I had yesterday asked the Perak DAP State Chairman, Ngeh Koo Ham, to arrange for a meeting with Tajol Rosli today to register our strong protest and outrage, but such a meeting is no more necessary with the latest development on the issue.
Although Tajol tried to make light of the heinous insensitivity of the Ipoh City Council in desecrating the memory of Koo and dishonouring Koo’s family, the police, the King and nation, as Koo was posthumously awarded “Tan Sri” for making the supreme sacrifice of laying down his life in the service of the people and country, claiming that this was an “oversight by certain quarters”, such an attitude is itself a desecration and dishonour to Koo’s memory and sacrifices.
Tajol Rosli should make amends and take the most serious attitude at the heinous insensivity of the Ipoh City Council in desecrating the memory of Koo and dishonouring Koo’s family, the police, the King and nation - and the people of Malaysia and not just the people of Ipoh and Perak want to know how such a colossal mistake could be made by 24 City Councillors.
I had right from the start called on the Perak Mentri Besar to sack the whole Ipoh City Council for the ultimate Malaysian offence of total insensitivity and lack of pride and respect for Malaysian history and the country’s multi-racial heritage when it renamed Jalan Koo Chong Kong as Jalan Tabung Haji.
Tajol Rosli may think that sacking the the entire Ipoh City Council is probably too heavy a punishment, but if so, he must impose a penalty on the 24 City Councillors commensurate with their colossal blunder - and they should not be allowed to go completely unpunished as a lesson to all councillors, present and future, in Ipoh and other parts of Perak as well as the country.
Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Talaat Husain had said: “Let us not deal with the reasons as to why the road was renamed. It it is a long story. What is more important (is that) we we are sensitive to the feelings of the people.”
Talaat Husain cannot be more wrong. The only way to be really sensitive to the feelings of the people who have been offended by the desecration of Koo’s memory and service is to tell the whole story - however long it is - as to how such a colossal blunder could happen, so that it would not ever recur again.
And what is the Ipoh City Council doing as recompense for the colossal blunder, apart from complying with the directive from the Perak Mentri Besar to restore Jalan Koo Chong Kong?
Are the 24 Ipoh City Councillors prepared to show their regret and contrition by adopting an unanimous motion of apology to Koo’s memory and family, the police, the King and nation, as well as establish another memorial to perpetuate the memory and sacrifice of Koo in the Ipoh City Council? This is probably the only way for the Ipoh City Council to make amends for desecrating Koo’s memory and sacrifices.
If the Ipoh City Council has no idea as to how to make recompense for its colossal insensitivity to Koo’s memory and history as well as to the feelings of ordinary Malaysians, the DAP has a lot of ideas - just as I believe the people of Ipoh will have a lot of proposals - and all that the Ipoh City Council needs to do is to ask for public views.
DAP takes this opportunity to call on the Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Ong Ka Ting to set up a panel to review the naming and renaming of roads to ensure that there is fully sensitivity and respect for Malaysia’s multi-racial history and heritage.
There should be a fair and even-handed policy in the naming of roads and places, which should not be motivated by partisan political considerations but purely by services to the people and nation, and in this regard, patriots like P. Patto, V. Veerappan, Tan Chee Khoon, Lim Lian Geok, Ahmad Boestamann, Ishak Muhammad (Pak Sako), Yusuf Rawa, Hamid Tuah and others not in the “establishment” should be honoured in Ipoh and the country.