Kg Buah Pala residents apologise to Guan Eng

(The Sun) GEORGE TOWN (July 13, 2009) : After much dissension between the residents of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala and the Penang state government, the residents finally took a decision to resolve their differences with the state government by apologising to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Kampung Lorong Buah Pala Residents Association chairman M. Sugumaran turned up at Dewan Sri Pinang after the investiture ceremony in conjunction with Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas’ 71st birthday celebrations for a brief meeting with Lim in the afternoon.

"On behalf of the residents of Kampung Lorong Buah Pala, I wish to extend our apologies to the Chief Minister for what had transpired in recent times and we hope the Chief Minister will accept our apologies," he said.

In response, Lim said the apology was accepted and that it is the residents' right if they want to meet with him, as he is also their Chief Minister.

"What is important now is how we can work together to resolve this whole situation. Sugumaran has agreed to arrange a heart-to-heart talk between us and the affected families this Thursday at 8pm," he said.

Lim said each family can send a representative to meet with him this Thursday at his office on Level 28 Komtar.

The whole Kampung Lorong Buah Pala issue, dubbed as Penang's High Chapparal, was in the news in recent times after the Federal Court decided that the residents did not have locus standi and had ordered the residents to deliver vacant possession of the land without compensation.

The affected residents have refused to move out and asked the state government to help them resolve the issue by procuring the land so that they can continue staying there.

However, other non-governmental organisations such as Hindraf also jumped on the bandwagon to help the residents to 'fight' for their cause.

The state government has since de-classified the minutes of all state executive council meetings held by the previous state government that are related to the transfer of the land ownership to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd and Nusmetro.

The affected residents had wanted to meet with Lim a few times prior to this but Lim had refused to meet them if they are accompanied by outsiders, including lawyers and Hindraf members.