Bridge Street, at junction with Cecil Street (30 July, 2012)
About Bridge Street
Until the mid 19th century, Bridge Street was considered "outskirts" of town, as it lies south of Sia Boey. On the area closest to the Prangin Canal, there was a Chinese kampung called Koay Kangnga, meaning "across the river". From this kampung, there developed a Chinese working class settlement. Until the late 19th century, this area was all attap houses, while Bridge Street itself faces the sea, shielded from it by clumps of mangrove trees and mud flats.
The sea in front of Bridge Street was reclaimed between 1880 and 1904, and roads such as Prangin Road Ghaut, Cecil Street Ghaut, and so on, were built. The roads in the Chinese settlement off Bridge Street were aligned on nine parallel roads, and in the local Chinese language, Penang Hokkien, it was called Koay1 Kang3nga4 Thau3 Tiau3 Lor33, which means "first road across the river". This was later abbreviated to simply Thau3 Tiau3 Lor33 ("first road"). To the British administrators, though, this road was named Magazine Road. Next came 2nd road, 3rd road, and so forth, until Sandilands Street forms the nineth and final road.
Bridge Street was renamed Jalan C.Y. Choy in the early 1980's, in memory of the third and last mayor of George Town. Choy of the Malayan Peoples' Socialist Front became mayor of George Town after winning the city election of 1964 in the Sungei Pinang Ward, with a high majority. He is often nicknamed the "Quiet Mayor of George Town" due to his low profile.
Choy served as mayor until 1966, when the Federal Government of Malaysia discontinued local elections for the city. When differences caused the Socialist Front to disintegrate, and its components the Labour Party and Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaya going separate ways, Choy contested as an independent candidate for Pengkalan Kota, easily winning in the 1960 general elections. He remained active in politics until his death at age 73 in 1980.
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