PENANG, 9 July 2009: Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, the developer of Kampung Buah Pala, is disappointed with the Penang state government’s plan to invoke Section 116 of the National Land Code to prevent the company from carrying out the demolition of the village.
Its executive director, Thomas Chan, said today the company had in good faith agreed to the state government’s request to extend the deadline from 2 June to 8 Aug for the purpose of negotiating and finding an amicable solution, but instead the state was taking action to stop the company from carrying out the project.
“It is regrettable that the state government has taken our good faith for granted and used it for other purposes,” he said in a statement here today.
He said the Court of Appeal order dated 11 May was very clear in asking the residents to vacate the land by 11 June.
“The Court of Appeal order was upheld by the Federal Court on 24 June when the [residents’] application for leave to appeal was dismissed,” he said.
Chan also said that Section 116 1(d) of the National Land Code did not apply to squatters and illegal structures.
He said the category of “building” in Section 116 1(d) of the National Land Code refers to buildings legally erected upon the date the land first became subject to the category.
“In our case, the provision is not applicable to illegal structures that have been built prior to alienation. It follows that in demolishing the illegal structures, consent of the appropriate authority is not a mandatory prerequisite,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, in a separate statement, said the state executive meeting yesterday, which declassified the document relating to the chronology of the decisions made by the state executive council during the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s reign, proved beyond doubt that Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and the BN had robbed the villagers of their land without consulting them.
“After consulting and getting approval from the state legal adviser, the state government has decided to declassify and reveal the decision behind the BN state exco led by Koh in alienating the village to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd,” Lim said today.
The residents have been fighting in recent years to save their cattle-rearing village, dubbed Penang’s High Chaparral, from being demolished to make way for development projects. — Bernama