PENANG, 14 Sept 2009: Developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd demolished 17 houses in Kampung Buah Pala here to allow for the area to be developed.
Northeast police district chief ACP Azam Abdul Hamid said the decision was made after discussions between the developer and court representatives.
“Before this, the developer had given time to the residents to move, and today demolition of 17 houses will continue.
“The residents did ask for a time extension, but the court and developer decided on demolition today,” he told reporters at Kampung Buah Pala here.
A police team was at the village from 6:30am and sealed off all entry and exit points to enable the demolition. Police patrolled the area and put up roadblocks to prevent outsiders from entering.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association M Sugumaran said they were disappointed with the state government for letting up on them and for not helping them.
“In the discussions with the developer and the court, we asked for time for us to move, but the answer given was very disappointing,” he said.
One resident, M Indrani, 60, caught the attention of the media when she doused herself with kerosene as a sign of protest against the demolition.
Met by reporters, she said she was willing to kill herself to defend her home and the traditional village known as the “High Chapparal“. However, she was prevented from doing so by family members and neighbours.
Another resident, A Draviam, 84, said he would not move even though his house had been demolished, and was willing to die in the place he was born.
“We are not rich people and do not know where to go. Whatever happens, I will live and die in this house,” he said as he watched his house being demolished this morning.