be psychologically tuned to a diffferent name,. All at the fancy of one official.
This is the symptoms of a deeper malaise in the local authority, especially DBKL. Since this is a closed service, officials in DBKL have been acting like kings…. Even if they have committed mistakes, they cannot be transferred out, the most they can be transferred is to another department, but still in KL. Even MPs of KL have no say about how things are run, this is how powerful this local authority has become.
The officials have forgotten that this is a people’s government and that the civil service is actually the servants of the people- that is why they are called civil servants. They choose to see it another way. That they are not servants of the people, but arms and legs of the big brother (Kaki Tangan).
After the March 8 election, I have suggested to KL Gerakan that we must push for an elected Mayor. KL residents, unlike their counterparts if other states, have only one vote for the parliamentary seat. They have no DUN seats( State seats). So rightfully, the mayor should be elected, to give the KL residents a chance to exercise their second vote.
An elected mayor would then be more accountable to the people of Kuala Lumpur, and would not change the name to Kuda Lari at his whims and fancies.