Saturday, July 4, 2009

PKR tells CM: Go talk to the villagers - Malaysiakini

A Pakatan Rakyat ally today ticked off Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for attempting to resolve the 'High Chaparral' crisis through media statements, rather than working out a proactive action plan.

PKR state chief Zahrain Hashim wants Lim to go to the ground, get his facts right and find an amicable win-win solution for all to end the Kampung Buah Pala crisis in Bukit Gelugor.

He said he was shocked that Lim had not visited the village until today since becoming chief minister 15 months ago.

lim guan engHe chided Lim for relying for information on the crisis from his deputies, rather than getting it himself.

As a result, he said Lim (right) was being accused of misinforming the public on several contentious issues pertaining to the crisis, such as on the quantum of the compensation offered by the developer.

"Information from third party amounts to hearsay. As chief minister, Lim should get it from the villagers... meet the villagers," Zahrain told Malaysiakini.

Zahrain acknowledged that the situation had reached a boiling point after the lucrative Oasis project developer - Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd - issued a court order of writ of possession to the villagers yesterday.

Lodge a report with MACC

He said sentiments were running high now because an Indian traditional village of nearly 200 years was about to be demolished and flattened in a month's time.

"Lim should not look only at the corporate interests and talk about dollar and cents. It's time for him to visit the village and end the villagers' predicament," said Zahrain, the Bayan Baru parliamentarian.

He pointed out that it was the state government's duty not to allow the villagers to be victimised by the system.

He said the state government should not use the court ruling on the village land as a sheild to hide from its public responsibilities.

penang pkr chief zahrain hassimHe urged the state government to release all the findings of the ongoing investigation into the 'High Chaparral' land scam.

He said the state government should not compromise with anyone if the findings showed that the land had been misappropriated by deception.

He urged the state government to report the issue to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to nab the culprits.

"The court ruling is another matter altogether," said Zahrain.

"Lim should check on the facts behind the crisis and prevent any victimisation. The people's interests must be protected," he added.

Developer lied to the media

Meanwhile, Kampung Buah Pala Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran slammed the developer for lying about the facts and figures over the village.

The developer's executive director, Thomas Chan, said that the village only has 21 households, after 10 others moved out after accepting compensation up to RM260,000.

penang kg buah pala 010709 m sugumaranSugumaran (right) pointed out that the court bailiffs posted the writ of possession to 41 households in the village yesterday.

"This itself is prove that the developer had lied to the media," he said, adding that only seven households had move out after accepting compensations.

He stressed that the compensation offered was not more than RM90,000 for each household.

Don't blame MIC

Meanwhile MIC Youth wing advisor S Vell Paari said Penang government leaders, especially its deputy chief minister P Ramasamy, should not continue blaming MIC for the plight of the villagers.

"How can they blame MIC for this? As a state government, it's their duty to solve the problem of the villagers there rather than passing the buck," he said today.

vell paari vellpaariHe also pointed out that while the agreement to develop the land was made by the previous BN government, it was nevertheless incumbent on the present Pakatan government to solve the issue.

"And during the general election, it was them who had said that they will stop the project. They should fulfil that promise now," he said.

Vell Paari, who is in charge of unity committee of MIC, also said that the party's representative in the last BN state government PK Subbaiyah was among the minority voice of exco members to have objected against the sale of the land to the private developer.