Mission schools group thanks Putrajaya for resolving Convent Bukit Nanas land lease issue

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 27 — The Federation of Christian Mission Schools Malaysia (FCMSM) has thanked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin for providing a quick resolution to the issue faced by SMK Convent Bukit Nanas.

Its chairman Thomas Huo said the land lease provided to the school was recognition by the government for the contributions and sacrifices by Convent Bukit Nanas' owners, the Society of Saint Maur.

"Provision of quality education for children in the country has been their mission from the outset. They have been assisted by the Board of Governors as well as the alumni, parents, teachers, and students," he said in a statement.

Huo also thanked the society's Lady Superior Theresa Chua for her exemplary service and contribution and her role in assisting Convent Bukit Nanas to obtain the lease.

"FCMSM hopes the government will continue to support the humble act of Mission Authorities to exercise their vocation of providing affordable and premium education to Malaysian children," he said.

On Thursday (April 22), the Prime Minister's Office announced that the land lease for SMK Convent Bukit Nanas would be extended for another 60 years.

The announcement comes just months ahead of the lease’s expiry this September 6, and also amid an ongoing court challenge by the school against the land office’s refusal to extend the lease.

The court case over the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office’s refusal to extend the land lease for the school began in 2017.

On October 4 of that year, the school wrote to the Federal Territories Land Office to ask for an extension of the land lease that was due to expire on September 6, 2021, but only received a response in January 2021 with a letter dated December 18, 2020 to notify the non-renewal of the lease but with no reason stated for the decision.

The school filed a court challenge on April 7 to seek the quashing of the decision to not renew the land lease. On April 19 (Monday), the school obtained leave from the court to proceed with the hearing of this judicial review, with the Attorney General’s Chambers not objecting to leave being granted.

On Friday (April 23) Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri revealed that the National Heritage Department has been attempting to gazette the school as a heritage site since 2008, but could not complete this due to the opposition and protests of Convent Bukit Nanas' trustees. — Reuters

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