Report: FT minister wants to meet Convent Bukit Nanas nuns to help preserve the school

A general view of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Convent Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur April 21, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A general view of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Convent Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur April 21, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — Federal Territories (FT) minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said he would like to meet the Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) nuns to see how he can help preserve the 122-year-old school, reported The Star.

He said that he personally thinks that CBN should not be “touched” and be allowed to continue operating.

“Land ownership issues are something that we can discuss. I would like to meet the CBN Sisters and lend an ear to find out more.

“The issue of CBN, which is currently in the news, was never referred to me as of yet, despite it being in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur as all federal land matters fall under the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry and Chief Secretary to the Government under the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I have also asked the director of the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office (PPTGWP) for more details on the background of the matter and a status report on the CBN issue,” Annuar said in The Star report.

Yesterday, PPTGWP director Datuk Muhammad Yasir said that CBN will not be demolished once its lease expires and the land it sits on will revert to the government so it can be gazetted as a fully-aided government school.

However, lawyer Derek Fernandez questioned if the matter was put to the Cabinet.

“Such matters are to be decided by the Cabinet after extensive stakeholder discussions and not something the PPTGWP is authorised to do on its own.

“In fact, the former ministers in charge of natural resources at the relevant times should shed light on this matter as the application to renew the lease was allegedly made, as reported in the media, on October 4,2017, and the rejection received on December 18 last year.

“They should let the public know whether such an application was ever referred to them at all during their tenure or if such a policy-decision was made as the basis of rejecting the application,” Fernandez said in a statement today.

On April 19, CBN was granted leave by the Kuala Lumpur High Court here to mount a challenge against the non-renewal of its land lease which is due to expire on September 6 this year.

However, its application for a stay pending the disposal of this judicial review will only be heard on May 4, 2021.

The school had written to the Land Office on October 4, 2017, to seek an extension of the land lease.

The school received a reply on December 18, 2020, that the lease would not be renewed.

The lease is due to expire on September 6, 2021, and the school is seeking a stay against the authority’s decision.

CBN was established in 1899 — comprising two primary schools and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) CBN is under the administration of Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur.

To note, the present judicial review applies to SMKCBN and not the two primary schools.

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