But the suggested ‘Mexican standoff’ is grossly incorrect because someone will win – namely Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd, the UMNO-linked developer.
The land on which Kampung Buah Pala stands was given to the ancestors of today’s Tamil residents by the original owner David Brown. The residents and their families have lived there for nearly 200 years.
But after independence in 1957, trust the Perikatan (or the predecessor of Barisan Nasional) state government to take over the village as the land trustee and collect temporary occupational licence (TOL) rents until 2005.
In 2005, the land office alienated the land to the Gerakan-BN state government. Huh, mana boleh?
Gerakan Party’s Koh TK was the CM at that time. His state government then sold the land for a mere RM3.21 million to a civil servants cooperative society, the Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang. The cooperative engaged Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to develop a housing project called the Oasis.
Hey, what about the rightful owners, the descendants of the Tamils who were given the land by David Brown?
Can Koh TK please explain?
Don’t hold your breath, which may be what Hindraf is doing. It has instead turned its fury on the DAP, the new ruling party (in alliance with PKR) of Penang.
Waynamoorthy and his brother Uthayakumar believe that with a stroke of a pen, Lim Guan Eng can re-possess the land by evoking some provisions in the National Land Code and Land Acquisition Act, and give it back to the current distressed residents.
If that was the simple case I have no doubt that Lim would have done that already. But assuming Lim as CM of Penang could, what else would be involved in such a re-possession?
I am thinking compensation, yes, what would the compensation involved - RM300 mil? Maybe ..... but does the State government have that sort of money to give away?
Let’s also not forget that our wonderful Federal Court has ruled in favour of the cooperative.
In fact, one Mr. CH Ong wrote a letter to Malaysiakini tiltled 'High Chaparral': No relief from National Land Code, where he stated:
Is it possible that there are unscrupulous people including opportunistic politicians who are misleading the villagers and giving them false hopes that it is very easy for the state government to take back the land which had been legally alienated without having to pay adequate compensation at current market value?
To the sympathisers of the villagers, it may be worth noting that if it was that easy for the state government to simply acquire the 'Tamil High Chaparral' land on the cheap or for free to give it to the villagers, then it will also be equally easy for the state government to acquire any other citizen's land with ‘political will’ and by using some ‘administrative way’, to use Sugumaran's words.
Then no Malaysian property owner will be able to feel secure with the tenure of their property.
I am not sure if Malaysians are funny or just plain stupid. For 50 years they continuously voted in the same government of their choice.
When they finally voted for a change of government, they expect the new government to commit illegal acts in order to undo what the previous government had done.
But has the DAP been ignoring the issue as claimed by the Hindraf brothers?
In fact Dr Ramasamy, DCM2, has advised the villagers that while the state government would do its utmost to preserve the village for them, the villagers must in turn be open to negotiations. In other words, like all situations in life, have a contingency or fallback plan.
During the dialogue, Ramasamy assured the villagers that the state government would exhaust all means to assist them in their aspiration.
Malaysiakini reported that: He [Dr Ramasamy] said the state government was prepared to explore the possibility of preserving the village as the state's human cultural heritage and compensate a state land for the developer.
The state government will also explore its legal means to caveat the land to facilitate its land scam probe.
If all these failed, the state government will then negotiate a hefty monetary package to compensate the villagers, added Ramasamy.
Be open for negotiations.
But alas, maybe they have been swayed by Hindraf’s 'no negotiation, no quarters will be given' attitude, because the villagers rejected any compensation plan. They told Dr Ramasamy in no uncertain terms that they want to retain the land for their village.
Looks like those poor villagers have painted themselves into a corner, and no small thanks to the aggressive leadership of the Hindraf brothers.
In fact more than a week ago, Uthayakumar had started off by attacking Lim GE on the issue, and I can tell you he was very rude and arrogant in his admonishing of Lim.
This display of hubristic anger has been followed up by his brother Waynamoorthy, who in turn warned the DAP-led state government ... not to push Indian Malaysians to a corner, like what BN had done all these years or face face Hindraf’s wrath in the next election.
Apart from the DAP as the party where Indians have blossomed on merits, I don’t believe that’s the way to go about eliciting the help of the Penang government.
And why didn’t these two harass Anwar Ibrahim who had promised the Tamil villagers he would get the land for them?
In the videoclip, an elderly man claimed that Anwar had sworn on his head (by placing his hands on his head) that he will never abandon the villagers and preserve the village for them. Great stuff by the Great One.
I suggest to both brothers to go see Anwar Ibrahim ... or better still, Koh TK.
But unfortunately, Uthayakumar, having recently being ‘promoted’ to the status of a demi-god, has this divine belief in himself that the Pakatan politicians will tremble at and kowtow to his threats.
He has warned Pakatan, especially the DAP, that Hindraf will withhold its support from them in the next general election. They also plan to burn an effigy of Lim GE.
And indeed if Hindraf does, as he threatened, who then will its members and followers give their votes to?
Or Gerakan, the very party who in 2005 allowed the land of Kampung Buah Palu to be given away in the first place, for a mere song?
Today there is an unfortunate, unbearable and unforgiveable arrogance in the Hindraf brothers’ attitude.
By their aggressive and antagonistic arrogance, they have provided bad example to the villages in closing off the option of negotiations for monetary compensation in the event the law doesn’t permit the land to be re-possessed.
As Dr Ramasamy had wisely advised: "We are behind the villagers and fully back them to find an amicable solution. But one must be open for negotiations.”
“Otherwise it will be a dead end!"