Sharanjit Singhand Looi Sue Chern
The state government has been slammed for playing politics with Kampung
Lorong Buah Pala residents by giving them false hopes that the village
may not be demolished. Penang Gerakan legal and human rights bureau
committee chairman Baljit Singh said it was irresponsible of Chief
Minister Lim Guan Eng to give such high hopes to the villagers.
"As it is, they are already at a stage where doomsday is looming for them.
"Like it or not, the villagers have to abide by the court order which
compels them to vacate the land. After that, it would be irrelevant
whether their houses are demolished or not," he said.
Baljit also questioned how the state government planned to
fight its case to prevent the developer from tearing down houses on a
land where building permission for the RM200 million Oasis project had
already been granted.
He was responding to Lim's statement on Wednesday that the state
government planned to invoke provisions of the National Land Code to
prevent the demolition of houses in the village.
Lim was quoted
as saying that a provision under Section 116 of the Code stipulated
that a building on alienated land could not be demolished, altered or
extended without prior consent in writing of the appropriate authority.
He said although a writ of vacant possession had been served on the
villagers, the developer still needed local government approval to
conduct demolition of the houses.
However, the developer of the
land -- Nusmetro Ventures Sdn Bhd -- has since dismissed Lim's
arguments and said Section 116 did not apply to squatters and illegal
The company's executive director, Thomas Chan, said
it was therefore not mandatory to seek the consent of the appropriate
authority before demolishing the buildings at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala.
"The state government had requested a month's extension from us for the
purpose of negotiating and finding an amicable solution.
agreed to the request in good faith and have honoured our word to
extend the deadline. It is regrettable that the state has since taken
our good faith for granted and used it for other purposes," he said.
Meanwhile, the village residents' association assistant secretary C.
Tharmaraj said he was making 20,000 DVDs showing a 10-minute video of
DAP politicians and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim making
promises (to save their village) during the general election last year.
"The people shown in the video, other than Anwar, are Bukit Gelugor
member of parliament Karpal Singh, Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer
and deputy chief minister (II) Dr P. Ramasamy.
"If the outcome
of the matter is not positive, the DVDs will be distributed nationwide
and the video will be on YouTube as well," he said.