PENANG, 5 Aug 2009: Residents of Kampung Buah Pala, dubbed Penang’s “High Chaparral” want more time to consider an offer made yesterday by the developer, Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.
Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association assistant secretary C Tharmaraj said since the 23 families affected were not happy with the initial offer of a single storey terrace house offered by the developer, they would need time to discuss with their lawyers before making a decision.
“The developer has given us until Friday (7 Aug) to make a decision but we hope the deadline can be extended,” he told reporters today.
Tharmaraj said the residents want the developer to furnish details of the plan and design of the houses promised to them because during a meeting yesterday, the developer only made a verbal offer.
“We want to see details of the offer in black and white to avoid any misunderstanding later. As of now, the residents do not have any basis to discuss the offer,” he said.
Asked how much time was needed, Tharmaraj said it would be better for the developer to wait for a Federal Court decision on the residents’ application for leave to appeal against vacant possession, on 18 Aug.
He also hoped that the developer, to be fair to everyone, would not go ahead with their decision to demolish the houses until a decision on the appeal was made.
“If the developer remains adamant [about demolishing] the houses after Friday, we will not hesitate to defend our belongings in whatever way possible,” he said.
In the meantime, he added, the residents wanted Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to file an application to invoke Section 116(1)(d) of the National Land Code to prevent any development or the demolition of houses in Kampung Buah Pala.
Tharmaraj said two weeks ago, Lim promised to file the application but since he had yet to do it, it was tantamount to misleading the residents.
“We do not understand why he has not filed the application because it is within his powers,” he said.
The Kampung Buah Pala land became an issue after the Federal Court issued an order for the 23 families living on the 2.6-hectare site to vacate it. Their houses were slated for demolition yesterday but that was postponed.
However, after meeting the state government and the residents last night, the developer offered each affected family a terrace house and set Friday as the new deadline for them to vacate.
Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy urged the residents to accept the developer’s offer, in principle, as a way to settle the issue.
If the residents agree in principle, the state government can proceed to discuss details of the offer with the developer, he said.
“It is entirely up to the residents, if they agree, we will then discuss further details,” said Ramasamy who did not want to comment on what would happen if they refused the offer. — Bernama
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