High Chaparral cows and goats were left strayed on the streets when a developer’s demolition team flattened one of the two livestock ranches in the former Kampung Buah Pala here on Wednesday morning. The remaining ranch could be demolished tomorrow Friday, its owner had been warned.
According the affected cowherd K Sivanandam, a group of Malay and Bangladesh gangsters ran riot and demolished his ranch about 11.30am using an excavator and sledgehammers.
He even named several trespassers as Johan, Izad, Noordin and Helmi in his police report lodged at Jelutong police station last night.
The four were allegedly were part of the developer’s demolition team that demolished homes and annihilated the Indian traditional village in September last year.
Sivanandam claimed that the gangsters stormed into his ranch and wrecked it without even producing any notice of evacuation from relevant authorities.
The frightened cows and goats fled all over the places fearing the rampage.
“When I asked who they are, they acted aggressively against me and said that they have power to demolish my ranch.“I was all alone and could not fight back,” Sivanandam told newsmen at the site today.
He estimated his losses at RM30,000.
The demolition team was accompanied several uniformed and plain clothed policemen. According to police sources, they were merely acting on the ‘directives’ of several higher ups in the Pakatan Rakyat state government .
However, at a separate press conference, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as expected was non-committal and claimed that he was unaware about the demolition.He said that the state government wouldn’t interfere in the issue and would leave it to the developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd and cowherds to resolve the dispute. Ironically, Lim’s statement indirectly confirmed that the developer carried out the unauthorised demolition.
At another press conference, Penang Island Municipal Council president Patahiyah Ismail said the council had not issued any notice of evacuation to the ranches and its enforcement unit was not involved in the demolition.Northeast district land office officials also confirmed it and re-affirmed that the cow ranches were sitting on a state land, not the developer’s land.
Kampung Buah Pala was once known as Penang Tamil High Chaparral for its population of cowherds, cattle, goats and other livestock, unique Indian cultural features and festivities.The 200-year-old Indian traditional village was demolished last September by Nusmetro, while families were still in their homes, to pave the way for a posh condominium project called the Oasis.
Consumer Association of Penang officer NV Subarrow said the developer has no authority to demolish a cow ranch outside his land.
“The authorities must explain this injustice,” he told newsmen.He said the state authorities should resolve the problem by identifying a suitable alternate site for the cowherds to breed their livestock.“It’s their livelihood being affected and the state authorities must help them,” insisted Subarrow.
The other cowherd R Subramanian, who rears some 200 cows and goats, said he was warned by the same developer’s gangsters that his nearby ranch would be demolished tomorrow.Sivanandam and Subramanian are in dilemma now on where to relocate their cattle and livestock.
Producing notice of a meeting with the land district office last month, they said they had been in discussion with the land officers to find an alternate site to relocate and rear their livestock.
“We are not saying we wanted to stay put here.
“We want an alternate site and authorities should help us here,” said Sivanandam and Subramanian, whose family have had been breeding cattle and livestock in the village for more than 100 years.