Isu Kg Buah Pala hari ini mempunyai satu perkembangan yang positif. Pengerusi Persatuan Penduduk Kg Buah Pala M Sugumaran telah berjumpa dengan Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng dan menyatakan kesanggupan untuk berbincang dengan Kerajaan Negeri bagi mencapai penyelesaian masalah penjualan tanah kampung mereka.
M Sugumaran turut memohon maaf daripada Kerajaan Negeri kerana sebelum ini telah bertindak untuk mengheboh-hebohkan perkara ini dan juga menentang keperibadian sesetengah pemimpin. Ketua Menteri menyatakan bahawa Kerajaan Negeri sentiasa membuka pintu untuk berjumpa dan berbincang dengan penduduk kampung tanpa menglibatkan anasir-anasir dari luar yang sebelum ini cuba merosakkan niat baik Kerajaan Negeri untuk membantu penduduk.
A heart-to-heart talk may be on the cards between villagers and the Penang chief minister to resolve the future of Kampung Buah Pala, dubbed the 'Tamil High Chaparral'.
Residents Association chairperson M Sugumaran has agreed to take the villagers to meet Lim Guan Eng at 8.30pm on Thursday.
However, Sugumaran's overture violates the agreement among villagers, that they will not discuss the on-going crisis with state government leaders, without prior consent from the association committee.
This casts doubt on support for the dialogue, unless he is able to coax them to accept the arrangements he has made.
Sugumaran has given his word to Lim that the villagers will not bring their lawyer, Darshan Singh Khaira, to avoid a repeat of the impasse that led to an initial meeting being aborted last Wednesday.
He has also apologised on the villagers' behalf to Lim “for blowing up the issue and resorting to personal attacks on government leaders”.
At a brief press conference afterwards, Lim told journalists that he has accepted Sugumaran's apology and is looking forward to the dialogue with the villagers.
The DAP-led state government has been against the presence of Darshan ever since the villagers appointed him their legal representative early this month.
Kampung Buah Pala villagers face eviction after Aug 3 as the site of their settlement is to be used for a luxury condominium project called Oasis. The developer Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd issued a notice of eviction on July 2.
Breach of gag order
It is learnt that today's meeting between Sugumaran and Lim was held without prior consent from committee-members of the association and the villagers.
Sugumaran is expected to call an emergency meeting with the villagers to explain the situation.
However, he is expected to run into criticism from association secretary Stephen J Draviam and assistant secretary C Tharmaraj, among others, for breaking their self-imposed gag order.
Many civil societies groups, including Penang Heritage Trust, Hindu Rights Action Force, Oppressed People's Network (Jerit) and Suaram want the village to be preserved