On 27 January, 2023, Twitter user @amirulruslan uploaded a rather inquisitive tweet on a long-time question the user has had on their mind, for ‘years’:
Here’s a KL mystery you can help me solve. For years, two French street signs have inexplicably stood high in a Chow Kit back alley intersection. Rue de Rivoli is in Paris, Rue Assalit in Nice. But no business I can trace in the area from 2013-2022 is French themed. pic.twitter.com/DxSqtSlBTG— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 27, 2023
The TLDR? For a long period of time, these two French signs plated ‘Rue de Rivoli’, and ‘Rue Assalit’ have hung in a back alley of Chow Kit, and we have no idea why.
For those unfamiliar, Chow Kit is a district in the center of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and can be recognized as a red-light district within the city.
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The mystery continues, as @amirulruslan contextualizes the scene a little further.For example, the signs have been there since ‘at least 2013‘, is within the ‘intersection of two back alleys‘, and that those alleys are ‘surprisingly well lit‘ after midnight! You can scroll through the whole thread here.
I know that they’ve been there since at least 2013. One is on an abandoned, never-completed hotel, the other a clinic, a third (a duplicate) an abandoned shoplot. Asked at the clinic; receptionist didn’t know what I’m talking about. There’s also this French mural nearby. pic.twitter.com/9iIXXDWYhs— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 27, 2023
The location is the intersection of two back alleys: Lorong Ipoh Kecil and Jalan Ipoh Kecil, where Tan Chong Motors is headquartered. I don’t recommend walking there, it’s not exactly the safest back alley around. (I am an obsessive walker, so let me do it for you.) pic.twitter.com/32wh89Z0lp— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 27, 2023
Obsessed enough I was walking here at 1am. It’s surprisingly well lit but yeah, don’t be like me. Lots of blind spots and this bit of Chow Kit isn’t well known to suffer fools. pic.twitter.com/8fvarTb6JH— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 28, 2023
As with any popular Twitter thread, conversations have surfaced with @amirulruslan’s venture into mystery. Tweets suggesting theories, and suggestions on how to find out more about the signage are what follows:
I have looked at the DBKL geran tanah maps but that hasn’t been very helpful. The best leads right now appear to be from the 90s, which makes searching digital records tough, and the prevailing theory is that this was a remnant of a TVC shoot! Would love any suggestions though!— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 29, 2023
There was a Foch Avenue once. Near Central Market— Jude Gasper (@judegasper) January 27, 2023
Could be for a shoot. Film tv or ad. Left behind by art department.— Shamaine Othman 🏴✊🏼 (@shamaineothman) January 27, 2023
The mystery persists, and so does the investigations that come with it.But, if you have any inkling on the situation: Just hit @amirulruslan up, and solve the mystery that’s leaving many Malaysians wondering.
Why? I am never going to give up on this mystery, and hopefully not let down the people contributing and helping me out with solving it, defs not turning around and deserting them…— Amirul Ruslan (@amirulruslan) January 28, 2023