Friday, September 4, 2009

High Chaparral: Four Kampung Buah Pala Houses Demolished In Third Attempt

PENANG, Sept 3 (Bernama) -- After two failed attempts to demolish 23 houses in Kampung Buah Pala, developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd today succeeded in demolishing four houses.

Kampung Buah Pala villagers who were directed to vacate their houses on Sept 1 finally agreed to comply with the court order.

Nusmetro director Gary Ho said a ruckus caused by the villagers had prevented it from demolishing 12 houses as planned.

"Twelve house owners had agreed to our (Nusmetro) offer but the opposite thing happened Thursday.

"Villagers and several outside parties had formed a human barricade to stop the developer from demolishing the houses," he told reporters here today.

Ho who suffered bruises all over the body said due to the ruckus, the police had to be deployed to control the situation.

"I will seek medical treatment and then lodge a police report on the incident," he said.

Over 100 officers and men from the General Operations Force (PGA) and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) gathered at the village as early as 7am.

A mobile police station was also placed at the village.

Ho was seen discussing with court bailiffs, the villagers' representatives and the police at 9.30am.

The situation became tense at 10.30am when several bulldozers and excavators moved in to demolish the houses.

However, attempts by demolition workers to enter the village at 10.30am and noon were prevented by villagers who formed a barricade across the road leading to the village.

The rain did not seemed to bother them who shouted 'hidup Kampung Buah Pala' and 'selamatkan kampung kami'.

The villagers also shouted the names of elected representatives from the Opposition who had promised to save their village.

Meanwhile, Kampung Buah Pala residents association chairman M Sugumaran said the villagers had accepted the court order.

"We are forced to agree as the state government is of no help. We are disappointed by the situation and are forced to accept the developer's offer," he said.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government was not involved in the demolition work and the villagers' eviction from the land.

"It has nothing to do with the state government. It is a matter for the developer, cooperative and involved a court order," he told a press conference here.

Kampung Buah Pala, dubbed the 'High Chapparal of Penang' sits on a 2.6 hectare land in George Town.

It is the only Indian traditional village in the city.


Video: Bernama, NTV 7, RTM 2