Sunday, July 12, 2009

State Makes Police Report On Kampung Buah Pala Issue

PENANG, July 11 (Bernama) -- The Penang state government on Saturday made a police report regarding the ownership of the land in Kampung Buah Pala, Bukit Gelugor, here.

The report was made by Komtar state assemblyman Ng Wei Aik at the Timur Laut police district headquarters at 1.20pm today.

 kampong Buah Pala
makkal osai

Speaking to reporters later, Ng, who is also the political secretary to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, said he wanted the police to investigate in detail the sale of the land.

"This is a big question regarding whether there is anyone having self interest when approving the land sale," he said.

Earlier, the present Penang state government had charged that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) state government had sold the land cheaply to the Penang Government Officers Cooperative.

"Although the award of the land (to the cooperative) was to replace the site next to Dewan Sri Pinang for an additional court building, we find that the approval was made without reference to the market value reports for both the sites," Ng said.

The Kampung Buah Pala issue arose when the villagers were asked to vacate the land after the Federal Court rejected their appeal to remain there as they had been doing for a long time.

Hindraf hails revelation but questions remain - Malaysiakini

The Hindu Rights Action Force today welcomed the move by the Penang government to declassify certain documents pertaining to the 'Tamil High Chaparral' Kampung Buah Pala crisis.

However, the outlawed movement chairperson P Waythamoorthy said the state government's revelation had raised more questions than answers.

NONEIn releasing the documents, he said the DAP-led state government had accused the previous Gerakan government of alienating and selling the Indian traditional village land in a dubious manner.

“However, why then Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng endorsed its sale three weeks after he took over the state government? Why didn't Lim make an attempt to stop or delay the transaction?” he asked.

Waythamoorthy agreed that based on the documents provided by the state government, it was clear that the land was “robbed by the previous Barisan Nasional administration”.

But he could not understand why the new Pakatan Rakyat government had allowed the allegedly fraudulent transfer to take place after it came to power.

The transfer was executed on March 27, 2008 - 19 days after Pakatan captured Penang in last year's general election.

The London-based Hindraf leader also questioned why Lim had failed to revoke the transaction when he was informed about the matter by the villagers' previous lawyer, Cecil Rajendra.

Gerakan-led government to blame

Based on the declassified documents, Wathamoorthy said Hindraf was not in the slightest doubt that BN under its previous chief minister Koh should be held accountable for the sale of the land.

p waythamoorthyBut Waythamoorthy (right) said there were many unanswered questions pertaining to the allegedly fraudulent land deals.

“How did the land given to the villagers and held on trust by the government was sold to a private landowner – Koperasi Pegawai Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang?

“How could a land sold at a discounted RM3.21 million suddenly rocket up to hundreds of millions after the land has been transferred to the cooperative society?

“Why is Lim dragging his feet in finding a permanent solution to the problem - that is to exercise his authority under the Land Acquisition Act?

“Indeed, Lim should erase the delusion that hundreds of millions were involved to acquire the land when the Act states only a reasonable sum of compensation.”

Village demolished if not for Hindraf

Waythamoorthy also urged Lim to stop accusing the villagers of “displaying aggression, hostility and arrogance” for refusing to meet him last Wednesday.

kampung buah pala villagers buy land compensation letter 060709 02He said the residents had made it clear that they wanted to be represented by a lawyer of their choice at the meeting, not one handpicked by Lim.

He also ticked off Lim for insinuating that Hindraf was a BN collaborator.

Hindraf, said Waythamoorthy, was an apolitical movement that does not condone any wrongdoing by the government, whether BN or Pakatan.

He said if not for Hindraf's timely intervention, the village would have been flattened by now.