Buah Pala leaves bitter taste


Buah pala or nutmeg, along with other spices bearing exotic flavours, once drew hordes of traders to these parts. Today though, the mention of Buah Pala is enough to leave a bitter taste as the village that bears its name – where the descendants of those who laboured in the spice plantations of yore now reside – faces demolition.

Folks today are more interested in ‘whacking’ the villagers for their political miscalculations and for being “greedy” because they did not jump at the offer of “double-storey terrace houses worth RM500,000”. At the same time, the Koperasi/Nusmetro’s greed is rarely mentioned; they have already made a huge unrealised profit on the land, even before any work has begun, after having bought the land for peanuts. (Purchase price approx RM10 per sq ft vs market value approx RM100 psf ==> for 6.5 acres, that works out to a cool RM25 million profit just on the vacant land).

The villagers are the real victims of a land grab – but, ironically, they are the ones receiving the most flak, and all because they had the temerity to try and preserve their village. Weird how the tables have been turned against them. Many “hardcore” Pakatan supporters just want them to disappear so they can get on with the BN vs Pakatan political game. We must see the Big Picture, they argue. But they forget it is the little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle – pieces like Kg Buah Pala – that make up the Big Picture.

Moving beyond the BN-Pakatan blame game, however, the loss of the village, which hearkens back to a different era when people lived more in harmony with Nature, is a source of mourning.

The demolition of this and other kampungs is a sign that the concrete jungle is taking over our increasingly unsustainable habitat. It appears as if it is Developer Power – rather than People Power – that rules. Look at how developers may now be granted an increase in the (plot-ratio) density for projects in certain areas. More profits for the cosy network of developers!

The partisanship surrounding the Kg Buah Pala saga is disturbing. The human rights angle is hardly mentioned, in particular, the primary rights to land and to shelter, and the right of communities to live in dignity.

Where are the partisan political supporters – Pakatan and BN – when it comes to the Penan who are engaged in a lonely struggle to protect their ancestral lands and the rainforests (what’s left of it) from the rapacious greed of logging companies? Is the silence because there is no BN vs Pakatan angle there? My posting on the Aljazeera video of the Penan received just 14 comments. Why the lack of interest towards their plight and the loss of our rainforests? I am not talking about donating to charity here; I am referring to the entire mindset that supports unsustainable corporate-led development while ignoring the devastating impact on local communities.

In a number of areas – notably, our attitudes towards marginalised communities and the environment – our mindset has not yet changed, even after 8 March 2008. Many of us have simply transferred our loyalties from the BN to the Pakatan, but are still unprepared for a more sustainable model of development that does not harm communities nor damage our priceless heritage.

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12 Sep 2009 5.05pm

everyone just missed the point….

Kg. buah pala = sect 23 shah alam temple = perak state government = puked!

what is the common denominator?….umno!

this is plain and simple arithmetic…got it?

Wong Ka Wai
11 Sep 2009 4.17pm

Seperti yang dijanjikan semalam, saya akan menceritakan bagaimana Ketuanan India mungkin sudah berlaku di Malaysia. Walaupun saya ini tidak setuju dengan mana-mana konsep ketuanan tetapi saya hormat pendapat kawan saya. Ketuanan India mungkin sudah berlaku di Kg Buah Pala kerana: [1] penduduk Kg Buah Pala ialah pembayar TOL (TOL = Temporary Occupation Licence). Ini bukti tanah di mana mereka tinggal bukan milik mereka. Jika kamu tuan tanah, kamu bayar TOL tak? Tuan tanah bayar cukai tanah dan cukai pintu sahaja sambil bil IWK. [2] Kes Penduduk Kg Buah Pala vs pemaju Nusmestro di Mahkamah Persekutuan. Penduduk Kg Buah Pala sudah… Read more »

Wong Ka Wai
11 Sep 2009 1.49pm

Kepada K,

jika kamu tidak faham apa yang cuba saya sampaikan, patutlah kamu sokong BN.

Tetapi ini juga hak dan kebebasan kamu.

11 Sep 2009 1.18pm

Sdr Wong

Apakah relevennya Demo Kepala Lembu itu dengan hal ini ?

Tolong debat dengan saya dan jangan cuba melepaskan diri dengan membangkitkan perkara perkara yang bukan bukan.

11 Sep 2009 12.47pm

And the USA kenna cursed because the whites has forcefullt taken the land from aborigines.

Wong Ka Wai
11 Sep 2009 12.13pm

Seorang manusia guna nama K berkata: ——————- In case of KBP, nobody will blame LGE if he and his Pakatan cronies didn’t make any macho promises before the GE on preserving the village. But they did to get the votes of KBP folks and Indians of Penang. That’s the root cause of the problem here. Furthermore the way they managed the issue did not show an aota of compassion or understanding but instead adopted the Old BN tactics (which itself has been abandoned by BN themselves) of threatening and bullying the residents into submission by using the power of government… Read more »

11 Sep 2009 10.42am

Dear ghkok I am sorry but I don’t buy the pathetic excuse that PR cannot manage the states well because they don’t control the Federal Govt. The problems we see in Penang and elsewhere are not due to BN but Pakatan’s own doing. In case of KBP, nobody will blame LGE if he and his Pakatan cronies didn’t make any macho promises before the GE on preserving the village. But they did to get the votes of KBP folks and Indians of Penang. That’s the root cause of the problem here. Furthermore the way they managed the issue did not… Read more »

11 Sep 2009 12.23am

The site (may) be cursed…construction (could) be delayed and costs (could) go up for the greedy developer. Mysterious (things) will occur during piling and foundation works. People who buy the condos (may) experience bad luck and see strange apparitions in the near empty units. Strata title applications (could) be delayed by present state govt. inc. CF..

This is not a mere prediction and it has happened before in the history of forced land takeover by greedy developers, remember Thean Teik estate? Penang has its share of superstitions and many cannot be explained….

Wong Ka Wai
10 Sep 2009 8.26pm

Kepada K,

semalam saya tengok bola sepak England vs Crotia dengan kawan-kawan. Siaran langsung tau tak? England menang 5-1.

Patutlah pendapat kamu berbeza dengan orang ramai. Sila berkawan dengan lebih banyak orang kerana kamu akan dapat lebih pandangan terhadap sesuatu perkara.

Apa yang saya tuliskan sebelum ini kebanyakkan merupakan logik yang dibincangkan di kedai mamak atau kedai kopi.

Penduduk Kg Buah Pala mengikut kata kawan saya, Gunasekaran, memiliki Ketuanan India pertama di Malaysia.

Tahu tau kenapa?

Esok baru saya bagi tau awak. Biar kamu tak boleh tidur satu malam.

p/s: itupun kalau Anil hendak siarkan komen saya.

10 Sep 2009 8.07pm

What if the so called big corporation is The State of Penang. Taking care of 1.5 million Penangites

10 Sep 2009 6.41pm

Sdr Wong Tolong jangan mereka cerita tentang “geng India & Punjabi”. Kejadian yang anda ceritakan hanya wujud dalam imaginasi anda. Jika ingin berdebat, debatlah dengan hujah hujah anda tanpa mereka perkara yang bukan bukan. Anda mudah lupa bahawa penduduk KBP kini dihalau dari tanah pusaka mereka yang mereka duduki lebih daripada 150 tahun. Jangan buat tuduhan yang mereka ini setinggan. Tanah kerajaan ialah milik rakyat dan bukan milik LGE. Pada zaman dahulu tiada dokumentasi atau sistem hak milik tanah maka penduduk tidak memperolehi hak milik secara rasmi. Cuba lihat keadaan di Chew Jetty. Mereka juga hadapi masalah yang sama tetapi… Read more »

Wong Ka Wai
10 Sep 2009 4.09pm


hipokrital = hipokritikal

Wong Ka Wai
10 Sep 2009 4.07pm

Terdapat orang yang hipokrital wujud di sini. Cakap bagai tidak dapat apa-apa selepas meninggalkan Kg Buah Pala.

Rasa pahit kononnya.

Semalam saya lepak dekat kedai mamak sempat bersembang dengan geng India dan Punjabi. Mereka kata orang hipokrital sudah wujud dalam isu ini. Mereka juga kata, kalau ditimbang secara betul, selepas orang-orang yang tinggalkan Kg Buah Pala ini, mereka sudah boleh kena penyakit kencing manis. Terlalu manis rasanya. Hanya di mulut cakap pahit.

10 Sep 2009 1.48pm

Nil, As expected none of these racists (and that’s what they are) have the …. to admit that if it was the last village (belonging to another ethnic group) – they would have moved heaven and earth to make sure the village would not be demolished. … Even in Malaysia Today these ugly racists spread racial slurs at a drop of a hat: +++++++++ … written by smeagrooo, September 07, 2009 00:30:14 how rm40mil became rm500mil? well that’s call calculating “K***** sou” to you. report abuse disagree 6 agree 44 … +++++++++ Note the 44 racist idiots that agreed with… Read more »

Wong Ka Wai
9 Sep 2009 11.00pm

Kepada K,

sila jangan main-main dengan nama parti DAP.

Hari ini MCA menyaman YAB Lim Guan Eng kerana beliau mempersendakan nama MCA.

Kamu juga mungkin disaman oleh DAP.


9 Sep 2009 8.17pm

Anil,I am getting tired of the blame game, the issue is so muddy & cloudy. Can i suggest you do an expose piece on this, without fear and favour, just give us the truth. Do a “watergate” and give us the facts starting with the Trust document, how it became a TOL, sale by the previous state govt; the law suits KBP, and the investigate by the PR govt into the land sale and the outcome. Piece it all together so that everyone gets a clear picture. I am willing to chip in some money for yr expenses, anybody out… Read more »

9 Sep 2009 7.50pm

Hi Anil, Just a few remarks : 1. Surely you know the state of our political arena today. It’s getting practically impossible for Pakatan to rule. The constant hounding, intimidation and harassment by BN is disrupting day-to-day operations. In Selangor, a string of coordinated and planned assaults is hampering us. Starting from Teresa Kok’s ISA arrest and all the way to Teoh Beng Hock’s murder. MACC is running riot, raiding ADUN’s offices, picking on volunteer’s, assistants and vendors doing work for the state. The Federal Govt is withholding funds from the state govt and channeling the funds thru their own… Read more »

9 Sep 2009 6.44pm

Sugumaran is the real culprit. If he had stuck to dealing with just the state government, such mess would not have occured. He was ‘coaxed’ to change goal posts by Hindraf, MIC, Barisan National etc. Otherwise, why should he be hopping like a frog from one ‘potential saviour’ to another? And you do not want to say anything about the former BN state government for starting this mess? And the MIC rubber – stamp Exco member who just said ‘saya setuju’ to this initiative – where was he throughout the tense moments? He conveniently… quietly left the scene. No use… Read more »

Ken Wong
Ken Wong
9 Sep 2009 5.55pm

Anil, At the end of the day, you are saying that the Buah Pala folks should be permitted to continue living their traditonal life on the land. Given that the Court has, whether fairly or unfairly, ruled in favour of the developer, is that possible? Assuming that the Penang Government ignores the Court ruling and refuses to sanction the development of Buah Puala or forbid the developer from removing the villages, what will happen? Obviously the developer will take legal action against the State Government. Is it fair for the Penang taxpayers’ money to be used to fight a long… Read more »

Wong Ka Wai
9 Sep 2009 4.47pm

Kepada mani,

tahukah anda apa itu CAT ?

C = Competency
A = Accountability
T = Transparency

Dengan tidak mengikuti perintah Mahkamah Persekutuan Malaysia, jangan cerita CAT. Parti DAP dan juga Kerajaan Pulau Pinang sudah jadi macam samseng.

Sebab itu mereka akur dengan keputusan mahkamah.

Faham tak Mani?

C = mahkamah sudah perintah, terpaksa ikut
A = sudah dapat pampasan yang secukupnya
T = siapa yang jual tanah dulu, kita sudah tahu


9 Sep 2009 3.54pm

what else can we do to help kg buah pala. LGE has abandoned this people who has voted for him based on his (colleagues’) promises.

i guess, on kg buah pala case…..CAT does not exist at all.

CAT……has no meaning anymore!

Wong Ka Wai
9 Sep 2009 3.19pm

Kepada K,

saya ini bila baca komen kamu, saya terpaksa telan 2 biji panadol. Pening kepala.

Sebelum pertukaran Kerajaan Perak dari PR ke BN melalui cara yang tidak betul, Kerajaan Perak PR telah memberi geran kepada penduduk. Ini adalah fakta sebenar.

Dalam proses pemberian geran ini, Kerajaan Persekutuan BN cuba halang dengan pelbagai alasan. Ini adalah fakta.

Sekarang Kerajaan Perak BN pula tiru tindakan Kerajaan Perak PR bagi geran. Adakah YB-YB PR cuba halang?

Di antara PR and BN, siapa yang baik dan siapa yang jahat?

Sila jawab.


9 Sep 2009 3.14pm

It’s just a proverb lah. It’s mentioned in the bible so it’s ok. However, lately some Hindraf fellas made me conclude this way
By the way, Sugumaran till to date never say who are the well wishes. Hence, I warn Anil better not to get associate with them. They are not that naive. To be absolutely neutral
By the way, I am tempted to buy “Men In Whites” The best story ever. Democratic Socialism with State Planning that works. Everybody got the role to play. Including Devan Nair, the Leader of NTUC…..Sad, DAP should rope back the MTUC head

Ravi Vijaya
9 Sep 2009 3.13pm

Grandma says: If it had been another ethnic group in this saga, Anil would not be perpetuating this issue. I have known Anil for many years and he has always advocated social consciousness for truth, justice, freedom, equality, love, compassion, moderation, tolerance, restraint and sustainability for all humanity regardless of race. Grandma, I think its stupid of you to make baseless assumptions like these without first checking out Anil’s background. Or better still, take off those blinkers which only allow YOU to see everything from a racial perspective. I think its sad that many here are unable (or refuse) to… Read more »

9 Sep 2009 2.36pm

We are here to give opinions. Thanks for the forum, Anil. Calling names and wrongful accusation should be moderated. Calling PR – wolf in sheep’s skin in this case is totally unfounded because PR dint corrupt or abusing power.