No need to rename Little India, say Malaysian Indians

March 19th, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, March 19 (IANS) The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) has lent support to a plea by sections of the ethnic Indian community not to re-name “Little India”, a locality in Selangor state’s Klang area that is famous as a tourism and shopping hub.
“There is no need for Little India in Klang to be re-branded as it is already a well-known tourism icon,” Selangor MIC chairman G. Palanivel said Wednesday, warning that “the move to change its name will erase the area’s identity”.

He said the MIC was against the Klang Municipal Council’s plan to rename the area Medan Kelana.

MIC speaks for the two million-plus Indians and is part of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN).

The MIC will appeal to Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor, the royal constitutional head, to intervene.

Little India is a famous shopping enclave with 100 pre-World War II shops on either side of Jalan Tengku Kelana. It draws shoppers by the thousands and is an important income generator for Klang.

The move to change the name to Medan Kelana has sparked a public outcry, The Star newspaper said.

Elected representatives, businessmen, tourists and even a state executive council member want the name Little India to be retained.

In Johor Baru, Malaysian Indian Business Association president P. Sivakumar said Little India had significant business value as a tourist attraction and should not be renamed.

Instead of renaming Little India, he said, the government should consider promoting other locations like “Little Sabah” and “Little Sarawak” in the peninsula, to promote various cultural and traditional businesses.

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