GEORGE TOWN: The state government has been urged to intervene in the eviction issue involving Penang’s Siamese community in Pulau Tikus here.
This followed reports that a proposed development of a five-storey hotel would involve the demolition of seven shops and 10 wooden houses on the affected 0.64ha (6,400 sq m) site.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had said the state government cannot afford to pay any compensation if it is taken to court for converting back the status of the 200-year-old village as a cultural and religious zone.
Senator Datuk Boon Som Inong, who represents the Malaysian-Siamese in the Dewan Negara, said land matters come under the state government’s jurisdiction.
“I urge the Chief Minister to look into the matter seriously and preserve the heritage of this village,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Senator Ng Chiang Chin, who was also present, said the state government should come in and solve the plight of the villagers.
Penang Gerakan state liaison committee member H’ng Khoon Leng proposed that the state government acquire the land for the benefit of the community there.
Kelawei MCA chairman Tan Khai Beng also asked the state to preserve the heritage while Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan urged the Chief Minister to take charge and solve the matter.