Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kg Buah Pala: PKR youth chief raps Lim

Penang government today came under fire from a PKR lawmaker for not upholding human rights and social justice in handling the 'High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala crisis.

Balik Pulau parliamentarian Yusmadi Yusoff said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng should know that any development forsaking human development and values is in breach of universal laws and principles.

buah pala high chaparral vigil 200609 yusmadi"All development policies without emphasis on human rights are flawed. The Kampung Buah Pala crisis should have been handled on these universal principles.

"It's a virtue upheld by international convention and universal laws on social and natural justice.

"Pakatan Rakyat's economic agenda upholds these values and the DAP government should know that," he told Malaysiakini today.

Yusmadi, the PKR state youth leader, is heading a separate party task force to probe the alleged land scam involving Kampung Puah Pala.

The 'High Chaparral' crisis is fast approaching a Mexican standoff between the villagers, civil societies, Lim's government and the developer - Umno-linked Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

Crisis could have been averted

The DAP-dominated state government had come under fire from various quarters including the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (Jerit), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), various social activists and politicians for its 'ineptness and unwillingness' to end the crisis.

They want the state government to acquire and preserve the village in Bukit Gelugor for its 300 residents, involving 65 families in 24 houses.

vwaishhnnavi hindraf penang lim guan eng office kampung buah pala event 300609 03Even residents living within the vicinity have signed a petition supporting the villagers' cause and called on the state government to halt the lucrative project initiated by its controversial land owner - Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.

Touching on the standoff between the villagers, developer and the state government, Yusmadi said the crisis could have been averted if the state government had respected human rights over commercial interests.

He said Lim was wrong to talk about a supposed RM200,000 offer made by the developer to the villagers because he had abandoned the social, economic and cultural rights of the villagers.

The villagers accused Lim of lying about the RM200,000 offer, stressing that the developer had only offered RM90,000 cash or a low cost unit as compensation.

Lim must expose the culprits

Yusmadi said the villagers and civil societies were talking about a 200-year-old peaceful and friendly urban living environment.

Its cultural growth, self-reliant economic activities and the romance of nature is something so scarce these days.

"One cannot compare all these human development and values with material goals," said Yusmadi.

"No amount of compensation can buy all these postive values in life," he said, chiding Lim for being inconsistent on the issue.

lim guan eng dap penang pc jawi state seat 240609 01He said while the state government had formed an investigation team to probe misappropriation of the village land, Lim on the other hand, was talking about compensation.

By probing into the land deals, he said Lim (left) had admitted that the state government suspected foul play.

Therefore, he said Lim should stick with the probe and go on to expose the real culprits.

But talking about compensation now, he said Lim had contradicted himself and confused the public.

Yusmadi said the onus was now on Lim's government to prove to Penangites that Pakatan government was 'governance with a difference' - upholding human rights and social justice.

"The state government must show that it is different from Barisan Nasional. It must protect human rights, human freedom and human development," he said