Kuala Lumpur’s Road Names – What were they called?

Kuala Lumpur’s Road Names – What were they called?

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I arrived at work as usual today, parking my car across the street and then walked to the office. As I approached and prepared to cross the busy Jalan Sultan Ismail, an elderly gentleman approached me and asked, “Excuse me, do you know where Batu Road is?”

Batu Road. That is a name that most people of my generation and even the generation before me would not resonate with, but fortunately it is one of very few road names used in the British colonial era that I was familiar with, and I pointed the old chap in the direction of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman – Batu Road’s current name.

jalan tar 1

After sending the gentleman on his way, my thoughts went to my late grandfather, not because the stranger resembled my grandfather in anyway, but because I realized that my grandfather was another man who probably would identify with Batu Road, even if it was renamed to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman decades ago.

My uncle, who uprooted to Australia some 30-40 years ago, similarly visualizes KL in terms of Weld Road, Shaw Road, Club Road and the like. Those names are legacies of our days as a British colony, and authorities are probably keen to give them more localized names in an attempt to inject a more localized identity to the city.

jalan tar 2

That train of thought sent me on a search to re-discover our city’s old identity and find out what our roads were called when the old chap who walked past me this morning was in his glory days…..

kl road sign

Here is a list of what I found. How many of you know of these colonial road names? Or share them with your parents and elders and see if they have any memories of these roads!

  • Changkat Raja Chulan – Hicks Road
  • Jalan Berhala – Jalan Kandang Kerbau
  • Jalan Bukit Aman – Bluff Road
  • Jalan Bukit Petaling – Bellamy Road
  • Jalan Bukit Tunku – Jalan Bukit Kenny
  • Jalan Cenderasari – Hospital Road, Young Road and Tanglin Road
  • Jalan Cenderawasih – Spooner Road
  • Jalan Cheng Lock – Foch Avenue
  • Jalan Dang Wangi – Campbell Road
  • Jalan Dato Onn – Brockman Road, Residency Road
  • Jalan Dewan Bahasa – Old Airport Road
  • Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman – Stony Road
  • Jalan Duta – Guillemard Road
  • Jalan Esfahan – Straits Road
  • Jalan Haji Yahya Sheikh Ahmad – Watson Road
  • Jalan Hang Jebat – Davidson Road
  • Jalan Hang Kasturi – Rodger Road
  • Jalan Hang Lekir – Cecil Street
  • Jalan Hang Tuah – Shaw Road
  • Jalan Istana – Taylor Road
  • Jalan Kebun Bunga – Orchid Road
  • Jalan Kinabalu – Raja Road, Old River Road
  • Jalan Limbang – Main Street
  • Jalan Maharajalela – Birch Road (This is some irony, and doubtfully a coincidence. Dato’ Maharajalela assassinated James W.W. Birch in 1875)
  • Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan – Holland Road
  • Jalan Mahkamah Tinggi – Clarke Road
  • Jalan Masjid India – Dickson Street
  • Jalan P. Ramlee – Parry Road
  • Jalan Parlimen – Club Road
  • Jalan Perdana – Venning Road
  • Jalan Raja Abdullah – Hale Road
  • Jalan Raja Alang – Hans Road
  • Jalan Raja Chulan – Weld Road, Persiaran Raja Chulan – Weld Drive
  • Jalan Raja Laut – Broadrick Road
  • Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz – Princes Road
  • Jalan Samarahan 1 – River Road North
  • Jalan Samarahan 2 – Ulu Klang Street
  • Jalan Samarahan 6 – Cheras Street
  • Jalan Semarak – Henry Gurney Road
  • Jalan Serian 1 – Tanjung Malim Street
  • Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin – Victory Avenue
  • Jalan Sultan Ismail – Treacher Road
  • Jalan Sultan Salahuddin – Swettenham Road
  • Jalan Syed Putra – Lornie Road
  • Jalan Tangsi – Barrack Road
  • Jalan Travers – Damansara Road
  • Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman – Batu Road
  • Jalan Tugu – Cenotaph Road
  • Jalan Tun H.S. Lee – High Street
  • Jalan Tun Ismail – Maxwell Road
  • Jalan Tun Perak – Mountbatten Road
  • Jalan Tun Razak – Jalan Pekililing
  • Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin – Cross Street (Jalan Silang)
  • Jalan Tun Sambanthan – Brickfields Road
  • Jalan Tunku Putra – Natesa Road
  • Jalan Wisma Putra – Hose Drive
  • Jalan Yaacob Latif – Jalan Tenteram
  • Persiaran Mahameru – Swettenham Drive
  • Persiaran Maybank – Court Hill
  • Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin – Clifford Road


List of roads in Kuala Lumpur – Wikipedia
Old KL Map – Digital Fugue
Old names of roads in Kuala Lumpur – Anak Wilayah
Streets of Kuala Lumpur – Exploring Kuala Lumpur with Timothy Tye


  1. Hi sir,

    Many thanks for posting this article out. I had lived in Shaw Rd for years and thus knew its original name. Every now and then, if you get an old timer who drives the taxi, he’ll know where Shaw Road is if you asked him.

    The funny thing of the old road’s name is Jalan Bukit Aman, is known as BLUFF Road! hmmm …. makes you wonder doesn’t it?

  2. I live at Jln Shelley, off Jln Peel, beside Jln Cochrane which is linked by Jln Nicholas

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