Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Kampung Buah Pala demolition put off another day

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 4 — The expected trouble in Kampung Buah Pala today did not materialise as the developer accepted an invitation to have a dialogue with the villagers and state government.

In the morning, residents formed a human shield to prevent the planned demolition of the old settlement.

Police were present, as were representatives from NGOs and political parties.

Penang Deputy Chief minister II P. Ramasamy however gave villagers an assurance that no demolition would happen today. He explained that the developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) had agreed to a meeting tonight.

Just before 11am, a group of contractors arrived. They were joined by a court bailiff a little later.

After discussions with the police chief, the contractors decided not to carry out the demolition.

The issue of the scheduled demolition of Kampung Buah Pala — known popularly as “High Chapparal” — has been a major headache for the Pakatan Rakyat government of Penang, as the transfer of the settlement land rights to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative occurred during the Barisan Nasional’s administration.