The plaintiff: Nafirah Siman
1 Jainal Jamran (teacher)
2 The school principal
3 The Kota Belud district education officer
4 The Sabah State Education Department director
5 The Director-General of the Education Ministry
6 The Education Minister
7 The Government of Malaysia.
Student who sued teacher for 7-month absenteeism gets day in court this May
The student who sued her English teacher for allegedly failing to turn up for classes for seven months will finally get her day in court this May.
Nafirah Siman (photo, centre), who is 20 years old now, initiated the lawsuit against Jainal Jamran in Oct 2018.
She alleged that Jainal did not turn up to teach English classes in 2015 when she was in Form 4 at SMK Taun Gusi, a school in Kota Belud, Sabah.
The High Court in Kota Kinabalu had in December set trial dates for May 4 to May 6, as well as on May 8.
“Nafirah is confident and enthusiastic for the High Court trial to commence, where she will prove her stated allegations against these seven defendants and their multiple officers in a court of law,” a recent statement from her representatives said.
The final pre-trial case management will be held on Jan 21.
Prior to this, Nafirah had scored a number of smaller victories, when seven out of eight defendants named in her suit failed to strike out their names in September.
The only defendant that succeeded to be struck out was the school itself.
Besides Jainal, the other defendants are the school’s principal at the time, the Kota Belud district education officer, the Sabah State Education Department director, director-general of Education Ministry, Education Minister, and the Government of Malaysia.
Nafirah’s legal team had also in July succeeded in their applications for discovery and further and better particulars, through which she has received documents that were not voluntarily submitted by the defence.
In their statement of defence from Dec 2018, the defendants denied the allegation that Jainal had been missing from classes as alleged by Nafirah.
“Furthermore, the attendance record of the first defendant (Jainal) to work in the said school for the year 2015 was very satisfactory.
“The first defendant was also on certain days had to perform his official works outside the school in which he was permitted and allowed to go.
“For the period as alleged by the plaintiff, it was also recorded that the first defendant had entered and was present in the 4PD class as he was assigned to teach the English subject,” the statement read.
After news first broke about the lawsuit, then-education minister Maszlee Malik had sent an officer to investigate the matter after being unsatisfied with an initial report he received.
“I received the report but it is still under investigation. I myself have sent an officer to go to the ground to meet the family and understand what really happened,” he was quoted as saying in Nov 2018.
However, when contacted in December last year, the Education Ministry declined to comment further on the case as it was court matter.
This is not the first time SMK Taun Gusi had been in the news.
Previously in 2013, a mother filed a police report and urged action from the Sabah Education Department for allegedly failing to bring her then 14-year-old son to the police station or hospital after he was assaulted by a group of students.
Masdah Tabulung claimed that school administrators instead caned her son.
31 Oct 2018
KOTA KINABALU: Siti Nafirah, a native of Kota Belud, had filed a civil suit against the English teacher and seven others, including the government and Minister of Education, for refusing to teach English lessons to her and her Form Four classmates in 2015.
In the writ of summons, filed at the High Court Registry through Messrs Roxana and Co on October 16, plaintiff, Siti Nafirah had named Mohd Jainal Jamran (the teacher), Hj Suid Hj Hanapi (principal of SMK Taun Gusi), the school SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud district education officer, Sabah education director, director-general of education Malaysia, minister of education Malaysia and the Government of Malaysia as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants respectively.
The plaintiff is seeking, among others, a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth defendants were in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to: ensure that she is taught the English language during the period from February 2015 to October 2015; prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act. She is also seeking a declaration that the second, fourth and fifth defendants were in breach of their duties under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 of the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1993; a declaration that the acts of the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants amounted to misfeasance in public office.
The plaintiff is also seeking a declaration that the first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth defendants have violated her constitutional rights to access to education guaranteed to her under Article 5, read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, and damages, costs and any further and other reliefs which the court may deem fit to grant.
The suit will be heard on November 19 this year at the High Court here.
Nafirah claimed in her suit that Jainal had failed to turn up to teach English from February 2015 until October 2015 except for one week when the Education Ministry and state Education Department officials visited the school.
She claimed that despite multiple complaints including from a Fullbright senior English teacher assistant grantee seconded to the school and the school’s English Department’s head, the authorities which were the Education Ministry, the state Education Department and the headmaster failed to act.
Further to that, she claimed headmaster Suid tried to cover-up the absenteeism by asking the teacher to “fabricate” his attendance to show that he was only absent for two months.
The suit also alleged that Suid intimidated students to give favourable comments about the teacher.
Nafirah is seeking a declaration that the defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to ensure that she was taught English during the period of absenteeism and that this violated her constitutional right for access to education.
She also wants a declaration that there was a breach in duty and misfeasance in public office.
She also seeks exemplary, general and aggravated damages as well as cost.