According to Malaysiakini, Convent Bukit Nanas’s (CBN) judicial review application to challenge the government’s decision to not extend the school’s land lease is being heard by the Kuala Lumpur High Court today (20 April).
It was reported that law firm Kevin & Co filed the judicial review application on 7 April, naming the Federal Territories Lands and Mines director as the sole respondent.
CBN, established in 1899, had reportedly written to the Lands and Mines office on 4 Oct 2017, to seek an extension of the land lease, but was told on 18 Dec last year that the lease would not be renewed.
The school is seeking a certiorari order to quash the decision by the Lands and Mines office to not extend the land lease and mandamus to compel the Federal Territories Lands and Mines director to revoke the land lease non-renewal letter.
Today, former minister and CBN alumni Rafidah Aziz is calling on the government to ensure that heritage institutions like her former school remain where they are.
“Instead of just giving the leasehold status of the land, such institutions should be given permanent titles to their sites,” Rafidah said, adding that the school was a pioneer in the nation’s educational development.
Aside from Rafidah, an urban planning expert, Derek Fernandez has also urged Putrajaya to intervene in the CBN issue. He suggested that the all-girls school be listed as a national heritage site under the National Heritage Act 2005.
“From a planning perspective, the school is zoned under the KL City Plan 2020 within the development plan under the Federal Territory Planning Act 1982 as a public facility and a heritage zone,” he said, adding that it had provided an education for tens of thousands of women in the country.
For now, netizens are showing support by signing a petition titled, ‘SAVE SMK CONVENT BUKIT NANAS‘. The description stated that the 122-year-old institution’s contribution to the nation could not be “undervalued nor disregarded”.
“The school has produced a long list of distinguished women serving the nation in many different capacities… SMK Convent Bukit Nanas occupies an integral part of Malaysia’s history and not renewing the land lease endangers the uniqueness & the richness of that history. We need to preserve it for the future generation of young ladies who aspire to pass through its corridors,” it wrote.