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Thursday, July 30, 2009

> High Chaparral: 'Solution meet' on Saturday

The state government will meet residents of Kampung Buah Pala on Saturday to find a solution to the land problem.

The meeting at Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (Komtar) at 2.30pm will be attended by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and state exco members, said Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy.

"We will find a solution to the problem and hope to discuss it with residents," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

The state government would also present a proposal by Kampung Buah Pala project developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd.

"We hope to receive the draft proposal today or tomorrow so that we can study it," he said.

Ramasamy however said that the meeting on Saturday will not involve the project developer.

Controversy erupted when the state government sold the 2.6 hectare land to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd which later appointed Nusmetro Ventures as project developer.

Nusmetro Ventures then obtained a court order demanding Kampung Buah Pala residents to vacate the land by Aug 3.

Ramasamy said if the proposal was not acceptable to residents, the state government would withdraw its approval for a housing project.

Why did MIC keep quiet in 2007?

On the statement by MIC president S Samy Vellu that the party was willing to pay RM3.2 million to settle the issue, he said it has to be discussed with the developer and koperasi as the land did not belong to the state government.

"If MIC wants to settle the issue by buying the Kampung Buah Pala land, they can talk to the developer and koperasi but RM3.2mil will not be enough as the price has since increased to about RM150mil," he said.

Meanwhile, DAP questioned MIC's 'political game' by attempting to portray themselves as the champions in this issue.

"If MIC was really interested in safeguarding the land, then it should have done so in 2007 when MIC exco member P Subbayah sat on the Penang BN panel which approved to sell the land to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang (KPKPP)," said the party's labour chief A Sivanesan.

"If MIC had truly wanted to champion the rights of the residents then it should have done so in 2007 when the sale of the land went through. Now MIC is catching the tail-end of the problem and trying to solve it by putting the blame on the state government," he said - Malaysiakini.