GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) has come under fire for shoddy and inconsistent translation of road signs in the state.
A reader of The Star Andrew Yong recently wrote to the newspaper to criticise the council for not doing the job properly and wasting ratepayers’ money.
“The most embarrassing thing of all is when MPPP wrongly translates the names of the roads that surround its City Hall building.
“Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah has been translated as Esplanade Road when surely the council should know that Esplanade Road is actually Jalan Padang Kota Lama (where City Hall is located),” he wrote.
Yong said Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah is in fact a combination of three roads — the Esplanade (the section north of the Esplanade field), Fort Road (the section east of Fort Cornwallis) and a new section of the road west of Duke Street (Lebuh Duke).
He also hit out at the council for leaving the “signages in an inconsistent mess”.
“Has the MPPP given up adding the English names to the replacement road signs?
“For example, why is Burma Road in English but the adjoining Burma Crescent (Lengkok Burma) left untranslated? Why is Jalan D.S. Ramanathan translated as Scott Road while the nearby Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman is denied the equally historic name of Ayer Rajah Road?” he asked.
Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) treasurer Lim Gaik Siang said Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah’s translation in English — Esplanade Road — had led to confusion among the public and tourists.
“The signboard, erected in 2007, is incorrect because the translation for Esplanade Road is Jalan Padang Kota Lama,” she said.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Environment Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow however insisted that Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah was correctly translated.
“We’ve put up two signages for the road — each bearing a different English translation because Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah is made up of Fort Road (from the clock tower to the Yacht Club) and Esplanade Road (from the Yacht Club to City Hall).
“Duke Street is not part of the stretch,” he said.
He said the council decided against translating all the road signs on the island as it would be a waste of resources.
“There is no point translating if the names sound similar in both languages. We are now concentrating on the city’s heritage area.
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