Friday, July 24, 2009

Athi Shankar
Jul 23, 09

Ten people were arrested when a peaceful 'Save Kampung Buah Pala' march was about to begin in George Town was this morning.

They were all wearing range t-shirts with the words 'Save Kampung Buah Pala' emblazoned on the front and back.

A group of residents and their sympathisers, including MIC youth members, were about to begin a peaceful march at 10.15am from a Hindu temple in Jalan Datuk Keraman to the Chief Minister's Office.

Police swiftly moved in and arrested several of them before they could start their march to the Chief Minister's office in Komtar.

MIC Youth wing national coordinator T Mohan was among those arrested when he questioned the police for detaining a resident, who was distributing 'Save Kg Buah Pala' t-shirts at nearby temple.

"The police were rude and very aggressive towards us... they were rough when handcuffing us, my hands were injured," said Mohan.

He said he would be lodging a report against the officer who had arrested him.

Mohan was to lead the march to meet with Lim Guan Eng at 11am today to handover a memorandum asking the state government to sell the last remaining Indian traditional village to MIC so that it can be returned to the residents.

Detained for marching without a police permit

Besides Mohan (below), five other MIC youth members and two residents from Kampung Buah Pala were also arrested.

MIC's national youth secretary C Sivaraj, national social and welfare bureau chairperson L Subramaniam and K Jayashanker, the villager who was distributing the t-shirts were among those detained.

They have been taken to the Northeast district police headquarters in Jalan Patani, George Town.

Penang MIC assistant secretary N Ahilan, a practicing lawyer, later met Penang CPO Ayob Yaacob and George Town OCPD Azam Abdul Hamid to secure the release of his party collegues and other marchers.

Ahilan told newsmen that Ayob had assured him that they would be released once their statements had been recorded.

It's learnt that the police have detained them for allegedly organising an illegal procession without a police permit.

When contacted, Sivaraj said that they were not given little time by the police to disperse.

Following the arrest, attention quickly shifted to the Jalan Patani city police headquarters.

Bullock cart protest in front of police station

About 200 people, including 'Save Kampung Buah Pala' activists and curious onlookers, had gathered as news of police arrest spread across the city via text messages and online news.

Despite several warnings by police officers using loud hailers and the presence of a baton-wielding light strike force squad, the crowd refused to disperse and remained unperturbed.

The planned march was organised by the villagers and several civil societies to pressure Lim to preserve the Indian traditional village.

The organisers had planned to deploy about 10 bullock carts tethered to bulls from the village to join the 100 metre march to Komtar.

However, the bullock march did not take place following the arrest.
Later parked two bullock carts infront of the police station in a show of protest.

Penang MIC youth chief M Suresh said that the movement had decided to back the villagers because it involved a heritage issue.

He said he was shocked that the police were so aggressive and swift in detaining MIC leaders and villagers merely for standing outside the Hindu temple and distributing t-shirts.

"They had not even started to march when the police handcuffed and whisked them into the police van. It was just a peaceful march to save a Indian heritage village.

"Police should not have resorted to rough house tactics to intimidate the 'Save Kampung Buah Pala' campaigners," he said.

'No permit sought, none issued'

Later, at a press conference, CPO Ayob confirmed that 10 people were arrested for illegal gathering near a temple.

"They did not apply for police permit neither did we issue one. Their gathering has caused public disorder and we had to arrest them to maintain law and order.

"We will release them soon after recording their statement by today," he said.

The detainees were investigated under Section 117 of the Penal Code. Ayub said police were not against the villagers handing over the memorandum to the Chief Minister.

The village is also popularly known as 'Tamil High Chaparral' due to its population of cowherds, cattles, goats, other livestocks and lively Indian cultural features and lifestyle.

Those arrested were finally released at about 5pm and have been told to report back to the police on Aug 5.

Following their release, the residents and the MIC Youth members proceeded with the original plan to submit the memorandum to CM Lim.

Last night Lim held a meeting with the villagers, who turned out in full force, at his office in Level 28 Komtar to end the long running High Chaparral crisis.

He later told newsmen that he was happy to have finally met with the villagers and described the meeting as "friendly, cordial and fruitful."


July 23, 2009 20:59 PM

PENANG, July 23 (Bernama) -- The MIC is willing to offer RM3.2 million if the Penang government can get back the land in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor from the developer.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said the move was to enable the residents to continue living in the village.

He was speaking to reporters after handing a memorandum to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng through the latter's political secretary Ng Wei Eik at the Tun Abdul Razak Complex (Komtar), here, Thursday.

Mohan and a group of men arrived at Komtar at about 5.30pm to hand over the memorandum immediately after he was released from police arrest.

They were arrested about 10am today in Jalan Datuk Keramat here for illegal assembly to hand over the memorandum to the Chief Minister.

Asked whether the value of the land of the land could be higher than the price at which the land was sold, Mohan said: "Why did the Pakatan Rakyat state government proceed with the sale of the land when they knew the value was higher?"

According to the records, the Barisan Nasional had initiated the sale of the land but the confirmation letter on the land ownership was issued by the present state government led by Lim on March 27 last year.

There was commotion at Komtar after Mohan handed over the memorandum when a man verbally abused the group, causing them to chase the man and beat him, but the police managed to restore order.

The Kampung Buah Pala land controversy came about when the villagers were ordered to vacate the land before Aug 3 following the sale of the 2.6ha land by the previous state government to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd, which then appointed Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn to develop the land.


Monday, July 20, 2009


Sunday July 19, 2009 MYT 2:37:00 PM

BUTTERWORTH: The state government has been threatened with a legal suit up to RM150mil if it blocked the proposed development by Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd at Kampung Buah Pala.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the company had sent a letter to the state government last week giving notice of its possible action.

“In the letter, the company said that since it had won its case in the Federal Court against the villagers, it will sue if it was not allowed to proceed with the project.

“It has given us notice that the amount of damages will be at least RM150mil,” he told newsmen after opening a free medical camp organised by his Bagan constituency service centre in Bagan Dalam here Sunday.

Lim said the state government could not defy an order issued by the Federal Court.

“We have to accept the verdict whether we agree with it or not. There is no court higher than the Federal Court,” he said.

Lim said the state government’s first priority was to help the villagers.

“We are not going to take the legal threat into consideration. We want to look for a solution to help the villagers,” he said.

Lim said he would hold more talks with the villagers at his office in Komtar on Wednesday at 8pm.

“This will be our final meeting with them as the Aug 2 eviction deadline draws near,” he said.

Lim said if the residents came together and co-operated with the state government, a solution could be reached.

He said they should not allow themselves to be influenced by quarters that do not want to see a fair deal for them.

In the first meeting with the villagers last Thursday, only 10 people turned to meet Lim although there are 23 families staying there.

The Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association had refused to meet Lim after he insisted that the association members should not be accompanied by their lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira.

At least two villagers had lodged police reports that they were threatened by some villagers not to meet with Lim.


Saturday, July 18, 2009


July 16, 2009 21:59 PM

PENANG, July 16 (Bernama) -- The High Court here dismissed with costs an application by five Kampung Buah Pala residents to set aside a writ granting the ownership of a piece of land in the area to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Bhd.

The court also dismissed with costs the residents' application for a stay of execution of the writ.

High Court Registrar Ahmad Hidayat Md Nor read out the verdict in chamber.

The residents' lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira told reporters later that he would file an appeal on Monday against the eviction order on the 23 families in the village.

Karin Lim Ai Ching, who represented the cooperative and developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, said bailiffs would enforce the eviction order on Aug 3.

Earlier, Darshan filed a summons on behalf of six residents seeking to declare any agreement and transfer of ownership of the land among eight parties null and void.

The eight parties are the personal representative of David Brown and Helen Margaret Brown's estate, the state government, federal land commissioner, Malaysian government, Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Bhd, Nusmetro Ventures, Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer and Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy.

The villagers have named them as defendants in the suit.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


July 15, 2009 18:50 PM

PENANG, July 15 (Bernama) -- A former Penang state executive councillor on Wednesday slammed the state leadership for always blaming the previous state leadership over the issue of selling the Kampung Buah Pala land in Gelugor when they themselves finalised the matter last year.

Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, the former state local government and traffic management committee chairman, said the new state government may not be aware that they approved the decision of the previous administration when they concluded the land title to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative about 19 days after winning in the March 2008 general election.

"As soon as they took over the state, the opposition pact signed a transfer letter to the cooperative on March 27, 2008," Dr Teng told reporters after launching a Purple Ribbon Campaign to fight violence at the state Gerkan headquarters here.

Dr Teng, who is also Penang Gerakan chairman, said the new state government also accepted the balance of the land premium of RM2.47 million on March 14, 2008 and on May 23 of the same year and the state exco decided not to grant a 50 per cent discount to the new owners of the land and asked for the balance.

"This shows that the opposition government actaully took steps to finalise the decision of the previous government. If they were really serious, the state government could have used the opportunity to make a new decision and not finalise the land title," he said.

Dr Teng said the previous state government took a long time to approve the land sale to the cooperative although receiving an application from the cooperative in 2001 as they wanted to look out for the welfare of the residents involved.

According to him, two previous executive councillors, P.Subbaiyah and Datuk Koay Kar Huah, were involved in championing the compensation for the residents.

The previous government gave a 50 per cent discount on the land premium from RM6.42 million to RM3.21 million as the cooperative's land beside Dewan Sri Pinang was taken for a court complex in exchange for the Kampung Buah Pala land.

Besides the cooperative also needed to pay compensation to the residents to be relocated and the developer was to give a seven per cent discount to cooperative members who would buy houses that would be built later.



Jul 13, 09

I refer to Malaysiakini report 'Hindraf hails revelation but questions remain'.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should be commended for revealing events leading to the sale of Kampung Buah Pala but I am puzzled by the fact that he endorsed the sale three weeks after he came to office.

He has a lot to explain to the public why didn't he used his new found power to block the sale. It is very disturbing in view of the fact that he is a strong advocate of a clean governance with utmost care to transparency in whatever dealings. I am sure this is disappointing not only to Hindraf but most of DAP supporters.

At the same time, leaders of previous government cannot be absolved from this blunder. In fact Koh Tsu Koon and his officers should bear a bigger portion of the blame.

Thus, if he truly wants to help solve the problem, he should come back to Penang to help out. He should not be shouting from Putrajaya telling Lim to make good his election promise knowing that the problem is an offshoot from his administration.

Now that the dealings had been laid bare for all to see, let us hope that Lim can solved the problem to the satisfaction of the villagers.

-Peter Ooi (malaysiakini)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Truth in land matters

Source: KJ John, 7 July 2009, Malaysiakini

Something is fundamentally and foundationally wrong in this nation when the descendents who have lived in a place for more than 200 years have no right to their 'ancestral home grounds' and are chased away under the force of the local government officials and the police based on a whimsical Federal Court ruling.

Surely there is an already existing methodology and due process to defend, preserve and protect such lands and grounds under our rule of law.

Even more assuredly, there must be some clauses under the Land Acquisition Act which allows the legal authorities to acquire this land and return it to the rightful tenants?

Such "national interest" cannot any more merely be defined by the government of the day, as in days past! It must now become a matter of THE public interest that the same tenants had their TOL rejected for the pecuniary interest of some non-resident selected parties and their cronies.

It is now a matter completely of truth and righteousness and no more merely an issue or mere technical legality of the proper stewardship of the said land lot.

Unlike the Falklands issue or the Timor Leste break away from Indonesia this is not an issue of over-arching sovereignty claims by different nations, and supported by yet other powers.

This is a case well within the jurisdiction and knowledge of all related authorities; whether federal or state or local government, and whether of the old or new governments.

The Federal Constitution has enough laws to protect and preserve the interests of these victims. What is needed is political will to govern right.

There have been too many cases of such theft of "private ancestral land" all in the name of 'development' for all the rest of us ordinary Malaysians to keep quiet and go about doing our own things as if these issues did not matter to us at all.

The Federation of Malaya is only 52 years old and I do not see how the laws of this minor period can override the five generational occupation, ownership and stewardship of these ancestral lands in favour of another group of people.

It is incidental to me that these happen to be people of a particular ethnic heritage; the more important fact is that their ancestral land is under threat and it is the responsibility of every other Malaysian to defend their rights and privileges as "simple and ordinary Malaysians".

We all have rights to defend our land and property.

A simple four way test

Of course I am talking about what is now popularized as the High Chaparral land case at Kampung Buah Pala.

kg buah pala 020709 developer representativesBut, first I must admit that I was initially negligent in fully understanding the historicity of the case, when I first read about it.

I thought it was one of those cases of squatters trying to take advantage of developers to gain maximum mileage after free land usage after some years.

It was only this week, after the current Penang chief minister was accused of going back on his word that I began to take more interest in the matter.

And thanks to the Internet and all media; it is now obvious to me that this is another application of greed is good theology using legal and legitimate means to acquire something that is not theirs by unfair and foul means.

There must be total and complete transparency as in the PKFZ case for us to understand the full ramifications and the real actors and their agenda.

The Rotarians have a simple four way test to determine whether anything is right or wrong. I am not a Rotarian but have been mixing enough with them to know their simple and easy to use guideline.

Their four way test is:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Allow me to use their test in to review the matter of this land grab.

Is it the truth that these poor settlers whose forefathers were settled from 200 years ago were only TOL holders?

Why? Therefore, were the actions of the former state government good, right and fair to all concerned?

Will their actions build goodwill and better friendships? Can the former state government take land from 'Paul and give it to Peter', without just cause or purpose?

It can only be good, right and fair to the perpetrators of the land grab but definitely not to the victims of the land loss.

Why are one party rewarded for their land grab and the other denied? Are they not all citizens of the same nation and State?

Criminal offence against humanity

hindraf kampung buah pala protest at dap hq petaling jaya 300609 05Finally, allow me to reflect another perspective toward such five generational land occupation and ownership, even if technically under the Temporary Occupation License.

I wrote recently on spiritual ontology. Most of this generation of Malaysians can live and enjoy the privilege of three generational lives because there is peace and continuity in one's life and one's family and circumstances.

My generation of siblings, for example, did not grow up knowing our grandparents, as my parents were migrants and travelling was not as easy as now.

Our children however have the wonderful privilege of knowing grandparents on both sides even if one set is some distance away.

Three generational life and living encourages what I have called spiritual experience of maturity.

Therefore for instance one can learn to grow old gracefully passing through all three stages of dependence, independence and interdependence and the final return to dependence. This cycle of maturity changes ones perspective of time and seasons.

Time is not anymore only kronos time but also kairos time. Kairos time is the ability to see time from yet another perspective; the time and seasons in one's life or what is sometimes called vertical time or cyclical time.

Kronos time or chronological time needs no explanation as this is the only time most of us do know. Too often though this known time gets shorter and shorter and one gets into a perspective of greed and material acquisition regardless of costs.

How else can we explain why a state government would collude with the perpetrators of a crime with unnecessary overtures of enabling the theft of the public lands wherein is located another group of equally qualified citizens?

They were not playing Robin Hood either. No, this is not a criminal offence against a state but it surely is a criminal offence against humanity and the rights of others in living a life of ordinary citizenship.

Therefore, like in the Subang Ria Park case, my appeal is to the Penang Chief Minister is to please exercise his political discretion and refer this case to the National Land Council and allow the federal government and their guilty allies to "own up for their demeanour and wrong-doing".

Too much of such land-grab theft has taken place and it is time for ordinary citizens to say "let us put a stop to such public theft".

Alternatively, I would urge civil society groups to seriously consider taking this matter up as a public interest case law and test the efficacy of such "daylight theft of public lands in the name of various and dubious misapplied policy goals".

May God grant us enough grace to tolerate all this public stealing.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Jul 12, 09

The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) will step up its pressure in coming weeks on the Penang government to preserve Kampung Buah Pala as a state Indian heritage village.

Expressing disappointment that the state government failed to fulfill any of his three demands outlined last week, Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar said the movement would now turn the screws to compel the Penang government to protect the villagers' interests.

During his visit to Kampung Buah Pala Saturday, Uthayakumar spelled out three actions that the state government must take within a week to save the village, popularly known as 'Tamil High Chaparral'.

His demands were:

• Sign a purchase order to acquire the village land from its current landowner, the Senior Civil Servants Cooperative Society (Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang).

• Disclose findings of its ongoing investigation into the alleged land scam involving the village.

• Reveal the court order on the dissolution of the legally-constituted Brown Housing Trust, which encompasses Kampung Buah Pala.

"We will now step up our struggle to save the village," Uthayakumar told Malaysiakini today.

However, he declined to reveal Hindraf's next plan of actions.

'CM has overreacted'

Kampung Buah Pala in Gelugor is known as the 'Tamil High Chaparral' due to the existence of cowherds, cattles, goats, other livestocks, and Tamil lively cultural features.

The village's 300 residents now face a court eviction order after Aug 2 to pave way for a lucrative condominium project called Oasis.

Oasis' proposed developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd executive director Thomas Chan has said that the company would demolish and flatten the village after the deadline.

Uthayakumar and his supporters across the country are expected to be at the village on Aug 2 to provide stiff resistance ala a Mexican standoff against the possible 'High Chaparral' demolition.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said the state government plans to invoke provisions under the National Land Code to stop the developer from demolishing the houses.

However, Uthayakumar remained unconvinced and accused Lim of hiding behind the law to sidestep responsibility to preserve the village.

He reiterated his call on Lim to instead use Section 76 of the NLC read in conjunction with Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act to acquire the village land from its current owner.

“Lim can end the crisis with just a stroke of a pen … undoubtedly,” he said.

Stressing Hindraf was not racist, he explained that the movement got involved in the crisis because the land dispute touched on social and natural justice.

“Hindraf's struggle was always based on universal human rights, natural and social justice.

“But Lim overreaction to our involvement turned it into a communal issue,” Uthayakumar claimed.

-Athi Shankar (malaysiakini)


Friday, July 10, 2009

Berikut adalah kronologi penjualan tanah Lot 698, Bandar Gelugor, Daerah Timur Laut, Pulau Pinang, Kampung Buah Pala daripada maklumat yang di-klasifikasikan:

11/07/2001 – Permohonan dikemukakan oleh Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang untuk membeli tanah seluas 6.5 ekar. Lesen Pendudukan Sementara (TOL) telah dikeluarkan kepada 30 penama dan terdapat 43 buah rumah di tanah tersebut.

16/07/2001 – Kertas Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan menyampaikan kertas cadangan permohonan membeli tanah kepada Pejabat Tanah dan Galian. Permohonan telah ditolak kerana dua permohonan serupa sebelum ini ditolak.

01/09/2002 – Jawatankuasa Tanah memperaku untuk meluluskan permohonan oleh pihak Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang, menyatakan sebab pemohon adalah koperasi.

11/12/2002 – Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan (EXCO) Negeri menangguhkan keputusan untuk menjual tanah tersebut. Ketua Menteri ketika itu Tan Sri Dr.Koh Tsu Koon meminta MMK (EXCO) mempertimbangan untuk memberi kelulusan kepada permohonan tersebut berdasarkan cadangan yang dikemukakan. Cadangan pembangunan yang dikemukakan adalah untuk membina Pangsapuri 247 unit – Kos Rendah, Pangsapuri 400 unit – Kos Sederhana, dan 12 Unit kedai.

18/08/2004 – Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan (EXCO) Negeri Pulau Pinang meluluskan permohonan oleh Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang untuk membeli tanah tersebut.

08/06/2005 – Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan (EXCO) Negeri Pulau Pinang lagi sekali telah meluluskan permohonan untuk membeli tanah tersebut oleh Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

12/07/2005 – Harga penjualan tanah ditetapkan sebanyak RM 6..42 juta. Pihak Koperasi membuat rayuan untuk mengurangkan premium sebanyak 50%.

09/04/2006 – Ketua Menteri Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon menyatakan penjualan tanah tersebut adalah sebagai ganti untuk sebuah bangunan di sebelah Dewan Sri Pinang, dan menyatakan persetujuan beliau untuk memberikan diskaun sebanyak 50% ke atas premium yang asalnya bernilai RM 6.42 juta. Dengan pemberian diskaun sebanyak 50%, maka kadar premium bagi luas sekaki persegi ialah RM 10. Ianya adalah terlalu murah untuk tanah yang berada di kawasan prima.

Cadangan Pampasan kepada penduduk yang dikemukakan oleh Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang seperti berikut :-

1 rumah kos rendah yang bernilai RM 17,000
Subsidi Sewa Rumah sebanyak RM 750 selama 36 bulan
Kos Pemindahan Rumah sebanyak RM 1000
RM 90,000 Tunai sebagai ganti rugi

25/04/2007 – Timbalan Ketua Menteri, Dato Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah menyatakan tawaran pampasan yang dibuat oleh Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang adalah jauh lebih baik dari garis panduan yang ditetapkan oleh kerajaan negeri dan mencadangkan tanah dijual pada harga RM 3.21 juta.

Oktober 2007 – Notis Pengeluaran telah dikeluarkan.

11/10/2007 – 14 buah rumah telah dirobohkan setelah pemilik-pemilik tersebut menerima tawaran yang telah dibuat oleh pihak Koperasi.

14/03/2008 – Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang menjelaskan tunggakan premium sebanyak RM 2,247,000. Surat hak milik pajakan selama 99 tahun telah dikeluarkan.

27/03/2008 - Surat hakmilik didaftarkan sebagai PT 59 HS (D) 15868 Bandar Gelugor, Daerah Timur Laut, Pulau pinang. Jenis hakmilik ialah Pajakan Negeri 99 tahun dan jenis kegunaan tanah adalah "bangunan".

Sejak 2008 juga, ADUN dan Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat telah menghentikan perobohan Kg Buah Pala sebanyak LIMA (5) kali.



PENANG, Sat: The State government has filed a police report regarding the ownership of the land in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor, here.

The report was made by Komtar state assemblyman Ng Wei Aik at the Timur Laut police district headquarters at 1.20pm today.

Speaking to reporters later, Ng, who is also the political secretary to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, said he wanted the police to investigate in detail the sale of the land.

"This is a big question regarding whether there is anyone having self interest when approving the land sale," he said.

Earlier, the present Penang state government had charged that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government had sold the land cheaply to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative.

"Although the award of the land (to the cooperative) was to replace the site next to Dewan Sri Pinang for an additional court building, we find that the approval was made without reference to the market value reports for both the sites," Ng said.

The Kampung Buah Pala issue arose when the villagers were asked to vacate the land after the Federal Court rejected their appeal to remain there as they had been doing for a long time.


Friday, July 10, 2009


Opinion 2009-07-09 17:34

The declassification of documents relating to the chronology o f BN Penang Exco decisions prove beyond a shadow of doubt that Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and his UMNO, MCA, MIC And Gerakan cohorts had robbed Kampung Buah Pala residents of their land without consulting them.

The Pakatan Rakyat Penang State Exco had in yesterday’s meeting decided after consulting and getting approval from the State Legal Adviser, to declassify and reveal the decisions behind the BN State EXCO led by the present Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in alienating Kampung Buah Pala to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

The state government land of Kampung Buah Pala was approved to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang twice by the BN Penang state EXCO led by Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon on 18.8.2004 and 8.6.2005 with a premium of RM 6.42 million or RM 20 per square feet which was then subsequently reduced further to only RM 3.21 million or RM 10 per square feet. So far Koh Tsu Koon has not explained why he approved this project without consulting the residents or selling it to Koperasi at such a low price.

Instead of training their guns and questions on the land robbers of Kampung Buah Pala, collaborators of BN had orchestrated a smear campaign through the control of the mass media against the new Penang State government as being responsible when full assistance within the confines of the law had been given. If BN was in power now and not PR, the residents would have been evicted and Kampung Buah Pala would have been demolished since last year.

We will continue to try to get the Kampung Buah Pala residents to meet without being manipulated by certain irresponsible (people) targetting the state government to distract attention from those who robbed their land.

The refusal by some of the residents of Kampung Buah Pala to meet with me and the Penang state government yesterday is regrettable and displays an aggression, hostility and even arrogance that is puzzling. Questions are raised why one or two of the so-called leaders of the residents are now so defensive of BN and anti-PR, particularly anti-DAP.

Why is this aggression targeted against the PR government that is trying to help them? In contrast not a single demonstration or action is taken against the BN land robbers who deprived them of their rights.

The refusal to meet me appears deliberately staged by using the flimsy ground of denying their lawyers to be present when their legal counsel, Cecil Rajendra was also present. Sadly this was also not published in the BN controlled media even though Cecil Rajendra was present with me at the press conference yesterday.

I wish to appeal to the residents not to be manipulated by certain irresponsible parties but to come and meet me for a heart to heart talks. By refusing to meet, the residents are playing into the hands of the land robbers who want to these talks to fail, the residents evicted, their houses demolished and PR blamed. Unlike BN, the PR government has not cheated the residents of a single inch of their land and will try out all legal avenues suggested by their legal counsel, Cecil Rajendra.

Time is running out and the residents should distinguish between those who are sincere in helping them against those who are distracting attention from the real culprits who robbed them of their land.

Chief Minister Penang
9 July 2009



Friday July 10, 2009

GEORGE TOWN: In the ongoing Kampung Buah Pala saga, the DAP-led state government has declassified confidential minutes of the transfer of the 2.6ha land between the state government and Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd during the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng yesterday released a chronological summary of events beginning from the application for the development on the land by the cooperative in early November 2001.

The summary revealed that the north-east district of the state Land Office recommended that the application be rejected as two earlier proposals by Tetuan Pembinaan Baufort Sdn Bhd and Tetan Edaran Pelita Sdn Bhd had been rejected by the state executive council in August 1999.

However, the land committee called for a proposal on the grounds that the applicant was a cooperative and it would benefit its members.

The state executive council postponed its decision twice – on Dec 11, 2002 and again on Aug 11, 2004, after exco member Datuk Koay Kar Huah said that the place was unsuitable for high-rise development.

There was also proposals from then Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon for the cooperative to reduce the density of the project in return for a reduced land premium.

On August 18, 2004, the executive council approved the co-operative’s application on the condition that the needs and welfare of the squatters were addressed and on July 12, 2005, an approval letter was issued to the cooperative by the state Land Office for a premium of RM6.4mil.

On August 8, 2005, the cooperative appealed for a lower premium on grounds that it had to pay roughly RM3mil in compensation to squatters.

The land administrator and land committee suggested a 50% discount (RM3.2mil) but the executive councils postponed the matter three times after Koay and another state exco member P.K. Subbaiyah wanted to look into the issues of the squatters and residents who had asked for a piece of replacement land.

On March 22, 2007, the cooperative released a compensation offer to squatters residing at Kampung Buah Pala.

The agreement offered each family one 850 sq ft house worth RM75,000, an RM1,000 relocation payment and RM750 a month for rental subsidy for a period of 36 months until the houses were constructed.

For residents not interested in this package, the cooperative offered one-off payments of RM90,000 per family.

On April 25, 2007, the state exco conducted extensive discussions and the then Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah was reported as saying that the compensation offer by the cooperative was “far better” then what was stipulated in the state guidelines. The 50% discount on the land premium was approved on the same day.

In October 2007, 14 families that agreed to the compensation package allowed their houses to be demolished, but only one house was demolished after Koay’s objection.

On March 14, 2008, the cooperative settled RM2.24mil which was the balance payment for the land which had been paid in stages since January 2006.

The property grant detailing the lease of the land for 99 years was subsequently registered by the state land registry on March 27 last year.



July 10, 2009 18:02 PM

PENANG, July 10 (Bernama) -- Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in blaming the former state government for the predicament faced by Kampung Buah Pala residents, denied making any promises to return the land to them.

"All these problems started from the previous government which approved the project and they should be the ones who must try and solve it and not 'trapping' us in the matter because I never made any promise to return the land to Kampung Buah Pala residents," he told reporters after issuing appointment letters to the state transportation council here on Friday.

Lim said even his two deputies, Mansor Osman and P. Ramasamy did not make such promises but he did not discard the possibility of other leaders within the opposition, having made such a promise during the past general election campaign.

"During campaigning in the past election, I did not even go to Kampung Buah Pala. However, no matter who made such a promise, we will try to help them," he said while Mansor and Ramasamy who were present, also denied making any promises.

Residents claimed that the opposition had used the issue of Kampung Buah Pala as the main issue during campaigns before the March 8, 2008 general election and had promised to safeguard the rights of the residents if they took over the state government.

Lim added that though an earlier meeting with the residents did not take place as scheduled, he was still keen to meet them at the Komtar building at a later date.

He also said Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd director Thomas Chan's claim that the houses in Kampung Buah Pala can be demolished without permission from the authorities, as Thomas Chan's own opinion.

"Is he (Thomas Chan) a lawyer to talk like that? What he is talking is his own opinion because only the court can make a decision," he said.

Thomas Chan was reported as saying that invoking Section 116 (1)(D) of the National Land Code was not applicable for squatters and illegal structures as 'building' referred to the National Land Code referred to buildings legally erected upon the date the land first became subject to the category of building and in our case, from the date the alienation of land was carried out by the state government to the landowner.

Lim had earlier said the state government would try and stall the demolition of the houses by invoking Section 116 of the National Land Code.

Meanwhile, Kampung Buah Pala village development and security committee is expected to distribute 20,000 DVDs of recordings taped during the election campaign, which allegedly contained the promises made.

- Bernama

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

No lawyer, no face-off with CM

Malaysiakini, 8 July 2009

The much anticipated meeting between the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Kampung Buah Pala residents turned out to be a farce.

The villagers cried foul and walked out from the state secretariat in Komtar after the chief minister insisted that they could not be represented by their lawyer Darshan Singh Khaira at the proposed meeting at 11am.

hindraf kampung buah pala protest at penang kamtar 300609 darshan singh shouted at ng wei aikBukit Gelugor parliamentarian Karpal Singh had arranged the meeting to find an amicable solution to resolve the escalating crisis.

It's learnt that the villagers have already set the condition that they be represented by Darshan.

However, when some 20 villagers led by Kampung Buah Pala residents' association chairperson M Sugumaran arrived at Komtar's third floor at 10.30am, they were asked by Seri Delima assemblyperson RSN Rayer to accept the 'no lawyers' condition.

'No lawyers allowed'

Rayer also insisted that the villagers should be represented by five association committee members at the meeting with Lim.

When the villagers insisted that they wanted to be represented by lawyer Darshan Singh, Rayer refused to budge.

hindraf kampung buah pala protest at penang kamtar 300609 ng wei aik convincing protestor to moveThe villagers then walked out refusing to attend the meeting without their lawyer.

Association assistant secretary C Tharmaraj accused the chief minister of pulling off a political stunt to impress Penangites that he was working overtime to resolve the crisis.

"Why did he deny us our fundamental rights to have legal representation at the meeting?" he asked.

Rayer, however managed to persuade a village resident, one Saravanan, to accompany him to the meeting.

Despite vehement objections by the villagers, Saravanan heeded to Rayer's appeal and went to the chief minister's office at level 28.

However, what transpired in the meeting is still not known.

CM says lawyer was present

Later, talking to reporters, chief minister Lim claimed that the residents' 'lawyer' Cecil Rajendra was also present at the 'meeting'.

However this was immediately dismissed by Sugumaran who said that Rajendra was not their lawyer.

Sugumaran admitted that Rajendra had represented the villagers at the High Court level of their case against the developer. However they have subsequently engaged different lawyers to represent them at the two higher apex courts.

"It's funny to hear that the chief minister knows who our lawyer is but how could Lim claim that Rajendra represented us when he was not.

"We have now appointed Darshan Singh to represent us, not anyone else," said Sugumaran.

Their lawyer Darshan said that he was surprised that Rajendra was still acting as the residents' lawyer.

"This was done without the knowledge and authorisation of the villagers," he said.

State to file a court review

penang cm lim guan eng 290609In the CM's press conference, Lim said the state government was looking into invoking provisions under the National Land Code to stop the developer from demolishing the houses.

But he said the state government must first face the complication arising from the court order which was in favour of the developer.

Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd had obtained a favourable Federal Court ruling on June 24 to evict the villagers. Based on this, the developer has issued writ of vacant possession on July 2 to the villagers.

Lim said the state government would have to study the legal repercussions of using the NLC provisions, adding that the state authorities will seek a High Court review on the matter.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hari ini di Kampung Buah Pala

Kula Segaran and Charles Santiago visits Kg Buah Pala

Kula Segaran (MP Ipoh Barat, DAP) and Charles Santiago (MP Klang, DAP) visited Kampung Buah Pala today and said they will meet Lim Guan Eng about our issue.

Welcome to our blog

Welcome to the official Kampung Buah Pala website!