Villagers call on DPM for help

(NST) BUKIT MERTAJAM: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had an unexpected visit from Kampung Lorong Buah Pala residents in Permatang Pauh, near here, yesterday.

He was approached by several members of the village's residents association committee, headed by its chairman M. Sugumaran, at the Permatang Pauh Barisan Nasional operation centre, where he was meeting with local Umno veterans. They turned up at the centre at 4.30pm, shortly after his arrival.

Sugumaran handed a seven-page memorandum to Muhyiddin, urging him to help save their homes and village from being destroyed to make way for a RM200 million condominium project.

"This is our final resort. We do not have other avenues," he said.

Sugumaran later told reporters Muhyiddin had asked him what Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had done to help the villagers.

"I said Lim did nothing. Muhyiddin then said to me, 'Itulah. (That's why.)'

"He said he would look into the matter. I hope we will hear something from the Federal Government soon,"

Sugumaran said the residents had also sent a memorandum to the prime minister's office two weeks ago.

The residents have until Aug 31 to vacate the 200-year-old village in Bukit Gelugor before the developer, Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd, moves in with bulldozers on Sept 1.

Earlier, 12 out of 24 temporary occupation licence holders in the village, accepted the developer's offer of double-storey terrace houses.

Sugumaran said four of the 12 later told the residents association that they wanted to reject the offer.

"They said they had agreed to the offer due to pressure."