GEORGE TOWN: The long stand-off between Kampung Buah Pala residents with the developer took a twist when they claimed that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had promised to turn the village into an Indian heritage centre.
“Anwar came during campaigning in last year’s election to make such a promise. This is why we are up in arms about not moving,” said the village’s residents association chairman M. Sugumaran.
He also said he believed the developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd would begin demolishing today, claiming that some residents had been promised RM8,000 each by Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy to move out.
Ramasamy later confirmed that he had held a meeting with 12 families, who signed the agreement to move out, adding that the RM8,000 was for “relocation costs.”
Nusmetro executive director Thomas Chan confirmed that some form of demolishing would take place today.
Resident M. Santha, 47, said residents who had accepted the double-storey house deal offered by Nusmetro were in the process of vacating their homes.
“We have been given an assurance that our homes will not be demolished so quickly,” she said.
Santha, who said she will be moving out within the next two weeks, said the 12 families who had decided to accept the offer were not “uneducated or stupid”.
“This is the house I was born in. Of course, I want to stay here,” she said. “But we have lost in the courts and I have accepted that this chapter (of our lives) is coming to a close.”
On Aug 4, an ex-gratia deal of a double-storey house with a built up area of 1,400sq ft was offered to each family through the state government. - The Star