Thursday, September 03, 2009

Kg Buah Pala: We are talking about homes and also the 'living environment' - and as such demolishing homes of those who accepted offer not OK (Updated

Some of them may have accepted the Developers' offer, and may have already left their houses in Kg Buah Pala, and these may be the houses that the Developers would want to demolish first...

Our homes are always in an area where there are other homes - and the demolition of even one of the homes in a giving living area is definitely going to impact on the living environment, and that is why there should be no demolition until the matter of Kg Buah Pala has been completely resolved for all who is there.

Demolition of some houses also creates the problem of dust and other risks/hardships for the adjacent homes. Children and people do play and walk in areas around their homes, and would not a rubble increase risk to health .... What about asbestos poisoning - let us not forget about that as many old houses use asbestos ceilings/roofs.

Why do they want to just demolish some of the houses now? Why? Reasonably, it is of no use to the developer for they cannot do anything until they have successfully evicted and demolished all houses there. Well, the reason is really psychological aimed at destroying the will of the people of Kg Buah Pala from further fighting to save their current homes and living space... After all, demolition of a few houses will also destroy the beauty of the area... making it look like a 'war-zone'...

What are your attitude about Kg Buah Pala? It is sad that many are now are against the people of Kg Buah Pala now because their leaders in their political parties have taken that position now... If it was not happening in a Pakatan rakyat ruled State, and if maybe Pakatan Rakyat was not governing any States, things may have been different, and we would have seen better support from leaders of DAP, PKR and PAS... but now things are very different. Changed situation gives rise to different considerations...and different stances taken now on certain issues. How sad..

One Kampung Buah Pala resident's house was demolished this morning after the owner accepted compensation and handed over the keys to the developer.

Under the watchful eye of the police and the residents association committee, a demolition team to moved in to tear down the house.

Last night, Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran held state government for the imminent destruction of their village.

He said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had in many meetings and media conferences repeatedly stated the state government would not give consent to the developer to demolish the village.

"If the state government had not given the consent to the developer to demolish the village, how can the demolition team now come to tear down our houses?

"Is this just another lie by the state government?" he asked, at a late night press conference at the village yesterday.

The village faces eviction to make way for a lucrative project called the Oasis.

The project developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd warned that the demolition start any time after Sept 1 to demolish the village, although the federal court order was only for vacant possession.

Sugumaran blasted Lim for 'washing his hands off the issue', slamming the Malacca-born Chief Minister of being responsible for the villagers' predicament.

"If he had not washed our hands, we would not have sought the premier's help to resolve the issue. Even Lim needs to meet the Prime Minister for projects such as the second bridge," he said.

'Lim has let us down'

He said when the villagers met Lim in his Komtar office on March 13 last year, five days after the last general election, Lim welcomed us with open arms.

"He told us that he would not have become the Chief Minister if not for our votes. He promised to protect and safeguard our land provided the land had not been transferred," Sugumaran said.

However, Sugumaran said Lim accepted the balance RM2,247,000 land premium from the buyer - Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang - on March 14, and transferred the land to the cooperative society on March 27.

Sugumaran refuted Lim's claim that the state government had no choice but to approve the land transfer due to past affirmative deals carried out by the previous Barisan Nasional state administration.

Sugumaran said under the National Land Code, an approval to a land alienation lapses automatically within three months if the buyer did not pay up the balance premium.

In the Kampung Buah Pala case, the premium deposit of RM963,000 was paid by the cooperative society on May 22, 2007.

"Why did Lim approve the land deal after it had lapsed automatically for eight months . . . that too, the very next day after he promised us not to do so?" asked Sugumaran.

Kampung Buah Pala is commonly known as local Tamil High Chaparral, replicating the popular 1960s western television series, for its large population of cowherds, cattle, goats, live stocks, hilly natural environment and lively Indian features and festivities.

About 24 houseowners in the village have accepted the double-storey offer made by Nusmetro.

Sugumaran said although the house owners have signed the offer letters, 20 were united not to let the village to be demolished without the state government undertaking constructive measures to end their predicament.

He said the villagers who signed up were offered RM8,000 ex-gratia compensation by Deputy Chief Minister 2 P Ramasamy to move out from the village.

'We could end up on the streets'

He said the villagers were told to vacate their houses first and only then the state government would hold negotiations to provide them with alternate houses for free.

"Can we rely on such a deal? We should be offered constructive deals before we can move out from our own land. We have seen so many projects in the past that have ended up abandoned.

"We could end up on the streets with nothing," said Sugumaran, adding the villagers would put up stiff resistance to stop the demolition team.

Nusmetro, accompanied by a large police squad, has twice failed to evict and demolish the houses last month.

Sugumaran said Lim had managed to manipulate the media and turned the public against the villagers by telling a different story to newsmen, especially the Chinese newspapers.

Sugumaran said Lim lied to the Penang people about the offers made to the villagers such as RM500,000 and RM350,000 when no such offers were ever tabled to us.

"We have been asking only for village homes and part of the land from beginning. But Lim is portraying us as greedy people making unreasonable demands.

"This is a blatant lie," said Sugumaran, calling on all 82 Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians to declare their stand on the crisis.

"Where are the Pakatan MPs, especially Anwar Ibrahim who promised to save this village before the election? Before the election, Pakatan leaders knew where was Kampung Buah Pala.

"But now they don't visit us anymore," said Sugumaran. - Malaysiakini, 3/9/2009,
Demolition of Kampung Buah Pala begins

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