The other side of Kg Buah Pala


When most outsiders hear of Kampung Buah Pala, they tend to think of it as just another crammed “squatter” settlement, with ramshackle houses, surrounded by rubbish and stray animals.

Let me show you the other side of Kg Buah Pala – a side not often seen by outsiders. The village is actually quite scenic, the houses nestled amidst natural greenery. The wooden houses blend in with nature, standing next to rambutan, neem and coconut trees. It is easy to see why the Koperasi and Nusmetro covet this land. But they will only flatten it with orange soil for their construction work.

“People tend to look down on wooden houses,” said one of the villagers, showing me around. “They think that brick and concrete houses are superior, but then they find it so hot inside such houses and apartments even with fans and air-cons. Do you know, when I was growing up here in the village, we had to sleep under double blankets. It was that cool.”

He told me that his father moved in here in the 1950s and bought the family home for $3,000 back then. “That was a lot of money back then.”

Talking to the villagers, I could sense their pride in the village, their passion and nostalgia obvious.

Another villager told me he was seriously thinking of leaving the corporate world and coming back to nature to rear cows and goats. “I am tired of all the unethical practices I see in the corporate world, having to market products and persuade people to buy what they don’t really need and then having to chase for collection. I would rather sell something (like milk and dairy products) that people actually need and they will then come to me for it.”

When asked if that meant he was thinking of going into hightech, large-scale cattle rearing with modern equipment, he repled, “No, I would rather do it the natural (organic) way.”

I thought I would take photos of all the houses yesterday before the demolition team can bulldoze its way in and swing their wrecker’s ball to flatten the village forever.

But they will have to contend with the villagers’ pride in their heritage and homeland.

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Charlie Oscar

Why blame LGE? It is because the PR (Pembangkang Rakyat) made a lot of promises to the KBP folks (and also to the Penangites) during GE12 and cannot keep them now. Period!!! Promises were made without knowing the full details of the KBP land issue. How did the Coop get the KBP land? It is part in exchange for the piece of land in Georgetown owned by the Coop with the previous BN Government (to build the Court House?). Is there fraud involve? Nope. Because the PR Government would be the 1st to provide evidences to the KBP lawyers in… Read more »


Lim Guan Eng said, “I think they (Kg Buah Pala villagers) should be reasonable and I fear they will be losing public support…in fact, they have lost a lot of public support.” (Star Online,7 August 2009) This statement made by Lim Guan Eng explained why he dared to ignore promises made to the villagers by his party leaders and Anwar Ibrahim. It is clear to Lim Guan Eng that the Kg Buah Pala villagers had lost a lot of support among the (public). But, why have the villagers lost a lot of public support? In the (Chinese) vernacular newspaper, Lim… Read more »


the area is centre of;
the cattle dirty the surrounding area,ask the neighbour.ask the health department,ask the police.ask the municipal enforcement or come and see for yourselves,kotok


Why do u rely on the aliran article? Do u cite the aliran article in court? Simple.. U can continue arguing what aliran says but no.. u will gain nothing out of it. It’s time u look from the legal point of view or u can harp all u want. Show the legal documents evidencing any transfer to the villagers. Under trust, u merely need some documents to show Margarate’s certainty of intention, indicating the portion of the land to be held under trust and who exactly is the beneficiary. To win your case, the trust must exist. Trust has… Read more »


I like the trees, but I think it is a stretch to call the place “scenic”. It looks like any other village in the country, and not particularly noteworthy or of any tourism value. There is no unique cultural architecture, for example.




The land is owned by the trustee under the Fed Government. Read the Aliran article on that matter if you are not, and rebut with your halk-cooked arguments.

How did you know I never read the full judgement on Batu Puteh? This is showing your arrogant attitude and implying your point is God given argument.


I could care less if the site was scenic or possessing some sort of heritage, which is kind of spin to me. What is important is that these people have to be forced out of their homes, regardless of whether its in the way of development or not. That being said, I kind of miss the old Singapore, as opposed to the very heavily modernized one that’s standing in place now. I would not be so quick to blame the residents of Buah Pala for their remarks on Lim Guan Eng and so forth. Desperate people in desperate situations go… Read more »


nkkhoo First Answer: Basic law.. All lands not owned alienated are owned by the State. Citation: NLC Secondly: If you are not the owner and you stay in the land for 200 years. The land still belongs to the State. Our land laws are not the same as the UK whereby there you may gain ownership / adverse possession (wiki it up) of the land after staying in the land for 12 years. In our case, there is clear documentation that the villagers are TOL holders (licensees).. simple as that. If they want to prove anything, it must be from… Read more »


First, scan the document/letter evidencing beneficial ownership by the villagers since Margarate’s time. You must have some form of a letter/document stating Margarate’s intention to give the land to the villagers.


No document is needed to prove I am a legitimite land owner IF my ancestors and me occupied a land for 200 years.

Johor government had never sold Batu Puteh to Singapore, but international court gave that tiny island to Singapore for a single reason, the island was occupied by Singapore for 100 years without a single protest from Johor and Malaysia until 70s.


ahh at last somebody – jeswant natarjan – spoke up about the village not being anything heritage, cultural or traditional. and to think one of the villager went all the way to parish to seek for heritage status. granted that i understand the villagers in not wanting to move but i don’t understand them to give this reason of the village being traditional and heritage (which NGOs seems to take up – or was it NGOs that started it?). quote jeswant: –“This is a pure land dispute where the villagers are faced with eviction and will have no place to… Read more »


Second, if there is no such document and everything is by way of words verbally, then the correct words to use are.. the land belongs to Margarate.. the Federal govt had held the land on trust for her..the villagers stayed on the land NOT as beneficial owners but as licenseess.. in which case their license has been terminated.. and the Federal court had rightfully decided to upheld the law. === The federal goverment did transfer the land title to Penang state government? The answer is NO. Please provide your legal doucment to prove otherwise. How can you sell a land… Read more »


Totally agree with mr. crash…only LGE carry the weight..most of the shouting ppl are only wanted to be count in without clear direction…so stay with LGE..


looks like you have bought a condo in the project.
no wonder your comment is so prejudiced.
I wonder how many other spin meisters here have bought properties there. That explains their pro developer stance.

uncle buck

#km, not only Pakatan is putting a lot of attention on this, BN is also. The difference is one trying to help the KBP people but the another is trying destroy pakatan govn in penang.
Anyway,anil nice pic, sort of brought back good memorizes of childhood days.


AT first, everyone felt bad and sympathize the villager. The more they make a scene and “ridiculous & unreasonable demands”, the more ppl get tired with the stunt. I drove by yesterday and saw bunch of them holding banner and such, putting little children and senior citizen in line. The aim is to get more & more sympathy. This is getting more and more “meluat” to look or even hear about. I am sorry guys, but they went too far off this time. You can ask around Penang and ask for peoples opinion. You will understand what I mean. Looking… Read more »

Jeswant Natarajan

Looking at your photos, I can’t see any heritage or cultural value in this village at all. Surely this can’t be a “heritage” that should be preserved. I can’t see any Hindu or Tamil culture being lived there. Its all an exaggeration to save their homes. “Scenic” is a matter of opinion but to me its more of an eyesore. Every village in this country has its “scenic” spot and value and certainly, being “scenic” is not an excuse for the government to step in for the village to be preserved. The photos you put up reflects and mirrors the… Read more »


nkkhoo “(They are) using Federal court to rob the land from … poor people.” 2 points to be made: First, scan the document/letter evidencing beneficial ownership by the villagers since Margarate’s time. You must have some form of a letter/document stating Margarate’s intention to give the land to the villagers. Second, if there is no such document and everything is by way of words verbally, then the correct words to use are.. the land belongs to Margarate.. the Federal govt had held the land on trust for her..the villagers stayed on the land NOT as beneficial owners but as licenseess..… Read more »


Anil, are Indians that bad ah? Biting the hands who feed them???

I have some very good Indian friends. They are not a bit like what had been described by the people.

I dare say some people who come to the aid of the villagers (last minute) are not sincere, they have their own agenda, in particular, MIC. Hindraf ???

I hope some smart villagers will educate those less smart ones so that the latter will not be cheated again and again…

Ask Mr Samy where is my hard earned money which i have invested in the Maika shares???


For whatever reasons, Pakatan government is putting a lot of attention, effort and time to this Kampung Buah Pala’s issues which I don’t think BN government would even think of extending the date line for demolition. Think about it Kampung Buah Pala’s folks and readers.

Reasonable in your demand.


Go form an Indian based party, Anil.

Thanks for your suggestion, Feleaz – but no thanks! – Anil


The thing is that why these villages keep attacking Guan Eng, when he is probably the only guy in position of power that is on their side.

They are biting the hands that could have helped them.

Bcoz if this, KBP folks lost my support.

Land is a premium in Penang, everybody have to pay a premium to stay in Penang.

Indeed injustice is done by the previous Gerakan govt, if so, KBP folks should take it up with them, not generating much more fodder for BN controlled media to shoot at Guan Eng.


It is all down to the money and greed.


Anil, Have you seen the beautiful orchard farms in Whampoa opposite of Toa Payoh? How about the large squatter settlement in Toa Payoh before they were torn down to make way for the First HDB settlement that spearhead the growth of Singapore economy, uplifting the social standing of all Singaporeans who stayed there before? How about the Hong Kong famed Walled City? I would prefer to bulldoze them to create a Mini Toa payoh or a Waller Court. If require to use the directive or Land Requistion Act, lets build public housing. All poor Penangites deserved one small part of… Read more »

Tan Jo

Dear Anil, Looking at the pictures, I have to admit that I, for one, am not too sure by your attempt to justify safe guarding KBP just because its “scenic” and full of “wooden houses”. I could probably name you quite a few other places in Penang which are “scenic” and have “wooden houses” as well – so that line of argument doesn’t really convince me despite your laudable efforts to promote it such. However, I feel that what carries more weight in the effort to save KBP is the fact that the transfer of ownership was done in such… Read more »


Sick with these chauvinists… go read more on the legality of the land title before you open your … mouths.

(They are) using Federal court to rob the land from … poor people.