KUALA LUMPUR, July 6
(Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the federal
government will not intervene in the Kampung Buah Pala issue as it was
a state matter which must be dealt with by the Penang government.
Asked to comment reports that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng
would write a letter to seek assistance from the federal government to
resolve the issue, Najib said that since land was a state matter, the
Kampung Buah Pala issue would be under the purview of state authorities.
"If we are to
intervene, it will create a major precedent and we will be asked to
intervene in other cases as well," he told reporters after the
ground-breaking ceremony for the 50-storey Naza Group office tower here.
Lim was reported to have said that the assistance Penang was
seeking from the federal government was in the acquisition of a piece
of land from Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang and the payment of
compensation to developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd to enable the
23 families to continue staying in Kampung Buah Pala.
Kampung Buah Pala residents would have to vacate the land after
the Federal Court dismissed their appeal to remain in the area which
they have been occupying for so long.
They refused to move out, however, and had asked the Penang state government to intervene to resolve the problem.
Najib was also asked to comment on the Manik Urai state
by-election in Kelantan and said that he hoped the by-election would
not be marred by any untoward incident.
"I hope that those involved in the contest in the by-election will
do so based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. We must
show to the world that we are capable of practising a high standard of
"The voters should be allowed freedom to choose their leader," he said.
The by-election on July 14 is called following the death of in*****bent assemblyman, Ismail Yaakob of PAS, on May 22.
Najib also denied reports in the South Korean media alleging that
Malaysian banks had been used by North Korea to transit money as
payments for illicit arms trading.
"No, we don't indulge in illicit arms trading," Najib said.
The prime minister was also asked to comment on PAS spiritual
leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat's plan to meet him to discuss terms
for the proposed debate between them.
"I've said it that it is pointless to have the debate and others are also saying so," he said.