Himanshu Bhatt , The Sun
GEORGE TOWN (July 29, 2009):
In what appears to be a last ditch effort at a compromise over the
Kampung Buah Pala controversy, the Penang government has called for a
meeting with the villagers this Saturday (Aug 1) to discuss a new
proposal from the developer.
The meeting has been scheduled just ahead of an Aug 2
deadline set by developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd for the 24
families there to leave.
Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P Ramasamy said
today Nusmetro was considering offering each family a double-storey
terrace house adjacent to its project. Nusmetro representatives held a
meeting with the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) on Tuesday to
iron out details of the new plan and make revisions to its original
Ramasamy said if the residents accept the new
proposal, the eviction deadline could be pushed. "If it gets resolved,
we are in a position to give the residents more time," he said.
The state had already directed the MPPP to revoke the development approval issued to Nusmetro.
Ramasamy also questioned MIC president Samy Vellu’s
statement that the party was willing to pay the state RM3.2 million to
buy the land on behalf of the villagers.
He said the estimated value of the land was RM150
million, far more than the amount MIC was willing to dish out. He
pointed out that the land transfer to the Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai
Kerajaan Pulau Pinang had been approved by the previous administration.
"We don’t own the land," he said. "Contact the Koperasi and ask to buy the land from them."
Meanwhile, Penang Gerakan Youth urged the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the alienation process
of the 2.6ha Kampung Buah Pala land.
"The primary concern and condition attached to the
land alienation process by the previous government was that the needs
and welfare of the affected residents must be catered to," said the
wing’s vice-chairman H’ng Khoon Leng.
He said this condition was not fulfilled
satisfactorily when the land title was issued under the current state
government on March 27, 2008.*********The StarThursday July 30, 2009
State govt makes proposal to Kg Buah Pala residents
By CHRISTINA CHIN
TOWN: Kampung Buah Pala villagers will get a double-storey house each
and a community hall under a proposal mooted by the state government. Deputy
Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said if the villagers accept the
proposal, the state would negotiate an extension of the Aug 3 deadline
to demolish the village. “We will also lift the revocation of
development order,” he said, adding that some villagers had asked for
condominium units and money. “We cannot offer different packages
for each of them but we feel that the best solution is landed property.
However, we will have to wait for the developer’s proposal,” he said. Dr Ramasamy said the state expects to receive the proposal from developer Nusmetro Ven-tures (P) Sdn Bhd by today. “We
hope to reach an amicable solution on the Kampung Buah Pala issue when
we present the developer’s proposal to the villagers at Komtar on
Saturday. “There will be no lawyers involved,” he said, adding
that the villagers were free to make a decision whether to accept the
offer. Nusmetro Ventures director Gary Ho said the company was still working on the proposal. On
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s claim that the party would
deposit a bank draft for RM3.2mil with its lawyers to pay to the Penang
government, Dr Ramasamy said: “He should just contact the Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang because they own the land – not the state government.” He added that the land was worth some RM150mil. Meanwhile,
the Penang Gera-kan Youth lodged a report with the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission over the alienation process of the 2.6ha
Kampung Buah Pala land in Gelugor. Its vice-chairman H’ng Khoon
Leng said the state government had hastily completed the land
alienation process by accepting RM2.24mil in land premium on March 14
and March 27 last year, before issuing the title to the co-operative.