Malay-Indian village faces demolition threat

June 7th, 2009 - 3:40 pm ICT by ANI  

George Town (Malaysia), June 7 (ANI): Residents of Penang’s sole Malay Indian village, Kampung Lorong Buah Pala, have urged Pakatan Rakyat leaders to save their village which faces demolition threat due to a development project.

The village’s residents’ association chairman, M. Sugumaran, said Pakatan Rakyat leaders had promised during last year’s general election that as long as Pakatan Rakyat ruled the state, their village would be spared.

“Such were the promises made to us during the general election last year. What is the state government’s stand on this now?” the New Strait Times quoted Sugumaran, as saying.

There are over 300 residents belonging to 65 families who have been living in 23 houses in the village for generations.

They will have to vacate their homes in the traditional cattle-raising village dubbed as Penang’s High Chaparral, if their appeal for a stay of execution is not granted by the Federal Court.

“If our appeal is unsuccessful, we will have to be ready to face the bulldozers. We are very disappointed that the situation has come to this,” Sugumaran said.

He also suggested that the state government should pay off the landowner to save the village.

In May, the Malaysian High Court had ruled in favour of the landowner and developer, leaving the villagers with only a month to leave the land without compensation.

Penang Heritage Trust manager Magdeline Ng said the village is the sole surviving Indian village on urban land.

“It is still very vibrant with traditional customs and festivals like Ponggal,” she said, appealing to the state to save the village and zone it as a model Indian cultural village. (ANI)

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