By William Isau
SIBU, May 26: The renaming of Jalan Pahlawan to Jalan Robert Lau Hui Chew, expected to occur on June 1, has been put on hold due to strong public opposition.
“I have received a lot of responses and messages from the ground. They (the public) are not happy (with it). They think that we should not touch the existing road name,” said Sarawak Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing, and Local Government, Michael Tiang, to reporters at SMK Kiang Hin’s Teacher’s Day celebration last night.
The public, he said, had told him that the renaming of the road would pose a lot of inconveniences to them.
He added that the people, however, had no objection if a new road was being built and named it after Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew, the former Sibu MP and deputy transport minister who passed away in 2010 due to liver cancer.
Tiang said he was on the same page with the public.
“I agree that we shouldn’t do anything that creates inconvenience as it will defeat the purpose of having a new name for Jalan Pahlawan,” he stressed.
He later voiced the matter to Deputy Premier and Minister for Public Health, Housing, and Local Government, Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.
“He agreed to ask the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) to put it on hold and not proceed with the road name change. So, now, we have suspended the action, and I will bring the matter to Cabinet to reconsider the public opinion,” he said.
While waiting for the Cabinet’s decision, the Pelawan assemblyman urged the public to be patient.
SMC chairman Clarence Ting n May 11 said that the state executive council had, in February, approved their application to rename the road.
The renaming of the road was in honour of Lau for his contributions. — DayakDaily