Malaysian local authorities and MRT Corp need to be schooled on the naming of places, MRT stations

MALAYSIAN authorities have a lot to learn about naming of places such as housing estates and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations. In some cases, it is a matter of common sense which seems to be missing when it comes to naming of places.

While it is fine for names of housing estates to follow a particular pattern, for example, Damansara Utama, Damansara Jaya, Ara Damansara, Mutiara Damansara, Kota Damansara, Sri Damansara and Damansara Damai due to their being adjacent to each other within the same district, what about several housing estates in different states with the same name?

There are at least five housing estates using the same name of Taman Desa Jaya – one each in the district of Gombak (Selangor); Kamunting (Perak); Johor Bahru (Johor); Sungai Petani (Kedah); and Bandar Pusat Jengka (Pahang).

Then, there is also Jalan Desa Jaya in Taman Desa which is totally unrelated to the other housing estates named Desa Jaya. It is located at Taman Desa, Off Jalan Klang Lama.

Confusion over names of MRT stations

Then, for both the MRT Putrajaya Line and Kajang lines, there are station names that can be confusing even for people living in the area that both lines serve. For one, the names “Laluan Putrajaya” and “Laluan Kajang” in Malay do not indicate that there is a connection between both lines.

Putrajaya Sentral station

Although they were developed in two phases, the MRT connects Putrajaya and Kajang, hence should be just using one name – the Putrajaya-Damansara-Kajang MRT line just like how Gamuda Bhd names the highway between Puchong and Damansara as Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP).

Or just as the Putrajaya-Kwasa Sentral and Kwasa Sentral-Kajang lines. However, the confusion is that sentral (central) is not it is meant to be.

Sentral which is not really “Central”

In most countries, a ‘central’ station carries the idea that a station also serves as the interchange between two or more train lines.

For example, Central station in Sydney is the largest and busiest railway station in Australia which serves as a major transport interchange for the NSW (New South Wales) TrainLink inter-city rail services, Sydney Trains commuter rail services, Sydney light rail services, bus services, and private coach transport services.

Locally, we also have Kuala Lumpur Sentral station which is also an interchange. And, Kepong Sentral is the interchange between KTM Komuter and the MRT station. However, there is a Damansara Sentral which is not linked to Kepong Sentral; instead, one has to remember to get down at Damansara Timur in order to change to the KTM Komuter.

What about Kwasa Damansara and Kwasa Sentral? If the two lines – Putrajaya Line and Kajang Lines – are technically one line connecting between Putrajaya and Kajang, Kwasa Sentral should be the one MRT station that one would logically think of as an interchange.

Strangely, that is not the case as getting down at Kwasa Sentral means having to catch the next MRT to get to Kwasa Damansra before changing the line to get to Kajang.

There is then the Damansara Sentral which is not connected to Kepong Sentral. Instead, it is Damansara Timur that one has to get down in order to join with the KTM Komuter line at Kepong Sentral station.

Damansara Sentral is probably named that way because it is located between Damansara Barat and Damansara Timur stations but its “central” position between the two Damansara stations is confusing because there is an additional Damansara Damai just before Damansara Barat.

The problem is how would anyone know how to differentiate between MRT Damansara Barat and Damansara Timur – unless, of course, they carry along a compass when they travel. These two stations – together with Damansara Sentral in between – are all servicing Bandar Sri Damansara in Kepong.

How all these names came about is simply amusing. Perhaps, the people tasked to approve these names need some proper schooling.

In the case of MRT, for example, miscommunication between the commuters and people picking them up always happen when MRT Corp which operates the MRT lines hardly give thoughts to the inconvenience they have caused others. – Dec 6, 2023

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