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High Chaparral: Kg Buah Pala last stand:Bulldozers stopped from entering

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 02 @ 23:50:56 CDT

National: Politics
2009/09/03, NST
Sharanjit Singh, Looi Sue Chern and Mellisa Chow PENANG: Supporters wearing MIC Youth t-shirts are stopping bulldozers from entering the village. The act has prompted the crowd to become rowdy.

Workers, armed with sledgehammers, have started demolishing the first house.

Police have called in the light strike force to be on stand-by at the village as situation remains tense.
Tenaga Nasional workers arriving at the village.

A scuffle breaks out between developer and villagers as demolition workers tried to enter the village to demolish two houses.

Nusmetro Ventures director Gary Ho claimed he was pushed.

Kampung Buah Pala supporters, mostly wearing orange MIC youth T-shirt have charged at Ho as they were involved in arguments.

Police had to intervene to break up the fight.

In an about turn, three houseowners in Kampung Buah Pala here have surrendered their keys to the developer.

Pressmen have been barred from entering the village while the developer, bailiffs, residents and their supporters visit the vacated houses.

The residents are negotiating to be allowed to demolish the houses themselves.

EARLIER REPORTS: The residents association has assured the demolition workers that they can move in to demolish the three houses.
However, negotiations between the developer and other residents are still on-going.

In anticipation of heavy machinery to flatten their village, Kampung Buah Pala residents, Hindraf and MIC members have formed a three-row human barricade leading to their houses.

The residents association confirmed that all families, including those who have accepted the developer's offer, have yet to leave the village.

They said they are not abandoning the village and will be together in defending the settlement, also known as High Chaparral.

Its chairman M. Sugumaran claimed that the developer only has the right to vacant possession, as given by the court, and not demolition.
********The StarUpdated: Thursday September 3, 2009 MYT 10:58:32 AM Kampung Buah Pala: One house demolished as owner agrees

Follow the developments here and on Twitter 10.36am: House 467 is believed to be demolished as sounds of house being broken can be heard by press members who are barred from entering the village. 10.31am: Police lead five contractors with sledgehammers into the village to house number 467 to demolish it. 10.20am: Police discuss with Sugumaran and resident association assistant secretary C. Tharmaraj and urged villagers to keep to their word given to the developer. The police also asked MIC youth chief T. Mohan to stop party youth members from creating further fracas such as stopping the tractors. 10.15am: Gary Ho is rescued by the police. 10.10am: Tractors start to move in after several villagers agree for the developer to help in the demolition works. However, due to ignorance about an agreement made to demolish the houses, some other villagers and supporters tried to stop the tractors. Some also wanted to attack Gary Ho. The police light strike force steps in to maintain order. 10.07am: Villagers outside house number 467 come to an agreement with the police on the demolition. Still unclear who will break the houses as the police ask reporters to leave the area. 9.55am: Nusmetro director Gary Ho arrives with house keys. He appeals to the residents not to delay the demolition process. Residents and developer are still debating on who should conduct the demolition of the two houses. 9.30: Sugumaran said the villagers want to demolish the two houses themselves. They marched to the houses. Villagers and supporters blocked the press entering the village and a scuffle breaks out. 9.20am: Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairman M. Sugumaran met Nusmetro Venture executive director Thomas Chan and later informed the press that two families had agreed for their homes to be demolished as they had accepted compensation and handed over their house keys to the developer. 8.30am: Two mobile police stations and three police vans arrive at Kampung Buah Pala. Demolition of houses stated to take place today. 7.30 am: MIC youths and residents line-up to block entrance. More than 20 contractors with hammers and crowbars ready to move into the village. GEORGE TOWN: Residents of Kampung Buah Pala, due to be torn down on Sept 1, on Thursday stopped workers from carrying out demolition works. The residents and members of MIC Youth have gathered to prevent the contractors from carrying out their duties. Police have been called in to handle the situation.



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