Former students of Kota Belud school win historic case against teacher, four others

(From left) Calvina, Nur Natasha Allisya, Rusiah and their counsel Sherzali.

KOTA KINABALU (July 19): Three former students of a secondary school in Kota Belud have made history after becoming the first individuals to file and win a case against their former English teacher and four others for trespassing on their constitutional rights to get a six-year education. a while ago.

Plaintiffs Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali, and Calvina Angayung, all aged 22, took the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit to take their former teacher to court for failing to attend classes to teach them while they are in Form 4 Sports Science (4SS) at school.

In a 74-page judgment delivered via e-review today, High Court Justice Leonard David Shim ruled among others that from the totality of the evidence before the court and after considering the submissions of both parties, the court found that the plaintiffs had proven their case on the balance of probabilities.

“Based on the principles enunciated by the Federal Court in the aforementioned authorities and interpreting Article 5(1) read with Article 12, both articles of the Federal Constitution as broadly as possible, the court finds that the right to be given a teacher who attends classes to teach and prepare the plaintiffs for the English language test is an essential part of the plaintiffs’ right to education and said constitutional rights were violated by the defendants,” the decision the judge.

Shim also ruled that the plaintiffs’ claim was allowed and that there would be judgment for the plaintiffs against the defendants as follows:

  • (i) A declaration that the first, second, third, fourth and fifth defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 by failing to prepare the three plaintiffs for the examinations as prescribed under Education Act 1996;
  • (ii) A declaration that the second defendant is in breach of his duties under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993;
  • (iii) A declaration that the five defendants violated the constitutional right of the three plaintiffs to have an education guaranteed to the plaintiffs under Article 5 read with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution;
  • (iv) Nominal damages in the sum of RM30,000 to be paid to each of the plaintiffs by the first to fifth defendants jointly and severally.
  • (v) Aggravated damages in the sum of RM20,000 to be paid to each of the plaintiffs by the first to fifth defendants jointly and severally.
  • (vi) Interest on (iv) and (v) at the rate of 5 percent per annum from the date of judgment to the date of full and final settlement and since this case involves the matter of the fundamental constitutional right to education and things. of public interest, the court made no order as to costs.

The three plaintiffs named Mohd Jainal Jamran, Suid Hanapi (sued in his capacity as school principal), the director-general of Education Malaysia, the Minister of Education Malaysia, and the Government of Malaysia as the second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants respectively.

The three sought relief against the defendants such as a declaration that the first, second, third, fourth and fifth defendants were allegedly in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 by allegedly’ y failure to ensure that the three plaintiffs were taught the English language during the period from March 2017 to November 2017.

They also seek a declaration that the first, second, third, fourth and fifth defendants are allegedly in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act 1996 by allegedly failing to prepare the three plaintiffs for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act.

Apart from that, the plaintiffs also want declarations that the second defendant is allegedly in breach of his duties under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993 and the alleged acts of the first and second accused amounts to misfeasance in public office.

Finally, they sought a declaration that the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth defendants allegedly violated the constitutional right of the three plaintiffs to obtain an education guaranteed to the plaintiffs under Article 5 read with of Article 12 of the Federal Constitution.

The plaintiffs, represented by lawyer Sherzal Herza Asli, called 10 witnesses to give their evidence in court while the defendants presented three witnesses.

The defendants are represented by senior federal counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim and federal counsel Mohd Fazriel Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir.

The trial of the case began on September 5, 2022.







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