Name change unnecessary

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 April, 1999, 12:00am

Let's set aside whether the new Chinese name for Government House, 'Chi Lo', is appropriate or not, especially since we now know that there is already a 'Chi Lo' somewhere in Hong Kong.

The entire business of renaming Government House is totally absurd.

Think about the Forbidden City in Beijing - the old home of the Qing Emperors. It symbolises the imperial past of China that no Chinese wants to return to.

Yet, when the Nationalists overthrew the Qing Dynasty in 1911, they did not change the name of the Forbidden City. Nor did the communists after they took over in 1949.

Even the Red Guards, when they were rampantly destroying old Chinese traditions and culture in the 1960s, did not change the name of the Forbidden City.

What on earth are we trying to achieve by changing the name of Government House? There simply is not another Chinese name that can better capture the essence of the place than the existing one, which literally means the (former) Governor's House.

If those 'great minds' are so keen on distancing the SAR from its colonial past, why don't they also change the name of Queen's Road to Xiaoping's Road? ANDREW LEE Kowloon