The Star today, 2nd of July 2009 reported the Developer NUSMETRO VENTURES who is trying to develop the land on which kampong Buah Pala sits as saying that the people of kampong Buah Pala are squatters.
I will give you some history and you judge.whether they are squatters or the developer a plain and dirty thief.
These people have been living on that land for over 150 years. in exactly the same spot. This was from the time the owners. the British Brown Family actively operated an estate there. The forefathers of these people were all workers in that estate - The Brown Estate.
Then when the last of the Browns decided to go back to Britain they awarded the land to the workers of the estate and made the then Straits Settlement Government (the Government of the day) the trustee of the land over which sat Kampong Buah Pala. By this act they made the government the trustee for the land and the the trust owned the land.
By and by after the Britishers left, the Malaysian Federal Government took over from the Straits Settlement Government and became the new trustee. That remained so until, someone in the state (this is not very clear to me yet) came along and made it into a TOL land – the owners of the land were made temporary occupiers of their own land by an act of treachery. This often happens to the poor and the unknowing.
Then surreptitiously, again, sometime in 2005, the Penang State government who was not the owner of the land anyway (as the trustee was the Federal Government), sold the land to a Koperasi of the Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang – a Koperasi very closely linked to the UMNO bigwigs of the day for a paltry sum of a little over 3 million. (Lim Guan Eng is now saying he will have to pay 150 million ringgits to get the land back – so you can see what a swindle this truly is). This Koperasi got into a joint venture agreement with Nusmetro a property developer who is now threatening the demolition.Thsi JV company is called NUSMETRO VENTURES.
The Penang State Government bigwigs of the last administration in other words, those who had jurisdiction over land matters then, literally sold the land to themselves - in the Koperasi (left pocket to right pocket) for a paltry some, a land that was by the process of history owned by the villagers and held in trust by the Federal governement They with their partners, now turn around and call the true owners (the poor cattle herder residents) squatters.
I ask you now, are the residents of Kampong Buah Pala squatters or is the developer Nusmetro Ventures a thief. The answer is obvious.
This is a case of usurpation - outright stealing.
This is a gross violation of the property rights of any individual, a basic right and an underpinning basis of our society .This is not just thieving, but thieving from the poor and defenceless - which makes it even more treacherous.
It is time we all spoke out about it. If we sit and accept these kinds of actions because it does not touch us today, then when it does touch us, it will be too late. Anyway we need to speak out for what is right.
Get up and speak out in any way you can. Support all actions of the people of Kampong Buah Pala.
The developer has warned that he is coming with his tractors sometime in early August.
Now, only we the people can stop it. Do not wait, speak out. Hit out in in the media, write in your blogs, in the comments on the blogsites in support of the people of kampuing Buah Pala, stop the disinformation, send this article far and wide...now, do it now. There is very little time left for the Kampung Buah Pala.
Do what you can from where you stand - NOW!
United we stand
United we act.