The deputy chief minister says Mohan and his MIC youth members leapt into the fray and worsened the situation. Mohan rebuts by saying Ramasamy was cooking up lies.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy today blamed MIC national youth chief T Mohan as the man responsible for the nine families of now banished Kampung Buah Pala to be left in a lurch without proper compensation.
He also claimed that the nine families refused to sign on the dotted lines of the housing compensation offer even though he had begged them to do so.
At the height of residents protest against their village imminent demolition, Ramasamy said Mohan and his MIC youth members leapt into the fray and worsened the situation as the state government was working out a formula to reach an amicable solution.
Thus, he claimed Mohan had influenced the nine families to reject the housing compensation offer from the Pakatan Rakyat state government.
“It’s a fact that Mohan and his MIC youth blocked the residents from accepting the offer.
“Mohan is responsible … he has to answer,” Ramasamy told a public forum organised by DAP’s Lintang Delima branch in Chinese Town Hall here today.
The forum was on: ‘What is the position of Indian community in Malaysia today and their future after 54 years of independence.’
Cooking up lies
However, in an immediate response, Mohan slammed Ramasamy as “childish, inexperienced and immatured politician” who only knew to cook up lies to cover up his own weaknesses, blunders and wrongdoings.
“With his position as DCM2, he could have done a lot for the Indian community.
“He could have saved Kampung Buah Pala but he failed miserably,” Mohan told FMT, recalling Ramasamy’s ‘over my dead body’ promise to stop the village demolition.
The village residents association chairman M Sugumaran also rapped Ramasamy for spreading falsehoods that the nine village tol holders rejected the housing compensation offer.
“We were never offered in the first place.
“Ramasamy lied when he said he begged us … blatant lies,” insisted Sugumaran.
At the forum, a short video on Kampung Buah Pala was also screened, and it suggested that the previous Barisan Nasional administration and MIC were to be blamed for the village fiasco in 2009.
Mohan rebuked Ramasamy for wrongly blaming him, saying that the MIC’s main intention was to save the last Indian traditional village on Penang island.
He said the party’s offer to buy the village land at RM3.2 million was rejected by the state government which hiked up the land price at over RM140 million.
“Ramasamy is trying to save his near death political career by spreading lies. He is bankrupt of ideas,” said Mohan.
The KBP issue
Kampung Buah Pala, which was known commonly as Tamil High Chaparral due to the population of ethnic Indians, cattle and other livestock, was demolished in 2009 to pave way for a posh condominium project, the Oasis, by Nusmetro Venture (Pg) Sdn Bhd.
Originally the village had 33 households. After the land was alienated by the previous BN administration, between 2005 and 2007, nine tol holders accepted the original compensation package, consisting low medium cost flat unit and cash, and left the village for good.
The remaining 24 tol holders fought for the land rights until the village was demolished.
The village land title was transferred to the Penang Civil Servant Cooperative Society on March 27, 2008 after the DAP-led Pakatan took over state powers.
On Oct 31, 2009, the new landowner, the civil servants cooperative society agreed to build 24 double-storey terrace houses as compensation on part of the flattened village land.
But, an unanimous decision was also reached by 121 delegates at the cooperative society extraordinary general meeting (EGM) that out of the 24 double-storey houses, nine units must be given to the former residents, who have left the village after receiving the original compensation.
The remaining 15 houses were given to those among the 24 tol holders enlisted by the Pakatan government, leaving nine families in a lurch without a single compensation.
Although the state government announced in the media about the compensation offer, Sugumaran said the sidelined nine families were never allowed even to enter state government office in Komtar tower block.
“We were all banned and blacklisted as rebels. When we could not even enter the state government office, how then we could have rejected the offer.
“We were contemptuously denied the offer as the state government exacted revenge on us for being vocal in standing up for our rights,” Sugumaran told FMT.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has now given a double-storey house each via Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad to the nine tol holders and their nine immediate families.
The houses in Teluk Air Tawar were given on humanitarian grounds, not as compensation.