Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am amaze people are not aware of Kampong Buah Pala. Many Penangite are not bothered maybe because the Indians number is insignificant that they cant rattle the State Government or the BN government. I am dismay sometimes what is wrong is wrong no matter who you are what colour or belief you have. if it is wrong it is wrong. It was wrong when BN government approve it to the koperasi in 2005 it is wrong now when DAP is in power affirm the sale by issuing the sales deed but then it is Indian and DAP with the clarion call of Malaysian Malaysia is still a Chinese party. Yes they rattle against S Kugan Teoh Beng Hock and the nenek whose underage granddaughter allege to have an affair with a former Chief Minister but then they fought not basically because of Malaysian Malaysia but because it was against the systems of governance of the present BN government. They make noise not because of justice but because they hate the BN government. That is why when they have a chance to rule a state and make matter right they didn't because it concern Indians and DAP after all is Chinese and that is the reality here in Malaysia. I remember they were dead set against DCM post in Penang introduce in 1990 saying it was ultra vires the state Constitution now they have 2 and not ultra vires, I wonder why the double standard. They are tearing the place down today as expected. For me do not blame the previous government I blame DAP because they are in power now and they have the right to ignore or change or renegotiate but choose to reaffirm the agreement by accepting the rest of the monies paid by the koperasi who just paid 10% during the time of BN and the rest during the time of DAP. Here is stories of the land to be read and understood

Kg Buah Pala--- A Treacherous Betrayal & Last Stand by Penang People For Truthful Government

Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 13:53:47 +0800
Subject: Fwd: FW: Kg Buah Pala--- A Treacherous Betrayal & Last Stand by Penang People For Truthful Government

Dear Penangnites & Malaysians

I am ordinary penangnite whom love diversity of Penang and presently helping the residents of Kg Buah Pala to fight the eviction by the Developer. I am not a politician or allligned to any political parties and i do not have any political aspiration either. I am not a Hindraf or MIC-BN Collaborator working against PAKATAN Government. I came across a very frigthening " Kg Buah Pala Horror Story" upon studying the documents of Kg Buah Pala in the last three weeks upon receiving SOS from the Village.

Kg Buah Pala Villagers presently remains about 300 illiterate and uneducated indians whom ancestors are the workers of Glugor Estate under Helen Margaret Brown Estate planting nutmegs in Penang during the British days. Presently they are cowherdes and selling cow milk to make a meagre living.

Before Independence the Village Land was acquired and held under Lot 698 North East District under Crown Trust of Strait Settlement Act for housing purpose for the estate workers .Most of the Land have been taken by State and developed except of very small piece of Village Land which housed the estate wokers quaters now know as Kg Buah Pala which is the only final remnants of Glugor Estate which planted nutmeg in Penang.

They have been struggling for last 50 years against previous penang government to save the Village from being torn down and to claim their rightful Malaysian Land Titles under the Torrens Systems. Their struggle is common knowledge to vicinity penangnites like at Bukit Gelugor residents.

The previous State Government under YB Koh Tsu Koon initially approved the Village Land Alieanation in favour of Cooperative in the Year 2005 and again in the 25th April 2007 for 50% premium reduction payable by the Cooperative.

The Villagers took the State Government, Cooperative and the Developer under YB Koh Tsu Koon to Court on the Year 2007 to save the village and claim their rights on the Land and at that time YB Koh Tsu Koon have not issued the Malaysian Land Title to the Cooperative because the cooperative have not paid up the premium for the Land Alienation. Their rights on the Land was protected because Malaysia Title was not given to the Cooperative.

Prominient DAP & PAKATAN Leaders came to village as WHITE KNIGHTS during the Election Campaign 8/3/08 and promised to save the Village from BN Land Scams if they win the Election and form the Penang State Government. Every Penangnite knew DAP Election Mantra in Penang was " Land Scams ... YB Koh Tsu Koon ...BN Government".

At that point of election time as at 08/03/08 the Malaysian Land Title for the Village Land has not been issued to the Cooperative because the Cooperative have not fully paid the premium and have not settled the Villagers as per YB Koh Tsu Koon conditions for the Land Alienation approval to the Cooperative on the Year 2005.

Upon PAKATAN formed State government on 8/3/08, The Malaysia Land Title was issued to Cooperative on 27/3/2008 after premium RM 2.24 was paid on 14/3/2008 to the present PAKATAN Government. The Malaysian Title was issued to Cooperative within 19days PAKATAN became the State Government which extinguished the Villagers rights on the Land under the Lot 698 of CrownTrust Strait Settlements and murdered them in Court of Law !

The market value for the 6.5 Acre Village Land is about RM 60 million. The Cooperative only paid RM 3.2 Million to the Penang State Government for the Land.The PAKATAN government have knowledge of it when they accepted the Balance Premium of RM 2.24 million on 14/3/2008 from the Cooperative before issuance of title on the 27/3/2008 to the Cooperative.

Now YB Lim Guan Eng claims that previous BN Government did the Land Scam and approved the Land Alienantion on 25th April 2007 below market value and he has no choice but to issue the Title to the Cooperative. Is YB Lim Guan Eng telling the Malaysian that inspite of all the Legal Expertise he has in his stable that he could not have save or attempted to save the Village or the Land which valued over RM 60million ? That YB Lim Guan Eng has no choice but to issue the Land Title to the Cooperative within 19days ( 27/3/2008)upon he came the CM (03/08/08)? Does he says that PAKATAN Govt have no remedy for fraudulent land alienation in Penang inspite of the all the lawyers including lawyers who can sue Sultans in their stable?

Now YB Lim Guan Eng claims that the previous State Government under YB Koh Tsu Koon did the Land Scam on the Village Land and He personaly did not make any promises to the Villagers!!!!

After much pressure from the Villagers,YB Lim Guan Eng have only released PARTIAL exco minutes documents which points the finger at the previous government whom gave the approval on 25th April 2007 and balance premium was only paid on 14/3/2008 to PAKATAN Government and Malaysian Title was issued to Cooperative on 27/3/2008. Why is that only Partial Documents are being diclassified and released to public???

Under S.81(2) NLC 1965... in any Land Alienation approval , the Premium must be paid within a specified time in the Notice of Payment ( Borang 5A) otherwise the State Approval shall be deemed lapse and the Land Alienation Application shall be withdrawn!!!! . The usual practice for time limit for premium payment usualy is only 3 months from the issuance of notice of premium payment. If the YB Koh Tsu Koon approval was on 25/4/07,what would have been the time limit for the payment of premium??? Is the Time period is 11 months... as the Cooperative paid the Premium only on the 14/3/08 to the Pakatan Government led by YB Lim Guan Eng?

Why did the PAKATAN GOVERNMENT accepted the RM2.24million from the Cooperative on 14/3/2008 even though they knew the Land was worth more than RM60million???? Why didnt DAP State Government didnt make a fuss or claim Land Scam when they were issuing the Malaysian Title to the Cooperative or attempt anything in Court of Law to prevent the loss of RM 60million worth of Land? Is YB Lim Guan Eng telling that he has lost 60million worth of Land in first 19 days of being the Penang CM???

Under s.78 National Land Code , Until the issuance of the Registered Land Title in favour of intended applicant Proprietor, the Land shall remain with the State until such time. Therefore the Kg Buah Pala Land was in PAKATAN Government hand from 8/3/08 until PAKATAN government issued the Malaysian Title on 27/3/2008 !!!!!! Couldnt have the PAKATAN Government with all the prominient lawyers in their stable save or attempted to save the Village within the provision of Law or to prevent the issuance of the Registered Title to the Cooperative on 27/3/2008 especially where the Land was in hand of PAKATAN Government????? And to prevent the loss of Land valued RM 60million to the Developer!!!

It is very interesting that Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce President Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping is supporting YB Lim Guan Eng on handling of Kg Buah Pala issue?? What would be the interest of Chamber of Commerce.....$$$$$$?

The Villagers had placed their faiths and hopes in PAKATAN and rallied for PAKATAN during 2008 Election hoping that their struggle over 30 years to get their own Malaysian Land Title shall be over when PAKATAN forms the government which seen as WHITE KNIGHTS for the People . Their Adun is from DAP and always told them not to worry and was assured them that their land is safe and they should continue their Court struggle and fight for the Land .

Little did the Villagers realize that the Malaysian Title has been issued by PAKATAN Government to the Cooperative on 27/3/2008 without a hint which has murdered Villagers in Court of Law and brandish them as squatters and tresspassers.

The Villagers was betrayed of the highest kind by the present State Government whom i believe sold out the Villagers in favour of the Cooperative and Developer. As We are all aware, No matter which ever government rule the State the Developers will try to play their cards to take advantage of prime land in the State.

As one reporter told me... " Government may change... but lies does not change"

The issuance of Malaysian Title on 27/3/2008 by the PAKATAN Government to the Cooperative murdered the Villagers in Court of Law where the Court of Appeal ruled that the Villagers are tresspasser on the Cooperative Land because Title has been issued to Cooperative and summarily judged in favour of the Cooperative without the benefit of full trial to the Villagers!!! And therefore no locus standii or rights to pursue the matter in court. The leave to appeal to Federal Court was not granted by Yang Arif Augustine Paul.

It seems that Penang Govt under YB Lim Guan Eng made a calculated judgement on Kg Buah Pala that the 300 odd viilagers are minority indians and that any resistance can be steamrolled and the issue can isolated from majority chinese as indian issues by using racial cards as HINDRAF collaborators and as MIC-BN collaborators where the majority of Penangnites are chinesse whose sentiments are against BN Government and shall not be bothered with happenings at Kg Buah Pala.

The truth of the treacherous betrayal on the minority and marginalised by Penang DAP Government whom i believe is in the path toward Capitalist Governance where all the poor and middle income irespective of race shall be marginalised and all other malay and chinese kampungs and natural environment, hillside , heritage properties , landscape and culture shall be destroyed in the name of Development of Penang.

More kampungs in Penang like Tanjong Tokong, Teluk Kumbar, Bukit Bendera , expering Leasehold houses will be in Developer's deck of cards for destruction in the name of development and conveniently pointing finger at previous government land scam unless we address the issue now with affirmative action as Penangnites!!!

Most of Penang people live in Villages, Hillsides, expiring Leasehold Houses and Rent Control Houses.... which shall be ideal target for greedy Developers who want prime Lands in Penang where they can make most handsome profit through very helpful politicians.

Penang People should arise as PENANGNITES above the veil of deceits by politicians using racial cards as to divide and rule penangnites to fulfill their own greed for materialistic gain despite the destruction of our multicultural society, landscape and heritages.

Today may be Kampung Buah Pala ... Tommorow shall be Our homes!!!!

Let us come together and save Our Pearl of Orient from Destruction in the name of Development..... People People have put to stop of of Lies in the name of Development and Racial Politics in Penang!! Lets us Remind THEM again as Penangnites!!!


Kampung Buah Pala is a small village in Bukit Gelugor, Penang. It is inhabited mostly by Indians who are the descendants of plantation workers and cattlemen of the former Brown Estate. The village is popularly nicknamed High Chaparral due to its elevated location on Bukit Gelugor. The Brown Estate used to cover much of what is known today as Gelugor and Minden. It was one of the estates belonging to the family of David Brown, the biggest Property owner on Penang Island in the 19th century. The Brown properties included vast tracts of plantation land in Ayer Rajah (today the leafy residential neighbourhood of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman), Sungai Ara (nowadays Taman Kenari) and even Strawberry Hill on Penang Hill.

The Indian settlement at Gelugor used to extend all the way from Bukit Dumbar to Batu Uban. It was a huge estate with coconut groves and cattle-breeding pans known as Perrya Thottam, meaning Large Estate. The inhabitants are mostly South Indians from Tamil Nadu who were brought over to Malaya as estate workers. Over the decades, the former plantation land was converted for residential development. The land on which Kampung Buah Pala was given in trust to the government of the Straits Settlement by Helen Margaret Brown, the landowner of the Brown estates before the Brown family returned to Britain. The Brown Estate packed up in 1956. The trust to the land was then transferred to the State Government. Under the State Government, the villagers were given TOL (temporary occupation license) to stay there paying annual TOL rental. Some of the Indians living in Kampung Buah Pala continued to lead a village lifestyle of breeding cattle, albeit seeing their pastures dwindle in size and their village becoming increasingly hemmed in by urban development.

Something curious happened four years (2005) ago. The government stopped collecting rent for the Temporary Occupation License, arousing the residents' suspicion that something was amidst. Unaware to them, the Executive Council of the then Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, approved the sale of the land of Kampung Buah Pala to the Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang on 18 August 2004 and a second time on 8 June 2005, for RM6.42 million, or RM20 per square feet. On the recommendation of the then Deputy Chief Minister, the premium of the land was halved to RM3.21 million or RM10 per square foot. (Citations: 1, 2) The residents claimed that these were carried out without their knowledge.

In fact, according to Koh Tsu Koon (citation), the state government sold the land to the cooperative at such a low price because the government in return was also given a piece of land for the expansion of the Supreme Court complex. This is the land on which the Logan Memorial is now located.

When the residents brought the TOL collection issue to the Barisan Nasional government, they were stunned to learn that the land they have been staying on had been sold, and they would soon be made to move out. According to the residents, they were also told that they have no right to the land. The residents found out that the land had been sold at a cost of RM3.2 million to the Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang (Penang State Officers Cooperative). The Koperasi proceeded to form a joint-venture with a developer, Nusmetro, to build high rise condominiums on this land. The residents claimed that, without owning the land (ownership was only fully transferred to the Koperasi in March 2008), the Koperasi on 5 February 2007 issued an eviction notice to them. Displaying the letter from the koperasi, the residents informed that each license holder was offered a 850 sq ft three-bedroom low-medium cost flat or RM90,000 progressive payment. This is different from the amounts reported in several sources, that the residents were given a compensation of RM200,000 (Citations: 3, 4), and questioned how the amount RM200,000 was derived, claiming that the developer never proposed a compensation of such magnitude.

When the residents refused to move out, the developer and the Koperasi took action by filing a summary judgement for vacant possession to eject the residents. They failed twice, once in registrar court, and once in the high court, where the courts found no concrete evidence showing that the state is the rightful owner and has the authority to sell the land, which might be federal land.

The developer and koperasi took the case to the appeal court in Putrajaya. They succeeded, the judgement is the residents do not have locus standi and were only TOL holders. This despite the residents having documents to proof their status for the land. The resident then appealed to the Federal Court in Putrajaya in May 2009. Unfortunately, the Federal Court Judge Augustine Paul ruled in favour of the developers, giving the residents one month to vacate the land without any compensation, by 2 July 2009. It was then that the residents appealed to the state government. To investigate the matter, the state government extended the eviction notice by one month, to 2 August 2009.

I wrote this on 7 July 2009 following my visit to Kampung Buah Pala, a day before the residents are to meet with the Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. I was graciously received by the residents, who showed me around the village. If their village could be spared the jackhammer, they had dreams and plans to turn it into a model traditional Indian village, showcasing the Indian way of life similar to Kampung Seronok. In the past few days, there was been several emotional outbursts from the residents, allowing parties with their own agendas to tap. I urged the residents, when they meet the Chief Minister, to exercise restrain, to present their case compellingly and with reason, and to at no point succumb to emotion. We will find out how it goes, when tomorrow comes.

8 July 2009: Unfortunately tomorrow came, but nothing productive came out of it when the villagers walked out because they were not allowed their lawyers in the meeting with the Chief Minister.

9 July 2009: Geram! I am fed up and I am exasperated, but the only word to describe the feeling inside is Geram! After spending the day before explaining to them how to talk to the Chief Minister, I see them doing the direct opposite. And as expected, nothing productive came out of the meeting. If I were less sympathetic, I would have said, "Serve them right!" If only they can for one moment be a little less confrontational, a lot could have been done.

Well, I am not going back to the village to rehearse them again. They have to figure out how to get their own act together. The Chief Minister was being wise when he instructed that no lawyer should be allowed in the meeting. While there is a purpose for lawyers in this world, there are times when we are better off without their intervention. Lawyers are like medicine. When you get sick, some times you need to take medicine. But there are also times when you should reject taking medicine, if you can heal on your own, and the medicine itself gives you side effects and make you sick.

Even today, the villagers were still expecting the Chief Minister to solve their problem with a stroke of a pen. Oh, such simple people with simple minds! Even today, these villagers think it is the Chief Minister's problem, not their own. And along the way, they are allowing people with their own agenda to fully exploit their plight for their own gain. As much as I hate to agree with him, I have to call out a morsel of wisdom in the words of the former Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, who said that the whole issue could have been solved, had the villagers negotiated a settlement at the beginning, instead of taking the matter to court. As you can see, yes, you can have lawyers fighting for you. But don't expect that you will always win. And when you don't, you bear the consequences. And here we have, these simple people, still not learning their lesson. Somebody needs to go to Kampung Buah Pala and teach these people how to employ tact, and diplomacy, and courtesy, and respect, and humility, as weapons of war. Unless some sense is knocked into them. these people are going to lose the war, and it's all because they are holding the gun the wrong way.

10 July 2009: Lim Guan Eng described the refusal of some of the residents of Kampung Buah Pala to meet him as "regrettable and displays an aggression, hostility and even arrogance that is puzzling". It is unfortunate that these poor villagers have been so manupulated by certain quarters that they are now confused. Added to that a high degree of nervousness and desperation, and we have a group of people who have misplaced their anger.

4 August 2009: The Chief Minister handed out offer letters from the developer, which included a 1,200 sq ft double-storey terrace house for each of the 24 houses to be demolished, to the residents during a meeting at his office in Komtar.

Separately, 30 villagers from Kampung Buah Pala picketed outside Lim Guan Eng's rented bungalow at Pinhorn Road. However the Chief Minister is not at home.

6 August 2009: Lim Guan Eng said that the offer of landed property to the residents of Kampung Buah Pala is setting a very dangerous precedent in Penang, as in fact the residents have no legally binding title. Lim said the state government was trying to accommodate both the residents and developer although the latter and landowner Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negri Pulau Pinang felt the state was taking the side of the residents.

7 August 2009: Villagers of Kampung Buah Pala rejected the developer's offer of a double-storey terrace house for the 24 families. Lim Guan Eng expressed his disappointment, and said that the demands made by the residents were becoming excessive.
Tale of the Sinking Tigers Once upon a time, good ship HMS Brown was sailing across the ocean, carrying a cargo of Siberian white tigers. Half way through the journey, the ship caught fire, forcing its crew to abandon ship. The fire damaged the cages allowing the tigers to roam free on the deck. It also caused a leak, causing the ship to sink slowly.

As the unfortunate vessel neared an island, the islanders saw the ship tilting precariously and knew it was in trouble. The island headman, a young heroic figure, swam out to the ship. He saw the leak and knew the ship would sink. He went about to repair the leak, and was half way through the job when the tigers spotted him and attacked him. The headman escaped unharmed, but the ship continued to sink. Meanwhile the tigers continued to roam the deck. The islanders watched helplessly. They wanted to save the tigers but they could not get on board without being attacked. If only tigers can differentiate friend from foe.

Kampung Buah Pala Location Map

View Kampung Buah Pala in a larger map

Kampung Buah Pala
Kampung Buah Pala (7 July 2009)
© Timothy Tye

One of the two wells at Kampung Buah Pala
One of the two wells at Kampung Buah Pala (7 July 2009)
© Timothy Tye

Residents of Kampung Buah Pala came to meet me
Residents of Kampung Buah Pala came to meet me (7 July 2009)
© Timothy Tye

The cattle continue to graze at Kampung Buah Pala
The cattle continue to graze at Kampung Buah Pala (7 July 2009)
© Timothy Tye


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