Friday, July 10, 2009


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

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