The Kampung Buah Pala land in Gelugor was once owned by David Brown, a wealthy spice plantation owner during the early British colonial era in Penang who died in 1825.
Check out this copy of the Straits Settlement “Grant of Land” bestowing title to Helen Margaret Brown in 1938:
A lot has been said about the High Chaparral residents being “squatters” (setinggan). Many of them are actually descendants of workers brought in by the Brown family, who allowed them to live on the land.
On the reverse side of the Grant of Land, we can see the “sub-divided Lot 691 acquired by Crown for housing Trust – vested in Crown on 12.4.(1954?)”.
So where is the actual Housing Trust document? Isn’t the Penang Land Office supposed to have a copy? Why hasn’t the actual trust document been made public?
When the housing trust was dissolved in 1976, the land should have gone to the Federal Government.
So how did the previous Penang government alienate the land to the Penang State Government Officers Cooperative? How did they satisfy themselves that they had title to the land? State government leaders then have a lot to answer for.
Why didn’t the present administration, knowing the controversial circumstances surrounding the land following the promises made in the general election campaign, keep a sharp look-out on this land deal and double-check the actual land status before the transfer to the government officers cooperative was effected in March 2008? Was it merely an administrative matter that the present state government could do nothing about?