Three-Month Reprieve For Kg Mutiara Residents

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GEORGE TOWN – Villagers of Kampung Mutiara, Batu Feringghi, near here who have been ordered to vacate their houses today, have been given another three months after the court order was postponed following a discussion by various parties.

The decision was reached after a discussion between the landowner Peter Loke Leng Seak, 65, and Bukit Bendera UMNO division which represented 70 families in the village and the Penang state government after about 500 people including villagers gathered peacefully to protest against the demolition of their village today.

Northeast district police chief ACP Anuar Omar said through a court order, the residents were given three more months to vacate their houses and if they fail to do so, the landowner has the right to move into his property.

“In the discussion at the Batu Ferringhi police station, Penang Senior Assistant Registrar Nur Zafirah Mohd Ali was also present to hear their decision before withdrawing the notice to vacate dated July 10. A total of 526 police officers and personnel including the Federal Reserve Unit were in Kampung Mutiara since 7.30am to ensure all proceeded smoothly,” said Anuar who was met by reporters in Kampung Mutiara near here today.

A survey by  Bernama found the villagers including senior citizens began gathering peacefully since 8am in a last ditch effort to save their village from being demolished and they had placed their vehicles at all roads into the village to block tractors from entering the place.

Bukit Bendera UMNO chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail said the landowner had set RM100,000 as guarantee for the villagers to vacate their houses in three months. – BERNAMA