Kg Buah Pala: Face of anguish


Anguish etches the face of Muniammah, 75, at the front door of her home, as she stares out at an uncertain future. – Photo by Anil

Earlier, Muniammah had come up to a few visitors to the village, her hands clasped as if pleading with us for help: “Where will we go after this?” she asked, almost in tears. “We don’t have any money for rental.”

Her parents arrived from India decades ago – she doesn’t know exactly when – and her mother lived in Kampung Buah Pala until she was 90.

She showed a couple of us around her family home, her back hunched as she struggled to walk up the steep path leading from the lane to the front door.

Perhaps those who are coveting the land on which her home stands – and can only see real estate $$$ – and those who allowed and facilitated the land grab will look deep into her eyes and understand the anguish they have caused.

She could be your grandmother or mother.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My father worked his whole life as blue color worker and finally able to own a double storey house. And these peole rejected an offer of double storey house and few thousand dollar cash settlement??? Sigh…..I wondered those dirty politician involved them in the politic game,by promising them a share of the current market value of the land..which is more than RM100 million!!! Greed & Innocent are the factors that make these villagers very easy to be manipulated by dirty politician!


Jaymie, if it would make any difference, I am from “the other ethnicity”. I believe that many of the vocal posters are not really sincere posters. They may be some deluded posters but by and large a few came from a stable of fan boys that dap seem to find it necessary to maintain. In this regard, in the realm of mind game they are no different from BN. What they had despised they had now adopted. Strange what power can do to you. Granted that any organisation depending on public support needed some form of public relations officers to… Read more »

True Fact

Dan, i strongly agree with you. KBP folks and some parties are actually taking advantage on the situation. The layman tern of “setinggan” is applicable here. They are talking about justice and right like a lawyer but they don’t want to talk about contract law and legal ownership of the land which is not belong to them. Shame of KBP demanding such a nonsense. The court decisions base on the fact and Koperasi as a legal ownership was so generous giving a double storey taracce house which costing hundreds thousand of ringgit. Do you know how hard to buy such… Read more »


Living on a piece of land for 200 years doesn’t mean they OWN the land. It is a different issue if they have BOUGHT the land. But too bad, there is no document to support that the kbp folks did buy that piece of land. KBP folks, when an employer gives you accommodation, it doesn’t mean they are actually GIVING you the property. The property that you live in with your employer’s permission still belongs to your employer, NOT YOU. When the British gave you a place to stay because you were working for them, they (the British) were merely… Read more »


nkkhoo, I am as ignorant as Ken on the timeline. Do enlighten us all here.


Anil, this face doesn’t elicit my sympathy. If it takes 3 generations to last 100 years, then 6 generations have passed on that land. And suppose the 1st generation could not afford to buy a house for their family. Couldn’t 6 generations help to pay off the loan? My mother bought the house I am living in. Why couldn’t they?


“There are many wrongs doings by the previous govt. and why (did your administration) went on to receive the balance premium, endorsed the sale and gave the title to the Koperasi which saw the Fed Court giving judgement against the Kg Buah Pala residents.” – ICE It really doesn’t matter if LGE has accepted the balance premium. What matters is WHO signed the original contract. The person who signed the contract is the one liable if the contract being signed is illegal in the first place. LGE can accept the last payment of the premium, but you can’t hold him… Read more »


This present “indian diaspora” drama is making lots of indians angry @ the “John Cannons,Manolitos,Bucks,Blue Boys,Victorias of “Tamil High Chapperal”.Sudahlah..This Sugumaran (allegedly) has 2 houses..and LGE and Pakatan have all the statistics, infos of every one of them (taped converstaions pun dah ada).Everything has been politicised.This isssue has gone out of control,due to the settlers inability to trust people who are willing to help them.


LGE, looks like you are sanctioning crime. The way you behave after (the) signing and releasing (of) the title to Koperasi knowing that the transaction is (legally questionable) is absurd. You want to remain in power or get kicked out. If you want to rule further, go get to the bottom and investigate how the trust land was transferred from the Fed Commissioner to the state and later sold to Koperasi and joint ventured by Numestro though there is a (restriction) on the title…..There are many wrongs doings by the previous govt. and why (did your administration) went on to… Read more »


These villagers should thank God that BN is no more ruling Penang, otherwise they will be chased out … without anything.



What you described is a common sight across the country, but you did not say whether you were a mere squatter or if you had claims to the land. KBP is not a squatter issue. These ppl had claims to the land and it was acknowledged by the Penang High Ct.

“Compare our situation to Buah Pala, arent they lucky?”

No chanjoe. They are not lucky just because they have been promised some compensation. These ppl are being cheated and the Penang state govt is (allegedly) complicit. Moreover the proposed compensation comes with a lot of unfavorable conditions.


August 7th, 2009 at 10.45pm


How can LGE block the land deal when the court has ruled in the Koporasi’s favour? You give him powers he does not possess. Even as CM, he has no power to supercede the court. It’s people like you who confuse the issue with your ignorant postings.


If you are ignorant on when the land deal was completed and the court case, it’s must better for you not asking such silly question.


Hang Jebat, I know how the feeling is as I was involved in a similar situation few years ago when Toyo was the MB. We stood to the end and fought the developers and when they came with the Police, we fought with them when they started to tear down our houses. Some of my friends were caught and we were not afraid but when the police acted tough, we got no choice and the bulldozers came in and do the damage. MCA’s rep, a councillor was presewnt but he was warned by the police that if he stood in… Read more »


I think some of u here are trying to ethnicise the issue and hence make the matter even more complicated but ultimately and sadly, it will be the KBP residents who are going to suffer losses if no solution is found. Right now, the state government has worked out a deal which to most people, seemed very reasonable, in the context what others in similiar circumstances can get in other states. Of course, only the KBP residents (without all the instigations from outside ‘interested’ parties) should decide whether the offer is indeed reasonable. However, like what P Ramanathan (Aliran) said,… Read more »


Greed is the root of suffering

Pala Richie

Sorry Anil, I need to say somemore, betahan! To villagers of KBP, why don’t you work on something which within your control, leave those you can not control to the God or Gods. What it means is this; You don’t know who to trust, CM with house option, MIC say cash is with their lawyer, someone say can get back the land just a stroke of pen by CM and etc-etc. Don’t trust anybody, trust only what infront of you. Made decision based on something you can get by yourself(something within your control). Don’t follow the path like go thru… Read more »



How can LGE block the land deal when the court has ruled in the Koporasi’s favour? You give him powers he does not possess. Even as CM, he has no power to supercede the court. It’s people like you who confuse the issue with your ignorant postings.

Pala Richie

Why people talk like LGE owe KBP something. Hello! he is my CM, penagites CM not only KBP CM.
Look forward, stop blaming anybody from now on. Deal discussed, option given and decision made. Now, deal over! you make your own choice and you take your own risk. Good luck! I do hope you can get back ‘your’ land or a bangalow but if your house were bulldozed without anything don’t say LGE did not help. A double storey landed house were given an an option, you stupidly blew it. No body is owning anybody anything here!


2. Let the land deal “passed thorugh”, and hope KBP residents accept his great offer.

Correction… passing through shall be read for passed thorugh.


To K,

LGE and his gang are trying to blame other for his inaction for this blunder.

LGE got two choices under his nose.

1. Block the land deal and offend those powerful senior officials in his administration.

2. Let the land deal passed thorugh, and hope KBP residents accept his great offer.

He chose option 2 for the short-term political consideration. LGE shall join BN for not defending marginalized group to keep their land.

Pala Richie

There will be no solution that satisfy everybody. As a reader who follow this, I don’t know why people can blame LGE and current state goverment for what they did.
The KBP vilagers should know this is no buffet lunch, give you an inch you want a foot. If this is not greedy then what is. Ask the villagers, how about 1 mil each family? any taker? ….
Don’t care whose fault, for me the current state goverment has done their due responsibilities. It is time to move on!


Unity is the answer to problem.LGE has started playing his game of ‘politics’football.KBP folks are being kicked from the court,to LGE.It might be amusing for DAP but it is real heart wrenching for the poor people.LGE has waited till the last minute to come out with an offer from Nusmetro…is it genuine or a trick to get the uneducated to sign over their lives?I agree that if it had been (any other ethnic group’s) issue,we would have seen some positive results,but the Indians are labelled as ‘greedy’for demanding [more like beggig]for their rightful home.DEVELOPER IS NOT GREEDY FOR “BUYING”LAND… Read more »


There’s a video at Suara Keadilan showing the drawing of the terrace house offer at

They are not cluster houses but proper terrace houses. In Penang they will be worth RM400,000.


The problem is, MIC, UMNO and Hindraf are working from the back to confuse the people. It is highly possible the MIC and like minded fools have already (allegedly) ‘bought over’ some of the residents…, as early as 2005. Otherwise, why should these people be still throwing a spanner in the efforts of the present government? And some of the houses are not even occupied. But the former owners are now joining the ‘fray’ to make it more difficult for the state government’s efforts. With such simple people, all it takes is a few telephone calls from MIC goons, who… Read more »


i am sad for her and many others. IF BN is in power today, do you think we will be having this dicussion? The kampung will be down last week with police and FRU in tow.