THE controversy surrounding the 76-year-old Prai market which has been identified as a building with heritage value has been solved.
A total of 23 traders have agreed to move out from the market after agreeing on the compensation from the developer who had purchased the land in 2011 for RM800,000.
Four of them will each receive RM17,000 while 19 others will get RM12,000 each.
Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, who is also Prai assemblyman presented each trader with 50% of the compensation in a simple presentation ceremony on Mon-day. The balance would be paid once they have moved out from the site.
“We are happy with the ending. The traders have gotten what they wanted.
“We’ll help them on the relocation. It should not be an issue,” he said during a press con-ference at his service centre in Prai.
It is understood that the developer had earlier planned to redevelop the property after acquiring the land.
The developer then initiated action at the Sessions Court in Butterworth to obtain vacant possession of the land in June 2014.
Dr Ramasamy then appointed Noraishah Ismail, Pamela Vijayrani & Co to act on behalf of the traders.
Lawyer Pamela Vijayrani and law lecturer Shamsher Singh Thind then persuaded the deve-loper to settle the matter amicably by way of mediation, rather than litigation.
As a result, both parties agreed to record a consent judgment on Dec 2. The traders agreed to vacate the land before March 2 and in return, the develo-per agreed to compensate them.
Dr Ramasamy said he had informed the developer that the market should not be demolished as the Seberang Prai Municipal Council had listed the building with heritage value.
“I made it clear that I will not allow the Prai market and buildings around it to be demo-lished when I met the developer’s representative and the council,” he said.