Let's be clear here, I am not criticising the planned road name changes. Just offering suggestions on why and how things could be better. It does not matter if the changes were to recognise the past rulers of our beloved country.
a) We can and we should and we have recognised many historical figures including rulers of our nation. Let's re-examine if naming roads after them is such a good alternative. Roads are meant to describe and place a location. If its too long, it adds enormous difficulty in remembering, mentioning to friends and other practical uses. It becomes impractical which defeats the purpose of naming roads. Jalan Tun Perak is great, so too Jalan Sultan Ismail or Swettenham Road or even Birch Road. But when a name gets too long, it becomes self defeating - the very intention to honour becomes an opportunity to ridicule.
b) By all means, recognise our past historical figures in other ways, such as buildings, statues, gardens, fountains, mosques, bridges ... its not so cumbersome.
c) Now when we use Waze of Google maps, before the wonderful lady can finish the instruction... "in 50 meters turn left into Jalan xxx xxx xxx..." we would have passed the exit before she can finish her instructions.
d) We seem to have a huge chip on our shoulders. We should never attempt to re-write history, it happened. A road's name need not be "all good and dandy", so what if its Jalan James Birch, whether the guy was good or bad, he was part of our history Thats where our confidence, self sufficiency in our nation's history stands on ts own ... be him/her a 'bad person historically' is besides the point. We learn and acknowledge the history, the good and bad, we cannot and should repaint history or worse, only SHOW the new generation and the future "the nice side of things about Malaysia".
e) WE ARE NOT SHORT OF NEW ROADS, heck we are never short of new roads ... there are dozens new ones every month, all over... we are not closing down roads. Why touch Jalan Duta??? Why do we try to complicate things? Why don't we prioritise other more important stuff? What if we change the names of the top 20 major buildings every 5 years, can you see the value in that???