It was a sad, sad day for Kampung Buah Pala as a demolition team smashed the homes of villagers who had struggled to protect and preserve their 200-year-old settlement.
Photos by an eye-witness
1930: “My heart is completely broken today. Where were all the NGOs and political parties?” lamented a volunteer who had stood by the villagers. “Nobody was there … to see for themselves the pain the people went through. (I was) standing there and watching the demolition helplessly.”
“Even trees were not spared. A goat took refuge under a tractor. Dogs and cats were helpless with nowhere to go.”
1249: Kampung Buah Pala is rapidly disintegrating as the developer’s wrecking crew carries out symbolic demolition of nearly all houses. A porch is smashed here, a room there, a wall torn down over there, bringing down the roof…
No resistance is offered amidst emotional scenes as the villagers appear utterly demoralised during the developer’s fourth demolition effort backed by police. In the end, after all the promises to defend the village made by various politicians, the villagers are left to mourn alone as the developer tears down their precious homes.
A slice of history is being wiped out to make way for a luxury condominium project, ironically named “Oasis”. The real oasis was Kampung Buah Pala – an alternative way of life, more in harmony with nature, now lost as the concrete jungle encroaches relentlessly. All in the name of ‘development’.
Once again, a developer triumphs over ordinary residents – and a village that means so much to its inhabitants disappears.