Monday, August 3, 2009

Moment of truth for Kg Buah Pala (updates)

2000: The Penang Government Officers Cooperative is adamant that it wants to demolish the Kg Buah Pala houses tomorrow, reports the NST/Bernama here. “We are not cruel, but our decision to demolish the village still stands because the court has decided the land is ours,” the cooperative chairman Abdul Razak Mansor is quoted as saying.

This effectively throws a spanner in the ongoing talks between the state government and the developer, Nusmetro, to resolve the crisis, according to a source.

Meanwhile, villagers reportedly have taken a week off from work to protect their homes from demolition. They are also expecting many activists and sympathisers to turn up tomorrow to lend their support, reports theSun.

1500: The developer and state government leaders are believed to be holding round-the-clock talks to resolve this crisis, a source informs me. The talks, which could continue tomorrow, may be extended if they fail to come up with a solution.

1300: The villagers are now waiting for a detailed blueprint from the developer/state for them to evaluate the proposal that they could co-exist side-by-side with the condominium project, says Sugumaran, the chairperson of the residents committee.

The villagers are in the midst of a heritage festival in the village.

0058: Today is the the day – the deadline given for Kampung Buah Pala residents to vacate their land.

There’s still considerable uncertainty over what will happen tomorrow.

According to one activist, as late as yesterday, the villagers were still hoping for the state to intervene and save their land by acquiring it.

Today, the villagers will be holding Ponggal celebrations with mixed feelings.

They will probably issue a press statement as well.

And then, who knows what tomorrow will bring.