GEORGE TOWN, Aug 28, 2014:
Malay rights NGOs have called on the state government to declare Kampung Mutiara as a heritage site to ensure the continuous existence of the traditional village.
The NGOs comprising of The Penang Malay Association (Pemenang), Ikatan Kelab-kelab Melayu Pulau Pinang (Ikatan) and Pertubuhan Amanah Warisan Melayu Pulau Pinang (Pewaris) had opined that it is possible to do so under the Penang Heritage Enactment 2011.
While applauding the move by different political parties to set aside their differences to save the century-old village in Batu Ferringhi, Pemenang president Tan Sri Yusoff Latif said there could be more effort in in working together with the federal government to obtain the piece of land.
This, he said, was to ensure that over 1,000 residents there would be protected from eviction and for the matter to be resolved as soon as possible.
“This is to enable the federal government to purchase the piece of land to be sold to the kampung folks at a reasonable price.
“Therefore the piece of land should be gazetted by state government to ensure that the matter is not prolonged,” he told a press conference at the Pemenang office in Jalan Pemenang, here today.
It was reported that the matter had reached the federal level and that the residents might receive help from the federal government.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had expressed his wish to see the plight of the 90 households in Kampung Mutiara be looked into. On Monday, the court bailiffs were supposed to take over vacant possession of the 66 houses in the village but they were told not to proceed due to the huge crowds that have gathered there to block any act of eviction or demolition.
The plight faced by the 90 households there was said to have started when the landowner bought the 3.5 acre land in 2006 and proceeded to evict the residents without offering any compensation or applying for planning permission for any project on the site.