Neighbourhood renaming is nothing new and is often driven by the real estate market.
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Property developers often rename districts to rebrand them and make them more attractive to potential buyers or renters.
By creating a new name for an area, developers can distance it from any negative associations it may have had.
Developers can then promote it as an up-and-coming, trendy location.
Such is the case in Malaysia, especially in Klang Valley, where many districts have been renamed.
What’s In A Name
The new names usually contain English words related to directions and heights.
Recently, a netizen shared a long list of places that had been rebranded, such as Batang Berjuntai, now known as Bestari Jaya.
since i’m a geography nerd, here’s the list for all glamorized names of places used by developers in and around KV that I know of. Kalau salah tolong betulkan https://t.co/QamQY0WabC pic.twitter.com/EMa55IC5GF— harit (@harithilmi) April 5, 2023
However, someone pointed out that the rebranded names can be misleading.
An example is Cybersouth which is not in Cyberjaya as the name would suggest.
It is in Dengkil, a reasonably well-developed small town in the district of Sepang near Cyberjaya.
Creating A Sense Of Belonging, For A Price
Netizens said it is only fair game as renaming the district to something like “Midtown” or “Cove” would benefit the developer.
It can help position the development as a hub for young professionals or tech entrepreneurs.
Many agree that name change could also distance the neighbourhood from a negative reputation or attract a new demographic.
U should make a thread on the name changes haha. Nama nak urban n affluent sesaja. Ada someone I kenal siap tak ngaku duduk SENTUL and bila tnya u duduk mana, she replied "somewhere near bangsar" . Kenapa kena malu eh?— Surethingg (@Isthisreallyy) June 6, 2018
Finally, renaming districts allows developers to exploit rising property values in certain areas.
Buyers may be willing to pay more for a property in a neighbourhood with a prestigious-sounding name, ultimately benefiting the developers’ bottom line.
Tersempak dengan bekas rakan sekerja tadi, sekarang beliau jadi property agent.— Twt_Bajet (@twt_bajet) February 21, 2023
Katanya Tony Fernandes pun ada beli sebuah di Gamuda Cove, yang premium punya harga belas juta. Boleh customize dan ada parking boat.
Rumah landed yang 700-800k semua dah sold out. pic.twitter.com/g565o898Um
In all fairness to the developers, they are not the only ones doing that.
Google has also been known to change the name of places on Google Maps.
Individuals can also submit requests to Google to rename places, subject to terms and conditions.
In some cases, renaming a neighbourhood may be required by government regulations.
For example, the government may mandate a change if a neighbourhood has a name that is considered offensive or inappropriate.
Tukar nama dah. Macam Batang Berjuntai tukar nama jadi Bestari Jaya. pic.twitter.com/X2iIOUAS86— Azlan Fadzil (@azlansf) December 6, 2020
I like seeing people’s reaction when they find out Pantai Cahaya Bulan was previously called Pantai Cinta Berahi 😂😂😂— BELLESTILINSKYWOLF (@bella4195) June 20, 2018