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Monday, August 3, 2009

> Landowner to tear down Kg Buah Pala tomorrow

The Penang Government Officers Cooperative, the sole owner of the land in Kampung Buah Pala in Bukit Gelugor here, remains firm in its decision to demolish houses in the village tomorrow.

Its chairman, Abdul Razak Mansor, said they would instruct developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd (Nusmetro) to obey the Federal Court decision, which has granted ownership of the land to the cooperative.

“We are not cruel, but our decision to demolish the village still stands because the court has decided the land is ours,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

He said any talks regarding relocating residents within the area as suggested by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would only be done after the houses were demolished.

“The cooperative will not entertain any requests from the state government to negotiate on the matter until the houses are torn down.

“Discussions on whether residents can stay in part of the land will also be carried out once the area is vacated,” he said.

Abdul Razak stressed that the cooperative would not sell or hand over the land to any other party, adding that they would not hesitate to take legal action against the state government if it tried to prevent the developer from carrying out work in the area.

“Whatever happens, our decision is final and we will not give this land to anyone in the interest of the cooperative’s members,” he said.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 individuals from various NGOs nationwide are expected to congregate in Kampung Buah Pala tomorrow to defend the village from being demolished.

The village’s residents association chairman M.Sugumaran said half of them had arrived in Penang yesterday to offer support to the residents.

He said an agreement was reached during a meeting between Chief Minister Lim Guang and residents yesterday that they would continue to stay there until discussions with the developer ended.

In the meeting, he said, Lim had promised to talk with the developer to find a solution, among others allowing the residents to share the area with the developers.

Meanwhile, Penang police chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob said police were monitoring the situation and advised the public and the villagers not to create chaos in the area - Bernama.