PENANG, 13 Aug 2009: After several delays to demolish 23 houses in Kampung Buah Pala in Gelugor here, attempts to carry out the task by developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd and a demolition force of some 100 workers with three bulldozers today met with failure.
Around 9:30am this morning, a court bailiff and Nusmetro directors Gary Ho and Thomas Chan were seen having discussions with police personnel at the scene.
However, two attempts by the demolition force to enter the site, at 11am and 1pm respectively, were thwarted by the villagers, who formed human barricades on Jalan Kaki Bukit, about 100m from the entrance to the site.
Mostly women and children, they refused to leave the site although it was raining heavily.
They were also reported to have collected cow-dung in preparation to strike back if their homes were demolished.
Almost 100 personnel from the Federal Reserved Unit (FRU), the General Operation Force (PGA), as well as other police personnel were then seen converging into the area to control the situation.
No casualties were reported on either side.
State CID chief SAC 11 Wan Abdullah Tunku Said and Timur Laut district police chief ACP Azam Abdul Hamid, who were present, declined to speak to reporters.
The Federal Court had ordered the residents to evacuate the village covering some 2.6ha several weeks ago to allow the landowner, the Penang Government Officers Cooperative, and the developer to start work on the land.
The residents, however, refused to vacate, claiming they were promised by the Pakatan Rakyat in the 2008 general election campaign that they would help the residents if they won.
No representatives from the state government were seen at the site this morning. — Bernama
The residents are badly served by their legal advisers and misguided by certain elements with self-interest. Since the sale of the land was sealed before the 2008 general election, they should work out the next best solution, a negotiated settlement that benefits both sides. Their stubborness is based on the premise that they will eventually get what they want, ie. not moving at all. But the process of the law does not favour the residents. Thus the compensation of a double-storey is a good deal, which some households wisely accepted. The value of each house could skyrocket to RM1 million in 15-20 years time given its prime location and development.