The Penang Municipal Council has strongly denied that approval was given to Nusmetro to block access to Jalan Kaki Bukit, the road that passes through Kampung Buah Pala. The Council refuted the claim by the firm’s director, reported in The Star, that approval had been given.
Said the council in a statement today:
The road that was closed is a public thoroughfare and any application to close it has to be referred to the Public Works Department and the Land Office for approval.
In this connection, the Council has directed Nusmetro to remove all obstacles to Jalan Kaki Bukit and to repair the damage immediately.
At lunch time today, workers removed the obstacles and Jalan Kaki Bukit was once again re-opened to traffic.
That’s it? No penalties for illegally shutting down a public road for a whole day? We get fined for minor offences such as parking outside allotted bays or if the parking meter runs out. It is simply amazing that the developer even thought it could get away with shutting down a public road.
This morning, the demolition crew returned to the village to continue where they had left off but the villagers told them they were still negotiating with the developer. The workers left.
Meanwhile, the state government, pre-empting any possible move by the villagers to relocate to an adjacent 2.4 acre plot of state land, has put up a couple of sign-boards prohibiting trespassers.
The remaining 12 households who have not signed up for the “double-storey-houses-worth-RM500,000” compensation are trying to secure a one-off payment from the developer. They are asking for RM300,000 per household, which will assist them in raising funds to secure another plot of land in Gelugor, where they hope to relocate their community and village. Negotiations could continue.