GEORGE TOWN: Penang will not approve any plan to develop land on which three convent girls' schools are located.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government will not agree to the closure of the primary and secondary schools of Convent Light Street and the Convent Pulau Tikus secondary school.
"The state government may not have a say in the matter as the schools are on private land but we will not approve any development on the land if it is sold to developers.
“We will not approve any planning permission applications if a developer purchases the land,” Lim told a press conference in Komtar today (Nov 3).
Lim expressed shock over the reported closure of the schools.
"How can you close down the oldest girls school in Southeast Asia," Lim said referring Convent Light Street.
He said the state government had not been informed of the matter before it was highlighted in the news.
Penang Education director Shaari Osman said the application by the trustees landowner, Sisters of Infant Jesus, to take back the land is pending at the Education Ministry.
He urged the public to stop speculating on the closure of three schools in Penang as there "is no certainty to the matter."
The Provincial Secretariat of the Sisters of Infant Jesus -- the trustee landowner -- had informed the department of its decision to take back the land and, in a letter on Wednesday, the department informed the principals and headmaster that the process to close the school has begun.
These schools will no longer have new intakes and the existing student body will be the last.
Convent Light Street is the oldest girls school in Southeast Asia, founded in 1852.
Convent Pulau Tikus was founded in the early 1900s.