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Kg Buah Pala demolition postponed to tomorrow

PENANG, 3 Aug 2009: Demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor, which was supposed to take place today, has been postponed to tomorrow.

Landowner Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang (KPKPP) has given residents a one-day reprieve to allow them to remove their belongings.

However, Kampung Buah Pala residents association assistant secretary CTharmaraj said the residents would not budge from the village.

“We will continue to be here. We want Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to use his executive power to reclaim the land,” he told reporters after handing a  memorandum to Lim at Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar) here today.

The memorandum asking that the land be returned to kampung residents was handed to Lim’s political secretary, Ng Wei Aik.

About 200 people including village residents had earlier gathered peacefully in the Komtar grounds.

Tharmaraj said Kampung Buah Pala residents wanted Lim to honour his promises that the land would be returned to them. “We don’t want to lose the land which has been occupied for 200 years,” he said.

Meanwhile, KPKPP was adamant and refused to share land ownership with the residents. Chairperson Abdul Razak Mansor said its members who met yesterday agreed not to share the land as proposed by Lim.

“Why must we share with village residents when the land is ours? The court  has decided that the land is legally owned by KPKPP,” he told reporters here today.

Abdul Razak said Lim’s proposal that KPKPP share the land with Kampung Buah Pala residents was made without discussing it with them.

“Lim suddenly proposed that we share the land with kampung residents. It is just a political promise. Why must KPKPP agree to the proposal?”

He hoped that Kampung Buah Pala residents would cooperate by vacating the land without causing any trouble.

Meanwhile, Lim has warned KPKPP not to proceed with the decision to demolish the houses in Kampung Buah Pala, saying all parties involved should find a win-win solution without hurting anyone.

“We want to look for a solution to help the residents, and at the same time benefit KPKPP and the developer,” he told reporters here today.

He said if KPKPP insisted on demolishing the kampung, the state government would have no choice but to stop the development order.

“We are playing matchmaker in this matter as we are not involved in any action to demolish the kampung. We had not issued any letter which allowed the houses to be demolished,” he said.

The Kampung Buah Pala land became an issue after the Federal Court issued an order for the 23 families living on the 2.6ha land, dubbed High Chapparal, to vacate it by 2 Aug. — Bernama

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