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High Chaparral: Villagers Must Vacate Kg Buah Pala, Rules Federal Court

Contributed by Anonymous on Friday, August 21 @ 09:53:05 CDT

National: Politics
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- The Federal Court on Friday stood by its June 24 decision that the Buah Pala residents must vacate their homes and hand over the property to the developer who had obtained approval to redevelop the area.

The residents' second application for leave to appeal was unanimously dismissed with costs by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Judge Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Raus Md Raus.

The 45 families had sought leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's ruling last May 11 that the residents were trespassers on the settlement and order that they vacate the land.

The respondents -- Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Berhad, developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd and Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Timur Laut Pulau Pinang -- argued that Friday's application was a duplication of the first leave application and was an abuse of the court process because it was a re-litigation of the same issues which had already been argued and was decided upon by the Federal Court on June 24.

Arifin ruled that the question which the residents wanted the Federal Court to determine -- whether they have the locus standi (legal standing) to institute legal proceedings against the cooperative and the developer -- could not be raised at the apex court because that issue was never raised at the lower courts.

On the issue of indefeasibility of the title of the land, Arifin said the Court of Appeal had ruled that the alienation to the cooperative was proper and legal.

He said the residents could have raised the title issue before the previous Federal Court panel but had failed to do so.

"Therefore, they cannot raise it now," Arifin said.

The village sits on 2.6ha of prime land in the heart of the rapidly developing eastern part of George Town and demolition works have been rescheduled to Sept 1 after a series of protests by the residents.




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