Rename roads to honour Singapore's leaders

It is heartening to note that events to mark the 200th anniversary of Raffles' arrival in Singapore will focus on more than our colonial heritage.

Thus, this might be the right time to take action to remember some of our own leaders. And what better way to do this than to rename some of our roads?

The British honoured almost all the governors of the Straits Settlements and Singapore by naming roads after them, for example, Robinson Road, Shenton Way and Clementi Road.

These should be kept as a reminder of our history.

But there are also major roads bearing the names of European businessmen (Adam and Still roads) and British colonial officials (Lornie Road). Some are unrelated to Singapore's history, such as Clemenceau Avenue and Havelock and Neil roads.

These road names should be reviewed and changed to more appropriate ones, like those of our past presidents - only Benjamin Sheares has a bridge named after him - as well as our pioneer political and community leaders.

Road names have been changed before, even in recent times. There will be some inconvenience for residents and businesses. But this is a small price to pay to commemorate our own heritage.

Gopinath Menon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2018, with the headline 'Rename roads to honour Singapore's leaders'. Print Edition | Subscribe