Sunday, 26 July 2009

My Take On Kg Buah Pala

The MACC murder has definitely distracted public attention on this issue.

Yet (or perhaps because of that), it appears that the issue is resolving itself, though not necessarily in the direction I would like to see it go.

I'm not even going to be too hard on the previous Barisan Nasional government in Penang for selling out the Kg Buah Pala squatters without their consent.

The fact is, I have come to accept that sort of behaviour from anything associated with UMNO.

And only after we have completely evicted these Napoleons from their thrones and survived the next few years of the aftermath resulting from poor decisions can we start expecting accountability from the Pakatan Rakyat government.

But progress is progress. And without mincing words, Kg Buah Pala is blight in the face of Penang. I doubt it is the only one, and I'm sure there are plenty of others, but it could certainly make way for fresh apartments.

Frankly, I think the villagers are just afraid of change, because if the reports are right, the compensation offer to squatters residing at Kampung Buah Pala is pretty decent and notch up from what they currently live with.

The agreement offered each family one 850 sq ft house worth RM75,000, an RM1,000 relocation payment and RM750 a month for rental subsidy for a period of 36 months until the houses were constructed.

For residents not interested in this package, the cooperative offered one-off payments of RM90,000 per family.

Really, if I lived in a squatter settlement, I would like to find myself decent lodgings. Even if my ancestors had dwelt there for 5 generations.

Obviously, both sides of the political divide would like to gain brownie points with both the Kg Buah Pala villagers and Malaysian citizens alike.

So both have gone through great extents to allow the villagers/squatters to remain.

Obviously, the fact that they are Indians makes this a fragile issue, considering how insensitive the Barisan Nasional government has been with the demolishment of temples in the past.

I have no doubt that my opinion is not something that people are going to like me for.

My approach is rather hardline, but really folks, you can't go through life forever hugging trees and bunnies. Or squatter villages.


Anonymous said...

money is your king for people like you.

Patricia said...

I agree with you, Cranky. But not many people will say that out loud. Wish that I were given that much money for an illegal house I built illegally on land I didn't own.

But the other side of the coin is whether this was a straight-forward deal, between developer and landowner. I wonder about that, lah.

There are always multiple versions of every story. That these folks are Indian Malaysians, makes for a slippery slope that anyone trying to get a foothold for the truth, can fall off too easily.

Crankster said...

No, it wasn't a straight-forward deal. What is BN good for, if not for screwing the people - regardless of race?

Now I'm totally against throwing around the graven images of deities like the previous temple demolishers did. That was just disrespectful.

But the argument is not that the compensation was insufficient. These people just don't want to move out of land they don't own.

zewt said...

to a simple kampung buah pala resident... i think they will find it hard to comprehend... they have been kept from education...that's why.

shar101 said...


Let me put it another way.

Even your last place of rest i.e. your grave, can be removed.

Nothing stays in perpetuity without change.

I sincerely hope the KBP folks gets an amicable solution. A new place to build their own legacy plus some cash in hand.

BN's skewed stewardship together with the flawed judiciary made KBP an easy picking for their anointed developers.

Anonymous said...

zewt, that's a very lame condescending you feel high and mighty for uttering such a thoughtless comment?

i believe in karma, so the people who cheated this village, well ...

is quite bizarre that the developers(nus) have received less (or almost none) fire than villages and the state government.
i guess at the end of the day money overrules pricinple and justice.screw social justice!who needs it?

remember bakun?

Anonymous said...

If you believe in karma, good for you.

Has it escaped your attention that the Kg Buah Pala residents are preventing development and will therefore invite bad karma upon themselves?

Antares said...

I wasn't born in Kg Buah Pala. In fact I didn't even know such a place existed. So I feel no special love for that piece of land and have no emotional roots there. However, I have grown extremely deep roots in my present location and am prepared to KILL to defend it against bulldozers and corporate pirates. Cranky, highrise apartments do NOT equal "progress." Indeed, "progress" is perhaps the stupidest and most dangerous word in the dictionary since it traps us in linear time inside our left brains.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Crankster,

Kg Buah Pala is about 8 minutes away from my home. I am well aware of what has been going on and am quite disappointed at the way things have turned out.

Basically, all parties involved in the issue have not taken responsibility or ownership of their part in the problem which has been blown out of proportion by people who are jumping on the bandwagon for their self-glorification agenda (and there are a few more apart from those listed here).

The way it has been handled, in particular by those who 'intervened' at the last minute and zooming off to parlez vous francais is quite ridiculous and would be jeopardizing Penang's UNESCO Heritage status.

As always, things are not what they seem in Bolehland...Check out Romerz's blog...he has, like you and Antares, done quite a good piece on this.

Take care and God be with you and yours.

bayi said...

Really, the one party trying hardest to make some brownie points is MIC and its T Mohan!

LOL! What a joke he was!

Obviously he was given the green light by his SemiValue boss because the latters tried to cash in later.

bayi said...

"What is BN good for, if not for screwing the people - regardless of race?"

Now, that, Crankster, is what I call a most profound statement, despite its obvious truth. I like it! I like it!

Anonymous said...

quite the hypocrite this masterwordsmith! 8 minutes huh? have you talk to the people of kampung buah pala? not write about compassion and integrity .maybe you should practise what you have no idea what is going on ,do you?

btw. i don't think penang deserves the un Heritage status(maybe a award is more important than lives to some people).

also,there are not illegal or squatters .it's a LAND TRUST.

Anonymous said...

anon 8.02
"preventing development" you write,you are defining development in a materialistic manner.however, your knowledge on this matter is lacking and no bad karma for the villages if they fight for their land,they are not as igorant as bloggers try to claim otherwise.only the developers,buyers(oh! yes,ignorant is not an excuse) and the political establishment will reap the stench of their own deceit .

btw,maybe you should develop you mind more instead of chasing wealth and go and study citta niyama.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Crankster,

In response to anonymous' comment @ 22.04p.m. on 29th July, I wish to clarify the following:

1. I live 8 minutes away fr Kg. Buah Pala and I did say I am well aware of what has been going on.

Obviously, I have been to the place, spoken to people there, know the parties involved in the case and possess a very objective view of the issue as seen in the second paragraph of my previous comment.

Believe me, I am very well aware of what is going on having spoken to so many people and seen what has been happening from years ago when the issue first emerged.

My concern is expressed in the third paragraph of my previous comment which has also been highlighted by bayi on 29 July 2009 @ 18:48.

2. Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion. As one who believes in integrity and principles, I will not respond or partake in name-calling but do hope that people will respect one another.

3. The UNESCO heritage award is not just an award per se but it is an instrument which will bring about revenue for the state in terms of tourism, GDP etc. I do not extol awards but I look at the bigger picture.

As a true-blue Penangite, I love my state and know that with this award, the authorities concerned will be more vigilant in the way they go about developing Penang.

I have no intention of engaging in any dispute but just wish to air my views and hope that the problem can be resolved in an amicable, fair, objective and unemotional
manner lest there be any further misunderstanding.

As always, best wishes and blessings to you and your readers.

Crankster said...

Shar - Exactly!

masterwordsmith - hon, and I have known you for how long again? Would I not give you the benefit of the doubt over some anonymous commenter?

By the way, I checked out Romerz's blog, thanks. :)

bayi - good ole BN starts off by taking a crap, and then comes back to stir it, in the form of the shamelessly defunct party they call MIC.


Thanks sweetie! I know you hear me even from afar...

Take care and see you soon. :-)


Anonymous said...

interesting, masterwordsmith and romerz are chinese.both are greedy for progress and wealth.
very condescending are you mws? so you telling not be emotional?a everyday responses from a "think too highly of themselves" chinese.

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Crankster,

Sorry to use your space again dear but this is the last time I am saying anything on this cos no matter what i say, chances are that it will be distorted or misconstrued.

1. My apologies to all who misread my comments and to those who have taken offense to what I said or what they think I said. In all sincerity, my intention was and is to offer an objective view and not to step on any one's toes. My deepest and sincerest apologies.

a) I am not greedy for progress and wealth but for betterment of society in a just and fair manner.

b) I am not a condenscending person and have no wish to ruffle any feathers.

c) I do not look at issues from a racial viewpoint and at no time in any of my comments did I say anything racist.

d) I respect people for who they are regardless of class, creed or color and hope that there can be fair and rational comments that help to build this nation, and not to exacerbate the situation.

e) I do not think highly of myself and have no intention of projecting myself in that direction.

My apologies to all concerned.

I pray and sincerely hope that there will be a peaceful and amicable solution to the current issue.

Thanks and my best wishes to you and your readers.