PENANG, Aug 4 (Bernama)
-- The demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala, which was supposed to
take place on Tuesday, has been postponed for the second time to enable
the problem to be thrashed out by the residents and the developer.
Deputy Chief Minister II P.Ramasamy said the developer, Nusmetro
Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd had agreed to postpone the demolition following a
meeting with state government representatives last night.
A draft on the solution
is being prepared by the state government and the developer, he told
reporters after meeting the residents here.
"We have also agreed to meet the residents at Komtar at 7.30pm tonight to discuss the draft solution," he added.
At the meeting today, the residents voiced their dissatisfaction over the delay in resolving the problem.
Expecting the demolition today, about 200 people, most of them
clad in orange T-shirt, gathered as early as 6am at Kampung Buah Pala
to give their moral support to the residents.
They formed a blockade by sitting in the middle of the road
leading to the village under the watchful eyes of policemen and Tenaga
Nasional Berhad (TNB) workers.
Penang police chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob said the police had set up a
mobile beat base in the village and deployed about 100 policemen there
as a precautionary measure.
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 Chaparral, to vacate it by Aug 2.
The houses were set for demolition on Monday by the landowner,
Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang decided to give the
residents a one day reprieve to allow them to remove their belongings.
Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association assistant secretary C
Tharmaraj called on state Indian leaders to resign if they could not
solve the issue and urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to reclaim the
land for the residents.
Meanwhile, the residents' lawyer, Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff said
the demolition could not be carried out pending the Federal Court's
decision on the residents' application for leave to appeal against
vacant possession on Aug 18.
"A court representative raised this point a meeting attended by
the developer, the police and residents last night," Mohd Yusmadi, who
is also Member of Parliament for Balik Pulau, told reporters here.
The residents had filed for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal
against the High Court's dismissal of their application to set aside
the writ of vacant possession and the bailiff's notice.
The residents' lawyer, Darshan Singh Khaira filed the application last Friday at the Court of Appeal registry.
MIC Youth Political Bureau chairman V.Mugilan urged the federal
government to intervene and help the residents, and added that the
movement would raise funds with the assistance of non-government
organisations to buy the land.
"We want the state government to take over the land by gazetting it. It does not cost them any money," he added.