With the stroke of the pen, the Ipoh City Council had wiped out the nation’s appreciation to a police officer who gave his life in the fight against communist terrorists - making this outrage and a slur to the memory of Koo Chong Kong not just an Ipoh or Perak issue but a national concern for all right-thinking Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.
Koo Choo Kong, who was the Perak chief police officer, was shot and killed on November 13, 1975 by two terrorists, who were subsequently arrested, tried and hanged.
Koo gave his life in the service of the country despite death threats by the communist terrorists, and he was accorded a hero’s funeral attended by some 20,000 people, including the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and the then Inspector-General of Police, Tun Haniff Omar.
The road leading to the Perak state police headquarters was named after Koo, and for it to be renamed Jalan Tabung Haji except for a short insignificant stretch of the side lane still named after him, is to dishonour the memory and history of Koo’s sacrifices for the country.
The Ipoh City Councillors should all have been required to undergo a history lesson of Ipoh, Perak and Malaysia in particular the history of the personalities who had been honoured with Ipoh roads named after them. Haniff Omar had related how, despite knowing that the communist terrorists wanted him dead, Koo accepted the transfer from Sarawak to Perak to lead the fight against the communist terrorists.
None of the Ipoh City Councillors could come near Koo in terms of patriotism, contribution and service to the country and it is outrageous that they should try to desecrate the memory of patriots who had made the country safe and sound for them.
As the desecration of the memory of the former Perak Chief Police Officer died in the cause of service of the nation is a grave national issue of public importance, Parliament at its meeting tomorrow should make its outrage loud and clear to the Ipoh City Council and the Perak State Government - and the demand that Jalan Koo Chong Kong should be fully restored.
If Tajol Rosli is not prepared to act immediately by sacking the entire Ipoh City Council, the Cabinet on Wednesday should issue a clear directive not only for the restoration of Jalan Koo Chong Kong but to the Perak Mentri Besar to dissolve the Ipoh City Council - as a lesson to all city, municipal and district councillors to guard against the ultimate Malaysian offence of total insensitivity and lack of pride and respect for Malaysian history and the country’s multi-racial heritage.