Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jalan CY Choy(Bridge Street)

Jalan CY Choy(崔耀才路)

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Jalan CY Choy was formerly Bridge Street(過港仔直街,过港仔), named after the Anson Bridge over the Prangin Ditch and the Sungai Pinang Bridge over the Pinang River, which it links. It starts from the cross road junction with Jalan Pantai(Beach Street),Jalan Lim Chwee Leong(Lim Chwee Leong Road-林萃龍路, formerly Prangin Road -港仔墘), the area is called Sia Buai bansan(杜尾万山). The road then cross the Anson Bridge straight to the Sungai Pinang bridge where it joins with Jelutong Road(日落洞路)at the bottom apex of triangular land called The Seven Streets Precinct.

Before Jelutong Expressway was built, it was once the main road from the city to east coast of Penang island, the former yellow bus(or Boon Siew Bus) route from Jelutong, Glugor, Relau, Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas, Teluk Kumbar, to Balik Pulau.

The new name Jalan CY Choy(崔耀才路) is named after C. Y. Choy(崔耀才), the last Mayor of George Town (1964-1966). The Chinese however divided it into 3 parts, namely

(i) North (Beach St) end - Kòe-káng-á(過港仔), which literally means Past the Prangin Ditch or Anson Bridge. It can also means out of the city limit(note: the old city limit at the historical time, today the area is already within the city limit). Koe-kang-a means cross the prangin river. "koe" means crossing ,"Kang-a" means small river. The sound however slowly become koe-kang-kia. Sia buai(杜尾)- part of the Beach Street from Malay Street to Prangin Road, which means "at the end of the society or city", with the Anson bridge as the landmark or border stone of the city limit. The place within the bridge/Prangin river/Prangin Road(港仔墘) was the port/city, after the bridge or Prangin river/Prangin Road was beyond city limit.

Note: Penang old people also called Province Wellesley with the name "koe - kang"(過港),literally means crossing the port(槟城海港), means go to the mainland. "kang"(港) broadly speaking may means port e,g hai-kang(海港)and in a narrow meaning of river e.g. small river or stream is called kang-a or kang-kia(港仔). But I do not know why koe-kang(過港)(narrow meaning crossing the river) was not use for Jalan CY Choy or Bridge Street..... but use broadly as crossing the port to the mainland for the name of Province Wellesley....

(ii)Middle - Pang-lông(枋廊)which literally means sawmill. There used to be sawnmill here, some of the old sawnmill can still be seen.

(iii)South (Jelutong Rd) end - Sêng-hông-biō-lor(聖王廟路/城隍廟路), which literally means City god temple road. The landmark of the place is seng-hong-bio(城隍廟)

But overall the main road it is called Kòe-káng-á -ti -lor(過港仔直街)which means cross the port straight road ; in short koe-kang-a(過港仔) and slowly become koe-kang-kia; and now in English CY Choy Road(崔耀才路)become more popular for the younger generation as they are able to speak English, and "koe-kang-a" become difficult to pronounce for them. The trend may be reversed now......

City God Temple(城隍廟)

At the corner with Sandilands Street is the Seng Ong Beow(城隍廟), and the said Southern end of Bridge Street is also called seng-hong-biau-lor(城隍廟路) by the local Chinese Hockkian as seng-ong-biau-lor(聖王廟路), which literally means sacred king temple road, which is wrong the actual should be seng-hong-biau-lor(城隍廟路). Chen-huang(城隍) means gods who take care of cheng-giang(城牆),the Chinese city wall used to protect towns and cities. Today in modern term it is gods of the city or town. These gods are deities in Chinese mythology, who are responsible for the affairs of the city. Chéng-huáng-mià(城隍廟), means city gods temple. Only city of district level can have cheng-huang-mia or city god temple. In Hockkien it should be se -hong-biau, the se is city or town(城), not "seng"(聖) which means sacred; the "hong"(隍) is not "ong" which means king(王); I do not know why from city god temple, it become sacred king temple; may be it is easier to pronounce in their dialect for working class people. Locally the temple is commonly called Ghost Temple, where the ghost marriage ceremony were arranged and take place there.


The Swampy Land Reclamation seafront
Outside the Seven Streets Precinct, after Jalan CY Choy(formerly Bridge Street), toward the seashore are the area with many timber houses on the swampy land. These streets are normally end with the words Ghat or Gat in Malay. Ghat being a Hindi word meaning a broad flight of steps leading down to a riverbank or seashore. The area was formerly swamps, and reclaimed during the period from 1880-1904. The latest development has however come to the area after the opening of Jelutong Expressway.


GAT LEBUH SANDILANDS 八條路網寮 - not a metaled concrete road, but swampy route to the Chinese village to the sea front

Choy Chooi Yew, C Y Choy or 崔耀才(b 1907? - d 1980)

To know the background of CY Choy, you need to know the history of Labour Party(as a founder), City Council election(when he was a Mayor of Georgetown) and the state election in Penang(as an independent state assemblyman for two terms). But there is little information on his personal background. Mr C.Y. Choy was the 3rd Mayor of Georgetown. He was the few Penang politician who is respected and loved by Penang people.

City Council Election 1957-1967

The first Labour Party was formed in Penang on 15-5-1951, with the support of Colonist government

Pan Malaya Labour Party was formed on 26-6-1952. The Regional Labour Paties of the Penang, Selangor, Perak, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan, Singapore and Saberkas from Kedah were the founding members.

In 1953, sixteen intellectuals including D.S. Ramanathan, Tan Phock Kin(陈朴根), N. Patkunam, Lee Kok Liang(李国良), C.Y. Choy, Tan Chong Bee(陈宗美)and V. Veerapan from the Fabian Society of Penang joined the PMLP(Pan-Malaya Labour Party). The Fabian Society is a British intellectual socialist movement, whose purpose is to advance the principles of socialism via gradualist and reformist, rather than revolutionary, means. PMLP was formed on 26 June 1952, formed from the amalgamated membership of the Regional Labour Parties from Penang, Selangor and Singapore. They were mainly Indian and Malay from civil service unions, English educated union members of MTUC(Malayan Trade Union Congress),they were mainly Indian and Malay from civil service unions. There was another group of English educated radicals from MDU(Malayan Democratic Union)formed in 1945, satellite of MCP(Malayan Communist Party) with anti-colonist struggle. The radicals students from University of Malaya were the another source of membership for PMLP.

1954 - On 5 June 1954, the PMLP took the new name of the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM). With the election of Lee Moke Sang as its Chairman, the LPM proclaimed itself a political organization to unite the workers and peasants of Malaya and struggle for a united, independent and democratic nation.

On the eve of Merdeka, LPM gained from the Chinese school students’ movement and the national workers’ movement; the organizational collaboration between an emerging Socialist Youth League and the Pan-Malaya Union of General Workers; and cooperation with Partai Rakyat (founded in December 1955).

CY Choy was elected City Councillor in 1956

On 1 January 1957, George Town became a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the first town in the Federation of Malaya to become a city, and the only city in Malaya/Malaysia until Kuala Lumpur was granted city status in 1972.

In August 31st 1957, Malaysia was formed, and independence from Britain.

In December 1957 City Council Election, there were 5 seats available for election where the councillors had completed their terms. Out of 5 seats, Labour Party won 4 seats, Alliance 1 seat. Labour Party had total 9 seats thus controlled the City Council. The five originally elected councilors were D.S. Ramanathan, Tan Phock Kin, C.Y.Choy, Sabapathy and V David. Ramanathan’s tenure of office was only for a year. He was however reelected together with three other new councilors, Lim Kean Siew, Ooi Thiam Siew, and Lee Kok Liang.

The party won eight out of the nine contested seats, a result that strengthened the party’s multi-ethnic mass base in Penang. The first Mayor of George Town was Cllr D. S. Ramanathan 南玛纳旦(Labour Party). The December 1957 local polls, the Socialist Front (SF) – a coalition of the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM) and the Party Rakyat Malaya (PRM) officially registered on 26.8.1958 – had gained enough seats to take over the Penang City Council. The low-cost housing projects People’s Court in Cintra Street and Kampong Selut scheme in Jelutong were the project under Socialist Front City Council.

The state election in May, SF won 7 seats, the state assemblyman included Lim Kean Siew(林建寿),Tan Phock Kin(陈朴根),CY Choy(崔耀才) & D.S. Ramanathan(蓝玛纳旦). Alliance won 17 seats, and formed the state government with Wong Pow Nee as Chief Minister.

Socialist Front (SF) – a coalition of the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM) and the Party Rakyat Malaya (PRM) officially registered on 26.8.1958. An alternative multiracial alliance against the Alliance of UMNO, MCA and MIC.

The first mass arrest of political opponents took place only a little more than a year after Merdeka, on 1 October 1958, with the detention of 109 persons.

After the end of the Emergency in 1960 as the Internal Security Act (ISA)1960 was introduced to allow the government to continue the practice of detention without trial. SF leaders and members were frequent victims of the ISA throughout the 1960s.The detentions of Ishak bin Hj. Mohammad, Abdul Aziz bin Ishak and Datuk Kampo Radjo on untried charges of setting up a government-in-exile during Konfrontasi with Indonesia were attempts to repress the Malay Left.

1961 City Council Election, a new system was introduced under Local Government Election Act 1960 (LGEA). There were 15 seats. Labour Party won 14 seats, the only seat left was won by MCA's Mr David Choong, the brother of All England Champion Eddy Choong. Ooi Thiam Siew(黄添寿) become the 2nd Mayor, D. S. Ramanathan, who was the President of Labour Party(1955-1958)resigned from Labour Party, joined MIC(he was elected under Alliance/MIC ticket in 1964, become an Exco of the State government).

In 1963 City Council Election, the United Democratic Party(民主联合党)newly formed in 1961 by Dr. Lim Chong Eu 林苍佑), and People’s Action Party led by Lee Kuan Yew were providing strong challenge to the Labour Party. Labour Party won 9 seats, Alliance 5 seats, UDP 1 seat, over 15 seats. Mr C Y Choy was elected as Mayor of Georgetown City in 1964, the third Mayor (1964-1966). But the Labour Party lost the 1964 State and Parliament election. They only won two state seats won by 许平城 & 陈福兴(1940—1989). They even lost the opposition leadership to United Democratic Party(民主联合党). Mr Lim Kean Siew(林建寿)however won the Parliament seat for Datuk Keramat, which he won in 1959, 1964 for continuous two terms. D S Ramanathan, former Chairman of LPM and the first Mayor of Penang, peeved with the party by 1963, accused the SF-controlled City Council of corruption and malpractices.

Malaysia was formed on 16th September 1963.

There was internal struggle in SF, Ooi Thiam Siew was not happy over the appointment of CY Choy as Mayor. Ooi Thiam Siew(黄添寿)resigned from Labour Party, and the two PRM councillor chose to align with him. SF's seat reduced to 6. He was elected in Dec 1965 as the 4th Mayor with the support of Alliance and UDP. SF lost control of the council, and CY Choy should have complete his term as Mayor for 3 years from 1964-1966, but was removed in Dec 1965. Ooi Thiam Siew(黄添寿)was however not able to function as Mayor, as City Council was later took over by the Chief Minister under City Council of George Town (Transfer of Functions) Order 1966, passed by Parliament on 27th August 1966. Ooi Thiam Siew(黄添寿) must be the most unhappy man. So CY Choy become the last Mayor of Georgetown until 1966. Ooi Thiam Siew(黄添寿)later passed away in 1968 due to car accident.

Singapore left on 9 August 1965, and become independent nation.

1966 The end of City Council Election
In 1965, the federal Government suspended local elections as a result of the Indonesian Confrontation. In response to allegations of maladministration and misconduct, a Royal Commission of Enquiry was set up and the functions of the City Council were temporarily transferred to the Chief Minister of Penang by the City Council of George Town (Transfer of Functions) Order 1966. A Royal Commission of Enquiry into set up by the Federal Government under Senator Athi Nahappan, reporting in 1968, recommended the restoration of elected local councils, but this was never carried out. That is how Penang lost the City Mayor.

Chief Minister, Wong Pow Nee, who immediately constituted a commission to inquire into the allegations brought forth by Ramanathan, although he had professed that he could offer no evidence for them. On 1 July 1966, three days before the commission was to commence its probe, Wong Pow Nee announced that the State Government would take over the functions of the City Council. The commission completed its inquiry in November 1967 and found that “although there were irregularities and inefficiencies in the council’s administration, there was no hard evidence of outright bribery”.

In 1965, key SF leaders, such as Chairman Hansul bin Abdul Hadi, Secretary-General Tajuddin Kahar and Assistant Secretary-General Tan Kai Hee were arrested to foil a demonstration called for 13 February, the SF’s Human Rights Day, to commemorate the second anniversary of Ahmad Boestamam’s internment.

After Singapore’s separation from Malaysia on 9 August. Within the SF, the LPM and Parti Rakyat diverged, principally over the issue of official language. In December, Parti Rakyat resolved to break away from the SF while Lim Kean Siew announced that the coalition would end on 16 January 1966. At this juncture, internal quarrels terminated the SF’s control of George Town City Council and LPM lost a most important political platform.

1966 -Radicalization intensified
An Anti-US Imperialism Campaign resulted in the mass arrests of cadres, members and supporters. The LPM Central Secretariat called an Extraordinary National Delegates Conference on 24–25 September 1966 that resolved to expedite ‘anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, anti-feudalism and anti-Malaysia’ struggles.’ While combining ‘mass struggle’ with ‘constitutional struggle’, the Conference placed the former ahead of the latter as a strategy to wrest political power.

1967 - 17th April(Mon), CY Choy as Secretary of Labour Party, Penang Division was facing summon of two charges on (i) Kept a Press for the printing of documents without license from the Minister of Home Affairs at the Bridge Street Headquarter, on Oct 15th 1966, and (ii) for printing newspaper Berita Buroh, collection of stories about Vietnam War, and 73 song sheets(The Straits Times, 18 April 1967, Page 5).

1968 - The Kedah Division’s call for a boycott of the 1969 General Election was endorsed on 29 September 1968 by an Enlarged Central Committee Meeting.

On 3-12-1968, C Y Choy issued instruction on behalf of Labour Party Headquarter, to all elected representatives, city councilors, state assemblyman, and Parliament Member that they are to resign en bloc before 31-12-1968.

On 1st April 1969, CY Choy announced in the press conference that Labour Party will boycotted the 1969 election on 10th May 1969.
Gerakan(民政党) led by Dr Lim Chong Eu won the Penang state election. Dr Lim become the chief minister.

May 13th incident after election

September 1969, an accord of understanding was reached between LPM’s Lim Kean Siew and Dr. Rajakumar and Parti Rakyat’s Kassim Ahmad and Syed Husin Ali to hold to ‘scientific socialism’, ‘working class solidarity’ and ‘the unity of the people of all nationalities’ against ‘chauvinism and narrow nationalism’.

1972 - Three years later, in September 1972, the Registrar of Societies deregistered the LPM on account of its failure to submit annual reports for several years.

1973 - CY Choy continued to serve the people despite having no official position and Socialist Front was deregistered. As an independent politician with no political party link, using only a simple typewriter, he continued his community service. he gained the respect of the local community who are mainly working class people, and many are illiterate. They called him " The father of Hawkers(小贩之父)".

1970s - The independent state assemblyman

1974 - Mr CY Choy, now aged near seventy, contest in Pengkalan Kota state constituency. He won the seat with more than 5,000 majority, a record for an independent candidate. This is history in the state election for independent candidate.


崔耀才从政脚踏实地,在民间特别是彭加兰哥打区享有崇高的声誉。由于当时的彭加兰哥打区选民大都是中下阶级,其中很多都是不识字或不熟悉政府部门的小贩及小市民,当时崔耀才就是拎着打字机,在选区走动,选民一有需要他就马上用打字机为他们写信,寄出去。虽然崔耀才一心一意为民服务, 不过却常遭到市议会职员的刁难,因此加强了崔耀才重出政坛的决心。

1978 - He won the state election in 1978 again(1978年,崔耀才再次蝉联该区州议员)

1980 - Mr CY Choy passed away on 26-9-1980 age of 73

(1980年崔先生不幸过世, 彭加兰哥打区选民就这样失去了一位好代议士). 由于崔耀才对州内小贩贡献良多,槟州小贩联合会为了感念他,特别成立了崔耀才教育基金(The C.Y.Choy Memorial Education Fund) ,用作鼓励小贩子女的奖助学金。

In the by election after the death of CY Choy, the seat was won by Lim Kean Siew of MCA, a former Labour Party leader.

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2. Restoring the Third Vote, reclaiming our democracy,
3. The Labour Party of Malaya, 1952–1972,
4. Singapore: the unexpected nation(2008),by Edwin Lee Siew Cheng, Edwin Lee,published by Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
6. 左翼运动旗手陈福兴(2009), by 谢诗坚,
7. 风云五十年: 马来西亚政党政治(2007), by 唐南发, Published by Prometheus Enterprise

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