Melaka to display some road signs in 5 languages to reflect diversified culture

A street sign in Malacca showing the name of the road in Malay, followed by Jawi, Chinese and Tamil. The English name is in brackets.
A street sign in Malacca showing the name of the road in Malay, followed by Jawi, Chinese and Tamil. The English name is in brackets.PHOTO: SIN CHEW JIT POH/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MELAKA (SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The road signs of 15 old streets located in Melaka are now displayed in five languages to reflect the characteristics of a diversified culture and multiracial community.

The first road sign in five languages was placed at Tukang Emas Road in October last year by the Melaka  state government. After gathering feedback for a year, road signs for a total of 15 streets are now in Chinese, Malay, English, Tamil and Jawi.

The council spent RM6,000 (S$1,965) to erect the new road signs - in blue and green - at the locations.

Street name in Malay is on top with a larger font in green while the name in the three other languages - Jawi, Chinese and Tamil - are written below it in the blue section. The name in English is placed on the last row.

State Housing, Local Government and Environment Committee chairman Tey Kok Kiew said the multi-language signage reflect the harmony in Melaka, in a bid to attract more tourists from Singapore, China, Indonesia and western countries.

Mr Tey said each old street in the Unesco world heritage site has its own history and significance. After gathering feedback from professionals, the state government decided to have five languages on the road signs.

"The state government has approved the decision in the executive councillor meeting last year. We show others that Melaka is different from others and express our friendliness to tourists from all parts of the world," he added.

Mr Tey said the state government will continue to improve the road signs including placing road signs in languages relevant to the local area in tourist zones. For example, Portuguese can be included into the road sign at the Portuguese Settlement, and Chinese for Sim Mou Yu Road.

Mayor Mansor Sudin said road signs in multiple languages are good for Melaka which is listed as Unesco world heritage site. It reflects local characteristics and also let tourists learn words in different languages.

Malay, the official language in Malaysia, is still the main language used on road signs, he said. The city council would continue to compile feedback to consider increasing the number of languages used for road signs to be another attraction for tourists for photo shoots.