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High Chaparral: Kampung Buah Pala Demolition Postponed To Tomorrow

Contributed by Anonymous on Monday, August 03 @ 04:26:38 CDT

National: Politics
PENANG, Aug 3 (Bernama) -- Demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor which was supposed to take place Monday has been postponed to tomorrow.

Landowner Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang (KPKPP) had given residents a one day reprieve to allow them to remove their belongings.

However, Kampung Buah Pala residents association assistant secretary C.Tharmaraj said the residents would not budge from the kampung.

"We will continue to be here. We want Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to use his executive power to reclaim the land," he told reporters after handing a memorandum to Lim at Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) here Monday.

The memorandum asking that the land be returned to kampung residents was handed to Lim's political secretary Ng Wei Aik.

About 200 people including kampung residents had earlier gathered peacefully in the compound of Komtar.

Tharmaraj said Kampung Buah Pala residents wanted Lim to honour his promises that the land would be returned to them.

"The residents want Lim to honour his promises fast. We don't want to lose the land which had been occupied for 200 years," he said.

Meanwhile, Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang (KPKPP) was adamant and refused to share land ownership with kampung residents .

Chairman Abdul Razak Mansor said its members who met yesterday agreed not to share the land as proposed by Lim.

"Why must we share with kampung residents when the land is ours. The court had decided that the land is legally owned by KPKPP," he told reporters here today.

Abdul Razak said Lim's proposal that KPKPP share the land with Kampung Buah Pala residents was made without discussing it with them.

"The state government never discussed it with us. Lim suddenly proposed that we share the land with kampung residents.

"It is just a political promise. Why must KPKPP agree to the proposal?

He hoped that Kampung Buah Pala residents would cooperate by vacating the land without causing any trouble.

Meanwhile, Lim has warned KPKPP not to proceed with the decision to demolish the houses in Kampung Buah Pala.

He said all parties involved should find a win-win solution to the problem without hurting anyone.

"We want to look for a solution to help the residents and at the same time benefit KPKPP and the developer," he told reporters here Monday.

He said if KPKPP insisted on demolishing the kampung, the state government would have no choice but to stop the development order.

"We are playing matchmaker in this matter as we are not involved in any action to demolish the kampung. We had not issued any letter which allowed the houses to be demolished," he said.

The Kampung Buah Pala land became an issue after the Federal Court issued an order for the 23 families living on the 2.6ha land, dubbed High Chapparal, to vacate it by Aug 2.


Villagers set aside troubles for a day of fun
2009/08/03 GEORGE TOWN: Anyone who was at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala yesterday would not have guessed that the villagers were facing an eviction order today, if he or she had not been following news. A competitor trying to grab the bull by its horns during the Indian cultural and heritage festival at Kampung Lorong Buah Pala yesterday. — NST picture by GS Narinder Singh The villagers were in a festive mood and welcomed about 500 supporters and visitors to the village in Bukit Gelugor for what may be their final cultural event there.

Even the weather was kind -- sunny all day. The events started about 11.30am with a Hindu priest blessing the various venues for the day's activities, which included bullfighting, pole-climbing and a pot-breaking challenge .

The village was full of cheer and laughter as blindfolded women tried to break clay pots filled with water.

The bullfight was a crowd-pleaser as the men tried to grab a large bull by its horns to remove a cloth containing RM100 tied around it.
When the irritated bull proved too much, a smaller one was brought out.
But it, too, refused to play along, escaping from the pen and returning to its shed, much to the amusement of the crowd.

Another highlight was the pole-climbing competition that offered a RM1,000 prize, sealed in an envelope taped to the top of a grease-covered 10m-high pole.

There was also a display of Indian folk dance.

The village's residents' association chairman M. Sugumaran said the carnival was organised to coincide with the start of a religious month for Hindus.

"This is a chance to highlight various Indian traditions and culture."

The association also took the opportunity to inform the public about the negotiations between the state government and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

"We do not know the deadline. We can only leave it to the state and the developer now," he said.

At a meeting with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Saturday, the residents had agreed, in principle, to relocate to an allocated area on the land pending details from the developer.

Sugumaran added Lim had promised them that they could live in the village although details remained sketchy.

Thousands of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala supporters also plan to turn up at the village today to safeguard the residents' homes.

The association's assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj said the residents were ready to be evicted but believed something positive would happen.

"I believe the developer will come any time now.

"But if the chief minister saves and preserves this village, like we are begging him to, he is the hero."

Tharmaraj disclosed that the cultural festival cost the residents RM10,000, which was raised through donations.



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