School head to get own lawyer

  • Community
  • Thursday, 24 Apr 2008

PENANG: A school principal asked a High Court for time to get a lawyer to defend him in a suit filed by the former chairman of the school’s board of governors for removing him before his term expired.

Penang Free School (PFS) principal Ramli Din informed Justice Balia Yusof Wahi in chambers yesterday that he was told by the Attorney-General’s chambers to get his own legal representation.

The school’s former board chairman Hassan Farouke Mohd Abu Bakar had named Ramli as the first defendant as the principal of PFS and ex-officio secretary of the board as well as in his personal capacity, and the PFS board of governors as the second defendant.

Hassan Farouke filed an originating summons seeking an order that any action by any person to establish a new or alternative board is invalid and of no legal effect; and that the school principal as board secretary must act at all times in accordance with his instructions as board chairman.

In his affidavit, the 60-year-old businessman claimed that he was elected chairman for three years at the board meeting on June 30, 2005. He said his term would only end on June 30 this year.

He said the instrument of government of PFS dated June 9, 1960 provided for the principal to serve as board secretary but not as a go-vernor and that the secretary did not have the right to vote at board meetings.

Hassan Farouke said that halfway through a board meeting on April 9 last year, Ramli excused himself and left in dissatisfaction after the board was not in favour of his proposals.

In late July last year, Hassan Farouke said he received a letter from Ramli thanking him for his contribution and services as chairman, adding that his term ended on “June 31” that year.

He said Ramli’s action in sending out the letter to members of the board was misconceived, ultra vires and unconstitutional.

Yesterday, Hassan Farouke’s counsel See Liang Teik and Simon Tan requested that the matter be heard before the June 30 expiry date of their client’s term. The court fixed June 12 to hear the case.

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