Kg Buah Pala disintegrates under hammer blows

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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.

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lee wee tak

A lot of people have been writing with emotion, not their head. LGE is a CM, not an activist. He has to look at the overall situation. 1) If he spend RM30 million or whatever to buy the land so that the residents can continue to do what they have been doing for past 100 years or whatever, then other Penangites are deprived of amenities; and the elitist will be laughing all the way to the banj 2) a bad contract is still a contract. a contract is void if there is an element of duress or breach of terms.… Read more »

daniel

LGE and his staff are not saints. They are sinners, commoners and easily make mistakes. But who do not make mistakes? Malaysia has enough leaders who have very bad grounds.

I think we should continue to criticize LGE and his staff for the next 3.5 years for the betterment of Penang. But we can not condemn them as we have to respect them as leaders. BN or PR, they are all elected representatives.

If we are better than the politicians (PR or BN), we should be the candidate for next election.

Steven

Don`t worry, condo are in demand in Penang. They will be sold off within a short period especially in prime area like gelugor. Anyway most of the units have been sold.

Nevermind

Majority of the Penangites (including the Indians there) have to look at other examples of land acquisition in Malaysia. Look back at Kampung LBJ (Seremban District). This was once smallholders rubber plantation. Each villager owned a 5+ acres of rubber plantation. In the early 90’s their land was worth about RM5,000/acre and rubber price at that time was at rock-bottom. They couldn’t sell their land. If they did what were they going to do with about RM25,000? It’s too little for them. Then came the BN Govt with its Agencies to buy over these poor villagers plantation land. Eventhough the… Read more »

ANTI BODEK

DARI AWAL LAGI KITA SUDAH KATA, JANGAN PERCAYA DENGAN SENDIWARA MIC-BN YANG ADA AGENDA UNTUK MENJATUHKAN KERAJAAN PR DI P.PINANG. SEKARANG SIAPA RUGI, RAKYAT KG. BUAH PALA YANG KENA TIPU. PR TELAH BERUSAHA MENOLONG RAKYAT.MIC JADIKAN RAKYAT KG BUAH PALA SEBAGAI KAMBING HITAM DALAM POLITIK KOTOR MEREKA. HIDUP PR.

RAJAN

DARI AWAL LAGI KITA SUDAH KATA, JANGAN PERCAYA DENGAN SENDIWARA MIC-BN YANG ADA AGENDA UNTUK MENJATUHKAN KERAJAAN PR DI P.PINANG. SEKARANG SIAPA RUGI, RAKYAT KG. BUAH PALA YANG KENA TIPU. PR TELAH BERUSAHA MENOLONG RAKYAT.MIC JADIKAN RAKYAT KG BUAH PALA SEBAGAI KAMBING HITAM DALAM POLITIK KOTOR MEREKA. HIDUP PR.

WHAT

Bro K , what you expect , pay RM 1 Mil to each ?

Limko

My previous house where I grew up and stayed for more than forty years was given back to the landowner without a single sen of compensation when rent control act was repelled. The same thing happens to many people in Penang. What is so special in KG buah pala? What heritage Kg buah pala can boast about? It is a chapter closed, please move on.

mike

if i not mistaken DAP leaders promised kampung buah pala residents during the 308 election if they won penang state DUN…kampung buah pala residents no need to shift forever!!…….the problem is not how much compensation the new state government lead by lim guan eng can give to residents in kg buah pala!…it is how far u can keep your promises!….do u understand my dear lim guan eng!

Warrior 231

Now all the human rights wallahs here, there, everywhere plus the pro-developers affociandos and the pro-DAP and PR fan club rah-rah randling the Change mantra, enlighten me on the heritage value of the illegal ex-smuggler’s and opium den called the Clan Jetty occupying the Jelutong seafront like a sore thumb of rusty corrugated roofs, rickety walkways and putrid sewage? Or am I being racial here? wink…wink…LOL.

It is a story waiting to be told and told it will be in all its naked glory in due course…..

Anon

Please guys, spare a thought for these villagers while you sleep soundly tonight.

After all that is said and done; these people are still victims.

Yes, blame LGE by all means for not giving them more as it’ll set precedent.

Blame MIC for signing away their houses to the developers.

But most of all, blame yourself for voting BN for the past 20 years!!!

uncle buck

Yellowpower, you must be joking, a d/storey house in that area for 125,000.00.If that is true I bet u, Penang people will line up a week in advance at the sale office before the opening of the sale.Obviously you are not from Penang n have not been to that area.Hayoo yoo!!!!

uncle buck

Taskforce101,
Please do not hope and pray for such things because if the project fails to go on, the villages who agreed for the compensation will be the real losers.Putting aside our religious belief, we as human being must hope n pray that the project will carry on and completes ASAP so that the villages can move in to their respective houses and move on to a new chapter in their live.

Will

The Tg. Tokong tussle between residents and developer is coming up and I hope Anil will give them as much space as he has given the Kg. Buah Pala villagers.

When compensation is compared between Tg. Tokong and Kg. Buah Pala I believe it will put KBP into a new perspective. The Tg. Tokong people are only getting a RM45,000 low cost apartment.

KSTan

The root cause of the suffering of the people in cases like KBP is basically greed and corruption. There are far too many cases of land being transferred to third parties fraudulently over the past few decades. Once title over a land has passed, even an illegal act becomes legalised. The Government of the day seem truly helpless when faced with such a legal issue. While talks about reforming the land laws is beyond me, I would think that a policy of “no forced eviction” would help to avoid and ameliorate such tear jerking drama as have happened in KBP… Read more »

Penang_Lang

Do you think this is the only kampung being demolished? There are a lot of kampung being demolished all over Malaysia throughout the years and why aren’t they in the paper and this kampung buah pala happen to be in the paper as a hot news? It is so obvious that this is a plot by BN to pull down PR. And there again another scenario is starting. Tanjong Tokong Malay village asking to be preserved as heritage. And this time is the Malay village, BN once again will send in some representatives to ***. What next??? Chinese village??? this… Read more »

Neutral

I’m staying very near to KBP, I don’t think the KBP’s residents are smart enough. The whole issue cannot be solved definately reason is because that was the courts order. they should “Thanks God” that our CM Lim Guan Eng fighting on behalf of them, to get them back the shelter to stay (double storey terrace house).

At this point of time, no need to blame who and what not, if you want to blame then blame those who sold the land to the developer, we know who and no need to mention the name.

Sunny

“Even trees were not spared. A goat took refuge under a tractor. Dogs and cats were helpless with nowhere to go.”

OH MY GOD! The aliens have invaded?

harry

I just could not bring myself to see the destruction to the village in the name of development through a web of alleged scams.

The developer has emerged victorious. Congrats LGE. To the villagers my heart goes out to you and I shall continue to pray for you.

I last visited the village on the 9th August 2009 to see it with my own eyes. I am again travelling to Penang during the Raya break and had hoped to drop by the village again……..

Wong Ka Wai

Kepada Anil,

jika kamu rasa kerana atas nama pembangunan, pokok-pokok dan tumbuh-tumbuhan dimusnah, sila tubuhkan satu dana bagi membeli tanah. Tanah di mana-mana pun boleh beli. K akan derma kepada dana ini.

Kemudian, selepas berjuta-juta ringgit digunakan bagi membeli tanah tersebut, atas nama anti-pembangunan, sila tanah jagung, sawi, kacang, nanas dan lain-lain tumbuhan seperti lalang.

Kamu akan disanjungi ramai, terutama K (atau Koh Tsu Kon).

Chinaman

Penang need to progress. Look what Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu has done for us and now LGE is trying to make Penang a better & modern city like S’pore and that’s for the betterment of Penangites yet you people out there are saying he’s greedy…. Did anyone make any noise when Tun Dr. LCE develop Penang some 30 yrs back? No, but praises all around even up today. Penang has to move on and not just block by some greedy residents who keep blaming LGE & PR who has helped them nego for a double storey house. Common, how… Read more »

Andrew I

Don’t think it’s me. The other neighbours haven’t moved.

Andrew I

I wonder what the feng shui masters will have to say about the bad vibes after Oasis has been built. I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.

There are some things that can’t be explained away, like the house next door to mine which has seen 5 new owners in the past seven years.

radin kamal

A sad sad day indeed, I am in concord with Anonymous. Although my anger is directed at the the previous state govt of Penang who were in cohorts with the compradore corporates in the name of Koperasi Pegawai Kanan and Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn, I am equally disappointed with the LGE administration who could have walked the extra mile by putting a hold on this project if they had invoked the relevant provisions of the National Land Code. As for the school of thought whose mantra and magic word is development, pls think again. Do not fall prey for the… Read more »

Maniam

Yes, finally these arrogant greedy villagers have been kicked out. Majority of penangites, including Indians like me are fed up with such antics by a few villagers, let us not forget majority of them are thankful to our CM LGE for twisting the developers arm and getting such never before seen compensation – double storey houses and community hall, plus relocation costs. HINDRAF had hidden agendas which is now uncovered when they along with Sugu went to UMNO and chanted their new manthra ‘1Malaysia’ and claimed only UMNO can help them. Hindraf lead by a coward who ran away to… Read more »