A leader of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to intervene and resolve the Kampung Buah Pala issue in Penang.

In a letter dated June 30, K. Vasantha Kumar said Najib’s intervention was “necessary” to prevent the demolition of the village and to provide hope to the 45 families living there.
“I urge the Prime Minister to have an emergency meeting with the developer to stop the demolition and return the land to the residents,” he said.
Vasantha Kumar, who was among five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act in December 2007, said if the Najib’s 1Malaysia concept was to become a reality, members of all races, languages, religions and creeds should be treated fairly and equally.
Kampung Buah Pala, popularly known as Penang’s High Chaparral, has been occupied for the past 200 years but its population has now dwindled to 45 families. It is the last known village occupied by Indians in Penang island.
In 2007, the 6.4-acre site was sold for RM3.21mil to Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan Pulau Pinang Bhd, a cooperative, which entered into a joint venture agreement with Nusmetro Ventures (P) Sdn Bhd for a development project.
The residents had strongly objected and appealed to former Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon to reconsider the sale of the land, to no avail.
The villagers received a notice on Aug 30, 2007, asking them to move out so that their houses could be demolished while compensation talks were ongoing.
After a series of appeals, the Federal Court ruled in favour of the landowner and developer on June 24.
The village has been earmarked for a low medium and medium-cost housing project comprising 740 units, eight shoplots, a community hall and a kindergarten.

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