PENANG, 4 Aug 2009: The demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala, which was supposed to take place today, has been postponed for the second time to enable the problem to be resolved 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 of the solution is being prepared by the state government and the developer, he told reporters after meeting the residents today.
“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-shirts, 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 police officers and Tenaga Nasional Bhd (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 police officers there as a precautionary measure.
Kampung Buah Pala 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 2 Aug 2009.
The houses were set for demolition on Monday, 3 Aug, but 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 Malaysian leaders to resign if they could not solve the issue and urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to reclaim the land for the residents.
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 18 Aug.
“A court representative raised this point at a meeting attended by the developer, the police and residents last night,” Mohd Yusmadi, who is also Member of Parliament for Balik Pulau from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, 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 chairperson V Mugilan urged the federal government to intervene and help the residents, adding 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. — Bernama