The Penang state government warns Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, the developer of the proposed housing project in Kampung Buah Pala, for threatening to send bulldozers in by August 2 to forcibly evict residents and demolish their houses as highly irresponsible and inflammatory. It is highly improper to stoke fear into the villagers’ hearts by reminding them that they will have to move out by Aug 2 when the one-month grace period given by the developer expires and there will be “no more extensions”. The one-month grace period was negotiated by the state government with the developer to find a solution to the problem.
Nusmetro claimed to have offered the highest compensation in the state from RM140,000 to RM260,000 to the temporary occupation of land (TOL) holders as well as their immediate and extended families. And even offered one of the two cattle ranchers there RM330,000 including a five-year rent-free deal for land in Balik Pulau which was rejected.
To say that the developer has the legal right not to pay anything to the residents just because the developer has a Federal Court order, would not assist in resolving this problem. Instead of all the cruel talk about bulldozers, the developer should continue to seek solutions that works towards a win-win situation for all parties. For this reason, the state government will not take a single cent of the “goodwill payment” proposed by the developer to the state government unless the villagers of Kampung Buah Pala agrees to the compensation.
I wish to reiterate that the state government has nothing to do with the eviction, or the Federal court order and the bringing in of bulldozers to demolish the houses. Instead the state government had intervened to prevent the eviction of the residents since last year. Even though this is a court order obtained by the developer, the state government would continue to work aggressively to try to assist the villagers.