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High Chaparral: Sixteen Kg Buah Pala Houseowners Agree To Move Out Before Sept 1

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, August 13 @ 22:18:05 CDT

National: Politics
PENANG, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Sixteen of the 18 temporary occupation licence (TOL) holders in Kampung Buah Pala here, who are due to be evicted, have consented to move out of the Indian settlement by Sept 1.

The village's residents association secretary J. Stephen said they had given the undertaking to the court bailiff in charge of the eviction.

"We are still working to get the other two TOL holders to sign acknowledgement letters that they would also move out by the Sept 1 deadline," he told reporters here Thursday.


He added that the villagers had still not given up hope of continuing to live in the village and would pursue the help of the state government in the matter.

It was reported yesterday that five TOL holders of the village had accepted a double-storey house offer from developer Nusmetro Venture Sdn Bhd to vacate the village.

However, the resident association's legal adviser Darshan Singh Khaira warned the villagers that those who signed the mutual agreement to move out the village "would lose everything".

"We still have an appeal pending in the Federal Court, which means we still stand a chance to stay in the village but if they (villagers) sign the agreement today, they will have to move out before Sept 1," he told reporters.

The Federal Court had ordered the residents to vacate the village covering some 2.6 hectares several weeks ago to allow the landowner, the Penang Government Officers Cooperative and the developer to start work on the land.

Today, a demolition team with three bulldozers failed to evict the villagers after they formed human barricades to thwart entry.

Following the stand-off, police, the developer, the bailiff and the villagers' representatives resolved the matter amicably through on site negotiations with the party to be evicted agreeing to vacate the houses by Sept 1.



-- BERNAMA

August 13, 2009 18:43 PM Kg Buah Pala Demolishment Date Postponed To Sept 1 By: Ramjit--> PENANG, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- The date to demolish houses in Kampung Buah Pala has been postponed to Sept 1 to give time to the residents to vacate their homes.

The decision was reached after negotiations between police, representatives of the villagers, the court bailiff and developer Nusmestro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, a short while ago.

Timur Laut district police chief ACP Azam Abdul Hamid, who represented the police in the negotiations, said the villagers' representatives were agreeable to the leaving the village by Sept 1.

"The developer, on compassionate grounds, accepted their offer and postponed the demolition work to Sept 1," he told reporters after the negotiations were concluded in a mobile police station at the scene today.

Azam said the villagers' representatives asked for the interim period so that the families could arrange alternative accomodation and also stated their willingness to give their cooperation in getting the residents to leave in a peaceful manner.

"Their representatives said the villagers might also demolish the houses themselves before the Sept 1 deadline and would not impose any obstacles on the developer," he said, adding that the bailiff would follow up on the representatives pledge by getting signed consents from the head of each home to be demolished.

"I also hope no one, political parties or non-governmental organisations will try to cause any difficulties or take advantage of the situation now that an amicable agreement has been reached," added Azam.

Earlier today, C. Tharmaraj, the assistant secretary of the village's residents committee, took to task Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over the villagers plight.

He added that he had tried to call Lim, Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy and various other backbenchers when a demolition team came to the village this morning but was unable to contact any of them.

A demolition force of about a 100 men with three bulldozers had come to Kg Buah Pala this morning to evict the villagers and demolish 23 homes there but the residents formed human barricades and thwarted two attempts by the force to enter the village.

Mostly women and children, they refused to leave the site although it was raining heavily.

They were also reported to have collected cow-dung in preparation to strike back if their homes were demolished.

Federal Reserve Unit and General Operations Force personnel had to be called in to control the situation but no casualties were reported on either side.

The Federal Court had ordered the residents to evacuate the village covering some 2.6 hectares several weeks ago to allow the landowner, the Penang Government Officers Cooperative and the developer to start work on the land.

The residents, however, refused to vacate, claiming they were promised by the opposition in the 2008 general election campaign that they would help the residents if they won. The opposition won the election.

No representatives from the state government were seen at the site this morning.

-- BERNAMA
Reprieve for Kampung Buah Pala folk
Himanshu Bhatt and Bernard Cheah, The Sun

The stand-off at kampung Buah Pala as developer movers in
to demolish while the villagers formed human barricade of
stop them.

Kampung Buah Pala villagers scuffle with Anti-Riot police..GEORGE TOWN (Aug 13, 2009) : The residents of the century-old Kampung Buah Pala, nicknamed High Chaparral, won yet another lifeline, this time from a court bailiff, when they were given until the end of the month to vacate their homes. The reprieve came after the residents put up a desperate struggle to resist the demolition of their homes, warding off about 50 workers, accompanied by two bulldozers, who descended on their village today. The police separated the two parties amid intense jostling and shouting, in an effort to prevent any untoward incidents. At one time, a FRU brigade arrived to provide reinforcement. The stand-off lasted about five hours. Villagers who made repeated phone calls to Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister (II) Prof Dr P Ramasamy, Seri Delima assemblyman RSN Rayer and Batu Uban assemblyman S Raveentharan, said they were greeted by voice mails or mobile-phones that were switched off. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s earlier pronouncement that he would apply to the courts to invoke Section 116 of the National Land Code – a crucial clause that may prevent the demolition – never saw the light of day. The clause stipulates that any building on alienated land cannot be demolished without approval of the relevant authority. Lim had also called the transaction of land, which the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government so
************
The Star
Friday August 14, 2009 Demolition of Kampung Buah Pala postponed to Sept 1 By TAN SIN CHOW and ANN TAN
Watch the video
Photo Gallery GEORGE TOWN: After a tense five-hour standoff between residents and the developer at Kampung Buah Pala yesterday, demolition of the 24 houses there has been deferred again to Sept 1. The new deadline was agreed upon by both the parties. Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd executive director Thomas Chan said the extension was granted on humanitarian grounds following the residents’ request for more time to look for new homes.
Residents and supporters forming a barricade to stop workers and contractors from entering Kampung Buah Pala in Penang Thursday. Some 100 demolition workers armed with sledgehammers and backed by bulldozers were sent in to tear down the place, but the five-hour standoff ended when both sides agreed to a new deadline for the demolition. — CHIN CHENG YEANG / The Star
“The time extension given is not for negotiation on compensation. The issue of compensation does not arise as the deadline for the ex-gratia deal is over,” he said. The villagers and their 150-odd supporters had earlier formed human barricades to prevent workers from entering the area to demolish the houses. The group thwarted the entry of the demolition squad at least three times in the five hours. Many hurled abuse at the 100-odd workers who came armed with sledgehammers and safety gear at about 8am. There were also two bulldozers. Federal Reserve Unit personnel formed a line to separate the villagers from the workers.
Entrance melee: Villagers acting as a barricade against the FRU from entering Kampung Buah Pala.
It was the second time that the villagers had refused to move out. Village Residents Association secretary J. Stephen said 18 families had signed the consent letter that allowed them to stay on until the end of the month. If residents failed to abide by the agreement, the execution would be carried out without notice. He said another six of the 24 temporary occupation license (TOL) holders took the ex-gratia deal offered by the developer.
Hammer time off: Workers waiting for instructions to demolish the village will have to wait till next month.
Senior deputy registrar Nurul Asyifa Redzuan drafted out the letter before reading it out to Stephen and Chan, in the presence of George Town OCPD Asst Comm Azam Abd Hamid. Stephen said the association’s committee members would utilise the two weeks to hold talks with the state government “for a win-win solution”. ACP Azam said the villagers promised not to behave like how they did yesterday. “On Sept 1, there is a possibility that some will demolish their houses themselves.”

 
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