What a shame: A file photo of the entrance to the Prai market in Butterworth before it was demolished.
State govt wants firm which tore down market barred from building in Penang
GEORGE TOWN: The state government wants the developer who demolished the Prai market barred from undertaking future projects in Penang as well as disciplinary action against the police officer and lawyer for allegedly colluding with the builder.
Deputy Chief Minister ll Dr P. Ramasamy said the developer must be blacklisted and prevented from building in Penang for tearing down the 76-year-old market.
He said action must also be taken against the police officer whom he alleged had colluded with the developer during the demolition on May 17.
“I have written to the Penang police chief (Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Abdul Rahim Hanafi) and the Home Ministry to investigate and take action against the police officer.
“I personally want the developer prosecuted and jailed and disciplinary action taken against the police officer who abetted the demolition which is a ‘daylight aggression’ and a total disregard for the law,” Dr Ramasamy said yesterday.
On the action sought against the developer’s lawyer, Dr Ramasamy claimed that the court order was for only the eviction of the people and not for demolition of the market.
“The Bar Council must act on this.”
He said there were plans to conserve the market as a heritage building but the demolition ‘threw a spanner into the works’ to restore the building.
Three police reports had been filed against the developer over the demolition.
The Seberang Perai Municipal Council has now cordoned off the site.
The case against the developer for violating the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 was mentioned in the Bukit Mertajam magistrate’s court yesterday and would be brought up again on June 23
- Nu R. Sekaran The Star/Asia News Network
No getting off the hook - Greedy developer should be taught a lession, Says DCM II
Deplorable: A filepic taken in June last year of the rundown Prai Market that was flattened on Sunday.
GEORGE TOWN: The state government will hold talks with the Seberang Prai Municipal Council on action to be taken against the developer for demolishing the 76-year-old Prai market.
Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy said they would look into all avenues, including getting the developer to restore the structure and arch.
“We don’t have many buildings with heritage value on the mainland so we need to go all out to preserve these buildings.
“This greedy developer should be taught a lesson. The council has taken legal action against the developer before and I will ask them to do it again,” he said when contacted yesterday.
It was reported on Monday that a developer had demolished part of the 76-year-old Prai market despite a stop-work order being issued. The developer had gone against the council’s orders for a second time.
Dr Ramasamy was earlier quoted as saying that although the company managed to obtain vacant possession from the court in June last year, it still needed the council’s approval to carry out demolition work.
He said the state had identified the buildings surrounding the Prai market with heritage value, although it had not been gazetted yet.
A check by The Star showed that the arch at the market entrance with the year ‘1938’ on it was also torn down.
Meanwhile, a reader said it was disgraceful to read about the demolition by a developer who could not be bothered about heritage.
Sanjay C.S. said back in the early 70s, his mother used to cycle from their house in Jalan Baru to the market.
“And today, it resembles as if earthquake had struck there.
“In Nepal, their heritage was ruined by nature, but here, it was selfishly destroyed by human greed.
“The nonchalant developer should be heavily punished!” he said, adding that the state needed to protect its heritage buildings outside George Town as well. - By Tan Sin Chow The Star/Asia News Network
Destroyed despite MPSP's order - Prai market torn down, Penang govt wants action against developer
Destroyed: Workers demolishing the Prai market in Butterworth and (inset) the arch before it was torn down.
BUTTERWORTH: A developer has demolished part of the 76-year-old Prai market despite a stop-work order and the state government wants action taken against the firm.
What’s worse, the developer had gone against the Seberang Prai Municipal Council’s (MPSP) orders for a second time.
Deputy Chief Minister (II) Dr P. Ramasamy said the company managed to obtain vacant possession from the court in June last year but it still needed the council’s approval to carry out demolition work.
“I’ve instructed the council to take legal action against the company. The state government gazetted the buildings surrounding the Prai market, which have been identified as a building with heritage value.
“The workers moved in on Saturday morning and started to demolish the buildings during heavy rain when no one was around.
“This is the second time they’ve done this. They demolished three buildings the first time, and now four buildings,” he said yesterday.
Dr Ramasamy, who is also Prai assemblyman, said 50% of the compensation had been paid to the occupants and the rest would be paid when they move out.
“I would like to remind the company not to touch the Prai market as the council has listed it as a building with heritage value.”
Barber M. Thirunavakkarassu, 61, said he received a call from a friend at about 8am telling him that his shop was being demolished.
“I quickly rushed to my shop but it was too late. Someone could have gotten hurt as the electric supply was not disconnected,” he said.
A check by The Star showed that the arch at the market entrance with the year “1938’ on it was also torn down. MPSP president Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said they would prepare the necessary documents so that the landowner-cum-developer could be charged in court for tearing down the buildings.
“This is the second time the developer had committed the offence without obtaining approval from us.
“The Town and Country Planning Act 1976 states that a planning approval is needed before a building is demolished,” she said at the council building in Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam.
- By M. SIVANANTHA SHARMA and CHRISTOPHER The Star/Asia News Network
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