Published: Saturday September 19, 2009 MYT 4:25:00 PM
Updated: Saturday September 19, 2009 MYT 5:48:14 PM
Penang govt reaches out to Buah Pala residents
By ANDREA FILMER and WINNIE YEOH
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government has offered an olive branch to displaced Kampung Buah Pala residents telling them to contact the state if they had trouble finding places to rent.
Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said the state would try to expedite the finding of homes for the residents who had not had luck in finding places to stay.
“We have heard that there are three families that have found it difficult to find a house to rent.
“The state is willing to help them find a place, be it a low cost house or something else suitable for them,” he told The Star Saturday.
“We ask the families to contact us,” Dr Ramasamy added.
His offer to the residents marks the first sign of contact between the residents and the state after 12 out of 24 Buah Pala families rejected a double-storey house ex-gratia deal from the developer that was mediated by the state.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was reported to have ‘washed his hands’ of the issue on Aug 21 after residents sought help from Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and has since declined to comment on the issue.
The village was demolished on Sept 3 and Sept 14 by developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd who are engaged in a joint venture with landowners Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang to develop the 2.6ha land.
Meanwhile, Penang DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) committee member M. Satees said it was irresponsible for Hindraf legal adviser P. Uthayakumar to say that DAP will lose support of the Indian community from the Kampung Buah Pala incident.
“He is just using that for his own political mileage. He claimed that DAP failed to save Kampung Buah Pala and insisted that the state can reclaim the land.
“The Federal Court’s decision is final and yet some quarters kept giving false hopes to the residents. He also said he will be at the village to save it from being demolished.
“But where was he?” he said during a press conference on Saturday.
Satees also said that instead of taking advantage of the Kampung Buah Pala issue, Uthayakumar should answer to questions regarding the funds that was raised in support of Hindraf’s activities and for court cases related to the matter.
“The fund is believed to be about RM1mil. We want to know how it’s used,” he said.