Malaysiakini Letter

Rename Jalan Barat to honour V David

P Uthayakumar  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | The Selangor menteri besar rightly decided to rename Jalan Semangat in Petaling Jaya to Jalan Prof Khoo Kay Kim within weeks of the latter’s demise.

The Selangor government renamed the road in honour of the prominent historian.

In a statement, Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah consented to the change.

Amirudin said Khoo was a nationalist and a patriot who wrote many important historical texts which are now considered part of the canon of Malaysian history.

Jalan Semangat was located in Section 14, near Universiti Malaya where Khoo used to teach.

Khoo passed away on May 28 at the age of 82.

But akin to the Umno era, Pakatan Harapan, which has been in power for 12 years in Selangor and now 14 months in Putrajaya, has refused to rename Jalan Barat (also in Petaling Jaya) to Jalan Dr V David Vethamuthu.

Perhaps DAP, too, has forgotten to remember their former life member.

Jalan Barat was the location for the late David’s union office. It was from this office that he charted the history of the Malaysian labour movement.

Many Malaysians probably would not know that David, who passed away in 2005, played an instrumental role in getting Malaysia to adopt May Day as a workers' holiday. He fought for many years before the Malaysian government gazetted May 1 as a public holiday.

He was also a four-term MP, having served the constituents in Bangsar (Kuala Lumpur), Dato’ Keramat (Penang), Damansara (Kuala Lumpur) and Puchong (Selangor).

In 1959, David became the then youngest member of the Malaysian parliament at the age of 26 when he won the Bangsar parliament seat in the elections.

In 1958, the unionist was arrested under the Emergency Ordinance. He was also detained under the Internal Security Act in 1964, 1969 (after the May 13 incident) and 1987.

Hindraf 2.0 calls upon Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to intervene in this matter and to rename Jalan Barat to Jalan Dr V David.

The writer is the de facto leader of Hindraf 2.0.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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