Kg Buah Pala TOL holders to meet tomorrow over double-storey house

(The Star) GEORGE TOWN: The 11 remaining temporary occupation licence (TOL) holders of Kampung Buah Pala now want to accept the developer’s double-storey house offer.

The 11 had asked to be given the ex-gratia offer again during a meeting on Wednesday night, said developer Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd executive director Thomas Chan.

The meeting was attended by Chan, village committee members and representatives of landowner Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang.

In an immediate response, residents association chairman M. Sugumaran, one of the 11 TOL holders yet to sign on the ex-gratia deal, said they had always wanted to accept the offer, provided the terms and conditions were fully spelt out in black and white.

He said the 11 would hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss on the next course of action.

Chan, in a press conference yesterday, said the company was willing to build additional double-storey houses but added that a re-drawn development plan had to be approved by the state government.

“This is because only 24 double-storey houses with a built-up area of 1,400 sq ft each were slated to be built earlier.

“Twenty-two units have been taken up,” he said. Chan said the company had given the 11 TOL holders one week to resolve the issue with the state government.

“We will probably arrange a meeting for them with the state government tomorrow (today). A lot will depend on the outcome of the negotiation before we can build additional houses,” he said.

He said they could seek assistance from Deputy Chief Minister (II) Dr P. Ramasamy, who is in charge of the matter. Chan said they would submit a new development plan by next week.

“Once it is approved, we anticipate the 33 houses to be ready in two years’ time,” he said.

Chan also said the state government had set a bad precedent over the Kampung Buah Pala land issue by raising the expectations of squatters in Penang.

“It is no longer a RM75,000 low-medium cost house that they want as settlement. They want double-storey houses now.

“This move has created issues in several areas like Tanjung Tokong and Mak Mandin where squatters are expecting more from the developers or landowners,” he said.

Chan said the demolition of houses at Kampung Buah Pala would continue today. He hoped there would not be a repeat of Thursday’s high drama when police detained 18 people. They were later released on police bail.