Kg Buah Pala: Another reprieve, confrontation averted

(The Star) – A possibly violent showdown over the Kampung Buah Pala issue was averted at the last-minute Tuesday morning when the developer agreed to meet the villagers and the state government for further discussions.

Villagers had formed a human shield in the morning to prevent the demolition of their homes that was scheduled for Tuesday.

As policemen were deployed, representatives from non-governmental organisations and political parties gathered in growing numbers.

However, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy got on the horn to assure villagers that there would be no demolition today.

Instead, he said the developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd had agreed to meet with him and the villagers tonight.

Kampung Buah Pala, popularly known as Penang’s “High Chaparral” after a 1970s TV series, is considered a cultural heritage centre. However, the land was sold by the previous state administration to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd.

The cooperative sold the land to Nusmetro for a development project.

The demolition of the village was initially scheduled for Monday, but the villagers were given a 24-hour reprieve to collect their belongings and vacate their homes.