PETALING JAYA: Lim Kit Siang today expressed shock that a road in Selangor was renamed after a renowned historian and wonders if the state would also rename another street in the state after a prominent unionist.
In a statement, the party supremo said he did not object to a street being renamed after prominent historian Prof Khoo Kay Kim, who died in May.
However, he wondered what had come of DAP’s suggestion to rename Jalan Barat here to Jalan Dr V David.
“I was shocked by the announcement by Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari to rename Jalan Semangat in Petaling Jaya to Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim, not because of any objection to the honour bestowed on the prominent historian but because it raises the question as to what has happened to the DAP suggestion for quite some time that Jalan Barat in Petaling Jaya be renamed Jalan Dr V David.”
Lim said David had played an instrumental role in getting Malaysia to adopt May Day as a workers’ holiday.
“We await clarification from the Selangor menteri besar,” he said, adding that DAP-led Penang had honoured illustrious political leaders, with Karpal Singh Drive, Jalan Ahmad Nor, Jalan P Patoo and Jalan Chian Heng Kai.
The Selangor sultan, Amirudin said, had approved the name change for Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim.
Khoo, one of Malaysia’s most prolific historians, was also part of the committee which drafted the Rukun Negara, the five principles that charted Malaysia’s national philosophy in the wake of the 1969 riots.
David meanwhile, who was known as “King David” in local and international trade union circles, was secretary-general for the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) as well as the Transport Workers Union.
David was best known for setting up the Workers Institute of Technology (WIT) in Port Klang in the early 1970s, which has provided education opportunities for thousands of workers’ children over the years.
Internationally, he served as the executive board member of the International Transport Federation and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, and represented Malaysian workers at numerous International Labour Organisation (ILO) conferences.
He also served as an MP in several constituencies, including Bangsar and Puchong.
David, who was detained under the Internal Security Act thrice, including after the May 13 racial riots, died in 2005.
Perak govt mulls naming road after late prof Khoo Kay Kim
In Tanjung Malim today, Perak menteri besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said the state government will consider any proposal to name a road after Khoo Kay Kim.
Ahmad Faizal said the renaming of the road would be done once a proposal was received. “We have absolutely no doubt about the magnanimity of the services rendered (to the country) by the late (Khoo), in fact, if there are proposals to do so, it will most certainly be considered,” he told Bernama.