Reserve land near Kg Buah Pala: Another option

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Uninhabited land next to Kampung Buah Pala which could be turned into an eco-village – Photos by Anil

The worried Buah Pala village folk are at a loss over what to do. Few outside the village seem to understand them. They have been labelled as greedy and demanding after being offered 24 two-storey terrace houses – which they feel is not enough as there are about 40 families in the village.

One lanky village youth keeping watch, a walkie-talkie attached to his waist, told me his household has 12 members. “How are we to fit into a terrace house?”

Villagers say a strip of uninhabited state land lies adjacent to the village. A villager pointed out to me where the land stood. I ambled down the slope, past the enclosure of grazing cows on the right and found an open space, filled with undergrowth along a fairly long monsoon drain. I ventured in cautiously – the strip seemed to extend deep inside, and it appeared wide enough for houses to be built. This was probably the 2.4 acres of state reserve land a few had been talking about.

As I trekked inside, I thought this could be turned into a model eco-village where residents could be encouraged to pursue projects that promote sustainable development and self-sufficiency.

If, for whatever reason, the state is unwilling to pursue the land scam angle to try and nullify the deal or reacquire the land (despite several MACC reports), why is it baulking at pressing the developer to provide more houses or using the state reserve land or the nearest available space? It is not as if there is not enough land around to relocate the village in the vicinity as an eco-friendly ‘kampung tersusun‘ or to provide additional housing if the developer is unwilling to provide more than 24 houses.

The Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang was voted in to do things differently from the BN. This would be as good an occasion as any to show that they are really different and more committed to marginalised communities.

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Ken Wong

TOL means exactly what it is: temporary occupation. There are many others in the country who are occupying land under TOL. It is up to them to get permanent residency status. If they have not bothered to or are unable to change the TOL into something more permanent, what is there to say ? Bear in mind that whatever is given as compensation to the Kampung Pala folks should also be given to all other TOL holders in future. Should taxpayers’ or developers’money be used for such purposes ? Or should the the Kampung Pala residents be treated on a… Read more »

hendrie chan

I truly feel sorry for the residents of Kg Buah Pala.Looking at the sequence of events happening, there are indeed certain parties trying to create issues for political gains at the expense of the poor residents. With the latest turn of events where the developer is prepared to offer the residents houses at absolutely no charges, the residents should be happy to accept it. Now the residents are asking for monetary compensation. This itself is too much, they become greedy. One has to bear in mind that they have been squatting on other peoples’land and not theirs, They have no… Read more »

y

Rajan, are you one of the villager who take compensation earlier?

In Chinese Press, the developer claim that they will give a double story house to those villager who take compensation earlier too. Hope this is true. 🙂

y

Shouldn’t all relevant information (temporary accommodation, completion date, what happens if the company is unable to proceed with the project) be given before – not after – they are asked to sign? If we were them, would we sign without such information? – Anil

I think completion date, what happens if the company is unable to proceed with the project should be write in to the contract. If the citizen bare the cost, they need to know how long they need to bare such a cost.

eagle-eye

//To me, the offer of a double storey terrace house is already over generous// — Ken Wong

Yeah, “rob” them of 6.5 acres and then give them 0.7 acres with 2 st hse and you call it overgenerous and magnanimous.
Some sense of justice!

//It sets a dangerous precedence// — Ken Wong

These ppl are not squatters. They are settlers. So what precedent are you talking about.

eagle-eye

//I wish LGE and the Penang state government washed its hand off this issue all together. Let MIC or Hindraf negotiate with the developers … There’s MIC and Hindraf to take care of them.// — sam

Dear sam,
You have unwittingly exposed your racist nature. Guys like you are the ones who claim to be non racial, colour blind anak bangsa malaysia. Hypocrites. Shame on you.

eagle-eye

LGE is on the side of the developer. Since March2008 the state govt didnt bother to investigate the alleged fraud/scam even though they were informed before as well as immediately after the election. The state govt did not extend any help to the villagers and they were fighting their own batle in Court. It was only after Hindraf came in and forced the hand of the state govt that LGE got involved. You guys can spin LGE as the Saviour, but the fact is, if not for Hindraf KBP would have been rubble last month. The question is why did… Read more »

eagle-eye

//Anil, it seemed you are losing in your attempt to educate and inform your readers of what is really going on in kbp. So many irrelevant issues, comparisons and accusations were thrown into the pot.// — MorningDew You can educate ppl who are ignorant but you can’t educate ppl who are bent on a mission and pretend to be ignorant. Penang DAP is on a massive campaign to dehumanize the KBP villagers. These commentors are cybertroopers whose only objective appears to be to spin LGE as the Angel and the villagers as the Demons – greedy and arrogant. No amount… Read more »

K

DAP and LGE claim that they are multi-racial and so proud of their Malaysian Malaysia agenda. This episode has torn this facade to pieces….

It is a sad and shameful day for Penang when the Chief Minister himself is resorting to… the colonist “Divide & Rule” strategy.

You see the DAP supporters here have adopted the Neo-Con principle of “Either With Us or Against Us”. Just because I speak out against the handling of the issue of KBP by LGE I have being branded as BN supporter. What’s next ?

Penangite

Peter, at least the land is vacant. why waste it by letting it idle when you can help the villagers.

Strange

Shouldn’t all relevant information (temporary accommodation, completion date, what happens if the company is unable to proceed with the project) be given before – not after – they are asked to sign? If we were them, would we sign without such information? – Anil If the land was legally mine, or I’m buying a house, no. Who would sign? If I was squatting on the land, and I’m going to be legally owning a double story terrace house and in future my net worth is going to increase by RM500,000, and in future future when Penang runs out of land,… Read more »

Ken Wong

To me, the offer of a double storey terrace house is already over generous. It sets a dangerous precedence. Will this mean that, in future, anybody occupying land under a TOL will have to be compensated with a double storey terrace house or a piece of reserve land if his TOL is terminated for any reason? We should look at past practice in deciding the level of compensation to be given. Decisions should not be based how fierce the TOL occupier is in making his demand or the amount of political backing he has.If people are too demanding, it would… Read more »

Tommy

Whoa!!! 12 members can’t fit in a double storey house.
Are they telling us that now they are staying in a mansion?? Whoa, then they must be a millionaire, i guess!
Finally what they want is a 12 room bungalow, lah!!!

ronnie

K, don’t paint yourself as politically neutral. You are definitely not neutral. You seem to enjoy attacking LGE and PR while ignoring any wrongdoings by Gerakan and BN. Just like Hindraf.

To you, anybody who has a different opinion from you are “shameless and starry-eyed fanboys and fangals of LGE and Pakatan” even if it involves a wide segment of society. In your own little world, you’re the only person who is right. If you just step outside and look at yourself, you are no better than the people you condemn.

chanjoe

KB, K is in fact also very anti PR and very pro BN. He is what we call a “s*** stirrer”. Its very clear cut that KBP has to go and if all 24 households were to sign and accept the compensations, then they have the clougt to get more info of the offer and also negotiate for other benefits through the state govt. But unfortunately, some of them are asking for the moon and so there is no unison to ask for better benefits through the state govt. Guess the remaining ones who refuse to sign can just sit… Read more »

Rajan Rajasamy

Unlike a reporter who went to France at his “own expense” konon and hoping that the public reads the trash he writes. Will the real reporter stands up? Oh…why nobody talks about Selvaraj’s claim that the land is worth RM3.5Million? So who is trying to gain symphathy here ? He or my CM?

Furious

Koh Tsu Koon is a political eunuch with no pride, no self-respect and no honour.

He simply washes his hands off the whole saga.

All his apologists here masquarading as political neutrals should be ashamed of themselves.

This is a land grab done with the connivance of the previous CM. Make no mistake about it.

jeff

Prof Ramasamy and Rayer are striking back!!Bout time!!Hah,it’s high time Waytha/Uthaya,… be exposed!!

(They and others) have (collected) 100’s of thousand of RM from poor indians…

mmz

Aiyah. Let them stay in Komtar lah. So many empty space there.

KB

“This comment below was taken from the NST and was attributed to M. Sugumaran, the Village Resident Assoc Chairman.” -K

K, if you accept everything said by the partisan Sugumaran as Gospel truth, then you may as well believe that PR is the devil and BN is the angel.

Listening to him on malaysiakini.TV makes me want to puke! The guy is so anti-PR and pro-BN that he may as well be a politician. I sympathize with the villagers for having a person like him represent them.

K

For many people here, their anger is more to do with the perceived “boldness” of the KBP residents in “attacking” and making demands to LGE’s administration. To these people, LGE is beyond reproach and represents the “Good” while those opposed him must be surely “Evil” by default. So the question now arises that what would these people do if the Najib’s govt also adopts such anti-people and intolerant attitude and approach ? Can Najib by the same token reject and refuse to negotiate in an issue when the Pakatan politicians get involved ? For a political nuetrals like me, this… Read more »

fencesitter

If I were the developer, I will immediately accept the residents’ request of building more house to accommodate all their extended families of 64 as they claimed. I’ll 1.) build a storey of flat worth let say RM70k each of 700 sq ft house and give each to the so-called 64 EXTENDED families for FREE. ( u get a RM 70K 700sqft flat in PENANG, i believe it’s a good deal) 2.) and the rest i’ll open up for sale. 3.) all families get their houses all to them with their uncle and aunty staying next door.what a harmoniuos life… Read more »

sam

I wish LGE and the Penang state government washed its hand off this issue all together. Let MIC or Hindraf negotiate with the developers on the KBP residents.
LGE should get on with governing Penang and for all Penangnites , instead of pandering to these greedy demanding residents.
Penang needs a government more than those KBP residents. I’d venture to say, forget about the whole issue. There’s MIC and Hindraf to take care of them. The state government should now concentrate on more demanding matters and not be tied down by these bunch. Its been going on long enough.

looes74

To add on to what Ethan is saying. Is it wrong to compensate the villagers with state reserve land? may I ask those folks, to whom the land belongs to? KBP villagers or 1.5 million Penangites? If LGE were to revoke the court order, wouldn’t my idea is more acceptable? Build Public Housing that houses 3.5 to 4K people in Kampung Buah Pala. Perhaps, the villagers can have a slight bigger houses. Let all Penangites have a piece of KBP I thought that’s what Anil’s been espousing? Social Justice I might be cruel to say it’s only 300 folks. How… Read more »

feleaz

They asked for a few houses for their extended families. For those with small families, can they accept half a house ( one room ) ? These people are greedy and arrogant. They deserve not a single room.