Uncertainty grips Kg Buah Pala (updates)

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High Chaparral 019

Tears well up in the eyes of Sugumaran, the residents committee chairperson – Photo by Anil

2118: “I can really see sincere tears rolling down the faces of some of the villagers,” says a Penangite. “The fear of losing their shelter; kids can’t prepare for exams. This is life. Imagine if we are in their shoes.”

2053: Talks are still ongoing between the Penang state government and the developer. The state government finds itself in an unenviable position, hemmed in by residents’ demos, the developer apparently willing to negotiate but the Cooperative playing hardball, Umno(?), and what it believes to be political opportunists making use of the villagers. Much is at stake, for all sides.

2031: The villagers held a candlelight vigil and have now ended their gathering. Guan Eng was not in.

“We heard on the eight o’clock news that they are coming in tomorrow to demolish,” says a worried villager.

2021: About 50 villagers, many of them children, are now gathered outside the Chief Minister’s residence. This has upset the Chief Minister’s people, who believe they have been trying hard to resolve the crisis and that certain quarters are making use of the villagers for their own ends.

The villagers, meanwhile, are desperate as the Cooperative has said it will carry out demolition tomorrow.

1700: Radio news announces that the developer has “rescheduled” its demolition to tomorrow to “allow residents more time to leave”.

But the residents appear to be standing firm and they are not going anywhere. Between 50 and 100 activists and residents – some of them sitting on swings in the porches of houses, others chatting under a canopy near the main lane cutting through the village – are keeping watch. Others have called it a day. A short distance away, plainclothes police are keeping an eye.

Asked about the compensation offered, one villager said they had never been formally offered RM200,000 each, as often claimed. “All that was just talk – we have never seen anything in writing to that effect,” he said. What the villagers were offered earlier was an apartment worth RM75,000, along with a temporary monthly rental, or RM90,000 cash.

A few of the residents appear resigned to the prospect of co-existing side-by-side with the project. But there are also worries that the proposed double-storey terrace houses which the state is said to be trying to arrange with the developer as compensation could turn out to be small cluster ‘matchbox’ houses that would be too small and crammed for their extended families. (It is not uncommon for each village house here, with spacious compounds, to be shared by several families.)

Many are still waiting for the final outcome of the state investigative committee’s probe into the Kampong Buah Pala land transfer. How was land held in trust for the villagers (as beneficiaries) sold to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative under the BN administration? Who was the mastermind behind the sale-cum-joint venture property development deal? Who was involved in sealing the land transfer on 27 March 2008, under the new Pakatan administration? What are the political interests (if any) and developer connections behind Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, the Oasis project developer? Who is the main shareholder, Mohamad Faridz Karim of Balik Pulau, who has an 80 per cent interest in the developer’s parent company, Asia Link-up Sdn Bhd? And who is the contractor for the Oasis project likely to be?

1142: About a hundred demonstrators from Hindraf, MIC and PSM are at Komtar now. They have just handed over a memo for the chief minister.

1050: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has just announced that if demolition proceeds, there is nothing more to talk about: the state government will not give the green light for the project. This is the stand of the Penang state government, a source in Komtar informs me.

1020: Meanwhile, talks between the developer and the state government are believed to be ongoing. The state government now has the added difficulty of dealing with the hardline stance adopted by the Penang Government Officers Cooperative. But it is unlikely that the demolition team will be coming in today, predicts a source.

1012: About 200 people are still in the village. Some of them appear to be heading to Komtar, according to an eye-witness at the scene.

0830: Between 100 and 200 activists and supporters have gathered in the village, as residents wake up to an uncertain future. Most of the crowd appear to be from Hindraf, PSM and MIC.

Police patrol cars have been cruising around. The situation appears to be calm.

One eye-witness says the demolition team may not even turn up today. They could come tomorrow or days later, when the crowd, some of whom are from out of town, dwindles.

Folks, keep praying for a peaceful and just resolution.

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boon

some error in my last post. It should be “……the land was purchased by cooperative”

boon

I agreed with Raj kiran. The trust land was sold, by the time the residents paid annual TOL rental, the ownership of land has been gone, as the land has been vested to the state government. All dealing in the past was formalized by the registration of buyers name in the Land Registry under NLC, an “indefeasible title” to the new owner. All legal ground has lost except another legal battle to fight on the ground of fraud etc, but it is remote as the land was purchased from the cooperative. But the time factor is another limiting factor, limiting… Read more »

Raj kiran

All the things happening in kg. buala pala is a politik gimmicks by the leaders for their personnel interest…that;s what i see……………residen of buah pala was taken for ride by all these leaders…………

eagle-eye

wisdom23, How did you conclude that the state govt could be sued for hundreds of millions Ringgit?? What is the current value of the land? Did the state obtain a proper valuation of the land? All LGE has to do is ask the state valuation dept to conduct a valuation. Has it been done?? That village is still a village, there are no improvements to the land, how did the value suddenly inflate to hundreds of millions??? Please get your facts right and stop spinning blindly. Anyway if LGE had been proactive and had personally gone to the ground earlier… Read more »

RAMESH KANNA

i believe the people of kg buah pala will have their village.

wisdom23

Kampung Buah Pala’s case is a LOSE-LOSE situation for PR Govt. Bet you, BN, MIC and HINDRAF knew this very well. If the villagers failed to get their land, all fingers will be immediately pointed at PR Govt, claimed PR Govt fail to fulfill their promise, PR Govt neglect Indian community (BN favourite weapons-racist issue), PR Govt neglect the poor and etc. BN will definitely use this topic to kill off PR Govt in the next GE, especially from Indian voters. It may also become a national topic around Malaysia, not only Penang. Let say miracle did happen, the villagers… Read more »

anna brella

To add one final point to my last post (on 4 August) which I addressed directly and only to Investor: Property held under trust and governed by Trust law is generally considered to be iron-clad in countries that say they operate on that principled (i.e.just) Rule of Law rock. If such Trusts can be broken/unravelled and the entrusted property taken away with such ease (whether through fraud or otherwise) from the beneficiaries of that Trust, then the state of Penang is sliding down a slippery slope towards losing its attractiveness to smart investors, who are all still just as shrewdly… Read more »

jeff

LGE – the 3.2 Million ringgit man!

Aah..see folks..this is the proof..this is the ultimate agenda of HINDRAF,MAKKAL SAKTI,MIC!!The aim is to shame LGE and Pakatan,and not about the “24”.

jeff

Hah,it’s LGE and Ramasamy who are working tirelessly to solve the problems,where as actors,like Utaya,Waytha,and MIC are the ones delaying the matters.This matter could have been solved long time ago,but “dimana ada MIC,disitu ada problem”.As a result,we see this stalemate!!Wanna protect a 200 year old heritage konon!!

jeff

Hah,Sugumaran shedding crocodile tears…

K

anna brella

I am sorry to be blunt…but quit being a Goebbel’s to LGE…. Your spins are becoming rather tiresome.

People like you talk about “Rule of Law” only when it suits you and discards it like a hot coal when it is not.

LGE was jailed using the same principle of “Rule of Law” and would you accept that decision in the same spirit ??…

anna brella

Investor: You are of course entitled to your opinions and views, even if they are somewhat off tangent in my opinion. As far as I am aware, the rock we call the Rule of Law is never asinine, but the quicksand we call “rule by law” generally always is. It is being proven more and more now that investors are waking up to that principled and clear distinction. This global financial meltdown has exposed humungous levels of corruption and fraud in many countries to the clear detriment of investors and other related stakeholders, who all, no doubt, probably believed (whether… Read more »

Investor

8am right? cant wait to see the bulldozers 😀

eagle-eye

//It is hard to comprehend the supporters of Pakatan / DAP here (which sis very obvious even to a casual observer).// Dear K, I dont think these ppl are supporters of Pakatan/DAP. They are masquerading as such but in fact they are … cybertroopers and those who have bought properties in the project. Some could even be BN agent provocateurs. The way they are demonising the poor villagers, it is obvious that they are trying to make the Indians hate LGE/DAP. At the same time LGE is no angel. He ignored this issue until Hindraf came onto the scene. We… Read more »

Darrel

Lets try to look back in history when the Pakatan Led goverment took over. The land transfer was done much earlier and the sale completed but the payment schedule was not done by the cooperative to the state goverment until the very last day the Pakatan won. They the Koperasi quickly make the complete payment and get the land transfer, and all this was done with within the power under the DO , from land office. The sale of the land at Kampung Buah Pala was approved by the BN lead exco to the koperasi at the discount price…which who… Read more »

wisdom23

K,
Are you saying once the person is history, he should not be responsible for his wrongdoings anymore?
and pretend nothing happen?
I think you need to check your mind.
Then, all ex-leaders who are corrupted can be exempted from being prosecute.

Furthermore, for your info, that person is not history but still pretty much alive and kicking in Putrajaya, very much still in power and handling the national matter. Got it!

wisdom23

PR govt should be kick out in the next GE, becos they should concentrate on developing Penang, rather than get involve in Kg Buah Pala’s matter. Despite a high profile involvement (CM and 2DCMs), the villagers still not satisfy, PR govt still blamed by the Villagers. Why continue help them? Should let the bulldozer slam down the place long time ago, why wait until tomorrow. From the very beginning, some of the KBP villagers obviously not intend to resolve case. I think now they have achieved the goals. Finally, tomorrow bulldozer will come in to meet them. Some jokers now… Read more »

Rajan

Demonstrating outside the CM is not the answer. In fact you all should hear what T-Mohan said, bring back the old government and we will solve the Buah Pala issue…hahahahahahhahaha….grow up lar Mohan. You are full of ….

K

Folks It is hard to comprehend the supporters of Pakatan / DAP here (which sis very obvious even to a casual observer). What the villagers and those who support them want is not EXCUSES but solution. People are busy defending LGE and deflecting the blame to divert on KTK. Folks, wake up !! We packed KTK off in the last GE for precisely doing such deals. So KTK is history and LGE is the CM. We don’t care who is to blame ( which might not necessarily KTK alone based on the evasiveness of LGE displayed so far). We just… Read more »

Peter

If the developers or koperasi decided to demlish the village, BN will win the election for sure and the developer will reap a double whammy! Why? Because the villagers and Indians were manipulated by BN. Assuming that LGE revoked its approval for the construction of houses and the developers will definitely sue the state Government to a tune pf RM150 million. You know la our court. I don’t have to elaborate… It is almost sure that the developers will win big. Penang lost heavily. Lim Guan Eng said that the legal battle will be long and tough. Lim is wrong!… Read more »

kingkong

No worries, after Perak, then Selangor and NOW IT IS PENANG and we have all the bloggers wanting PENANG to be the next battle zone after Selangor and fall like Perak. I will be the very first to rejoice to see the support given by the bloggers. Just for 23 familes, PR Government falls – a world record and history.
Happy to have a UMNO lead Government in Penang again. Thnaks all for the support

Dave

Damn Greedy!!!! So if 200,000 ringgit ok but not 90000 ringgit. What a load of rubbish.

No, he was just clarifying the real compensation that was offered, because I asked him about it…. – Anil

jeff

1 whole world knows cronyism,nepostism,excists in Malaysian business/politics.the settlers were offered a “reduced price from RM20/sq feet to RM10/sq feet.80% of the settlers accepted that offer price and left high chapperal.Why no shoutings from HINDRAFS,MICS,PSM back then?Why now these … are shouting..”we are yindians..we are fighting for yindian rights..we want the cheif minister to use yis cheif executive powers to buy back the land”. …Samy Vellu can easyly … buy back high chapperal..betui tak?Why Samy offered to buy at RM10/sg feet,amounting to RM3.2 million.And there is one young joker who is shouting the most these days,offered LGE RM40 million.Neither this… Read more »

LBJ

…Penang Civil Servants… They are not so civil type.

Kia

Lawyer Fernandez who pointed out the land title condition that it cannot be transferred, sub-let or mortgage may be clutching at straws. Purchasers of apartments do not get land titles so the conditions may not be breached by a condo development. The Hindraf brothers keep demanding that the Penang govt forcibly acquire the land under the National Land Code. Waytha said that under the law, only “reasonable compensation” need to be paid. What is reasonable compensation? Isn’t it the market price? The Penang govt has no power to stop the houses being demolished. If the villagers insist on staying put… Read more »