KUALA LUMPUR: Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur, which runs Convent Bukit Nanas, will be advised to discontinue its bid for judicial review on the renewal of its land lease, their lawyer said.
This follows the government’s decision last week to renew the lease by a further 60 years.
“The judicial review is still good but there is no purpose in pursuing the matter since the government has renewed the lease,” said Gopal Sri Ram, who argued the sisters’ case, adding that the matter had become academic.
Sri Ram, a former Federal Court judge, said the next step was for the applicant to have the school declared as a heritage site by the government.
“This is to prevent any difficulty in the future,” he told FMT.
He said all mission schools located in urban areas and on prime land should be declared heritage sites so that “greedy eyes will not fall upon them”.
On April 19, judge Noorin Badaruddin granted leave for the sisters to appeal against the government’s previous decision not to renew the land lease after senior federal counsel M Kogilambigai, who appeared for the federal territories’ land and mines director, did not object.
Noorin had scheduled to hear the merit of the judicial review on May 4.
Established in 1899, Convent Bukit Nanas is one of Malaysia’s oldest schools.
The school filed a legal challenge against the government’s decision not to renew the lease for the land at Jalan Bukit Nanas after the government conveyed its decision through a letter on Dec 18, 2020.
It had sought to quash the decision as well as obtain an order to compel the land office to revoke the letter of non-renewal.
It claimed that the government’s decision not to renew the lease violated the fundamental liberty of a person/persons and their right to education.
However, on Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that the land lease, set to expire on Sept 6, has been extended for 60 years.
The PMO said it made the decision after taking into account the importance of the school’s contributions to the nation’s education sector since 1899.