Press Statement Issued By The Penang State EXCO On 5.8.2009 In Komtar, Georgetown, Penang Read out By Penang DCM II
Professor P. Ramasamy.
The Offer Of Double-Storey Terrace House With 99 Years Lease To Residents Is A Successful Effort By The State Government To Gain Recognition For Kampung Buah Pala Residents To Remain As Legal Rightful Landowners.
The Penang State EXCO unanimously endorses the “win-win” formula worked out by the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman and Deputy Chief Minister 2 Professor P. Ramasamy to resolve the Kampung Buah Pala issue. Despite the developer and the landowner of Kampung Buah Pala possessing the eviction and demolition order granted by the Federal Court, they have acceded to the request of the PR state government not to implement it on 4.8.2009 but to defer until Friday.
The developer has agreed to the state government’s request to share a portion of their land with the residents by offering a 1,200 sq ft double-storey terrace house with a built-up area of 1,400 sq ft and a 99 year lease.
Some say that the demands of the residents are unreasonable and overly excessive. And that the offer of a landed property by the PR state government is too generous and sets a dangerous precedent in the state, especially when no BN or any state government has done so. However there are special circumstances for Kampung Buah Pala in that they were allowed by the original landowner to live there during the British colonial days before the land reverted to the government.
Even BN and UMNO have conceded that the residents have been staying there over100 years. The BN state government under Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon had alienated their land twice to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang in EXCO meetings on 18.8.2004 and 8.6.2005 without consulting the residents. Worse the land was alienated by BN at a ridiculously low land premium of RM 10 per square feet. After losing their land which was “robbed” from them by BN, the BN land robbers treated them as illegal squatters with no rights to own their land.
The offer of a double-storey terrace house with 99 years lease to the residents is a successful effort by the PR state government to gain recognition for Kampung Buah Pala residents to remain as legal rightful landowners and not as illegal squatters.
The actions of one or two residents together with outsiders with their own agenda of undermining the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government only deepen suspicions that they do not want to see a solution but want the demolition of all houses to be carried out so that it can be used against Pakatan Rakyat. For the one or two residents together with outsiders who have houses, it is easy to demand everything when they have a house to go back to after Kampung Buah Pala is demolished.
The Penang PR state government urges the residents to seriously consider and accept this final solution that will allow them to remain in the land and receive a double-storey terrace landed property. If they agree in principle, then all the other details can be worked out by the PR state government, which has been sincerely helping the residents despite being unjustly blamed and criticised for an injustice committed by BN. Kampung Buah Pala residents should move on by considering the win-win formula of legally owning a 99 year leased land with double-storey terrace house.