PENANG, July 10 (Bernama) -- Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in
blaming the former state government for the predicament faced by
Kampung Buah Pala residents, denied making any promises to return the
land to them.
"All these problems started from the previous government which approved
the project and they should be the ones who must try and solve it and
not 'trapping' us in the matter because I never made any promise to
return the land to Kampung Buah Pala residents," he told reporters
after issuing appointment letters to the state transportation council
here on Friday.
Lim said even his two deputies, Mansor Osman and P. Ramasamy did
not make such promises but he did not discard the possibility of other
leaders within the opposition, having made such a promise during the
past general election campaign.
"During campaigning in the past election, I did not even go to
Kampung Buah Pala. However, no matter who made such a promise, we will
try to help them," he said while Mansor and Ramasamy who were present,
also denied making any promises.
Residents claimed that the opposition had used the issue of
Kampung Buah Pala as the main issue during campaigns before the March
8, 2008 general election and had promised to safeguard the rights of
the residents if they took over the state government.
Lim added that though an earlier meeting with the residents did
not take place as scheduled, he was still keen to meet them at the
Komtar building at a later date.
He also said Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd director Thomas Chan's
claim that the houses in Kampung Buah Pala can be demolished without
permission from the authorities, as Thomas Chan's own opinion.
"Is he (Thomas Chan) a lawyer to talk like that? What he is
talking is his own opinion because only the court can make a decision,"
Thomas Chan was reported as saying that invoking Section 116
(1)(D) of the National Land Code was not applicable for squatters and
illegal structures as 'building' referred to the National Land Code
referred to buildings legally erected upon the date the land first
became subject to the category of building and in our case, from the
date the alienation of land was carried out by the state government to
Lim had earlier said the state government would try and stall the
demolition of the houses by invoking Section 116 of the National Land
Meanwhile, Kampung Buah Pala village development and security
committee is expected to distribute 20,000 DVDs of recordings taped
during the election campaign, which allegedly contained the promises