PUTRAJAYA, Oct 1 — Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today he was prepared to listen to feedback from the Federal Territories Committee on Geographical Names in considering alternatives for the renaming of a road in Kuala Lumpur after Palestine.
“I have asked the city mayor to look into and discuss with the committee under the Federal Territories Ministry several options as to whether it is suitable to choose another road without renaming Jalan Raja Laut 1.
“These are my recommendations and views. I am also prepared to hear their feedback on the matter,” he told reporters at a press conference here.
Annuar also stressed that he did not encourage for roads linked with historical significance and the nation’s struggle to be renamed, adding that there were several other ‘irrelevant’ road names such as those in English which still existed in the city centre.
“I don’t want the polemic against the renaming of the roads to be made an issue and the committee is provided an opportunity to reconsider if there are other roads which could be renamed,” he said, adding that he was leaving it to the committee to decide.
Annuar also sought to dispel public confusion, adding that the Jalan Raja Laut 1 that was renamed was just a short stretch of road adjacent to the main Jalan Raja Laut roadway.
“The decision to rename the road was initially proposed in 2019, by my predecessor who had recommended to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) which had then submitted its application to the committee under the ministry.
“Following the proposal, a letter was sent to the Foreign Ministry for its views and it too approved for the name change but at the same time suggested for roads other than Jalan Raja Laut be renamed.
“However, the committee then approved for Jalan Raja Laut 1 to be changed. At the time when the road renaming was proposed, the committee was in the opinion that the renaming would not affect our recognition towards Jalan Raja Laut,” he said.
The first official announcement — of the renaming of Jalan Raja Laut 1 as Jalan Palestin — was made by the Federal Territories Ministry on September 26 night, with DBKL then confirming the news on September 27 afternoon.
In a post on its official Facebook page on September 26, the Federal Territories Ministry had announced the renaming of the road with a simple remark stating: “Good job DBKL! Do you know Jalan Raja Laut 1 is now known as Jalan Palestin as a symbolic of us opposing and fighting for the freedom of Palestine from the Zionist Israel regime.”
DBKL said the process to identify a suitable road to be named Jalan Palestin took a while as it had to be done meticulously, going through the usual necessary procedure for the naming of roads, adding that the name change for Jalan Raja Laut 1 to Jalan Palestin took effect from September 26.
This is not the first time that roads have been renamed in Kuala Lumpur. In 2014, for example, eight major roads in the city were renamed after eight rulers who were the current and former Yang di-Pertuan Agong at that time.