NUTP offers legal aid for two retired teachers sued for defamation over official complaint

PETALING JAYA: The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) is providing legal support to two retired teachers who are being sued for defamation by the chairman of the board of a Kota Baru school.

NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan said the two retired teachers were sued for RM100,000 each for allegedly defaming the chairman when they submitted a complaint letter about him to the state Education Department.

"On May 19, the school's chairman filed a defamation action at the Kota Baru Sessions Court, claiming RM100,000 each against the two teachers.

"They had lodged an official complaint with the Kelantan Education Department director against the chairman for his (allegedly) unbecoming behaviour against one of the teachers during a meeting in the headmaster's room on July 30,2018, in relation to a disciplinary issue concerning one of the students.

"The chairman had also lodged a police report against the two teachers on March 30," he said when contacted Sunday (July 5).

He said the NUTP has appointed its legal advisor Francis Pereira to represent the two teachers.

A statement of defence issued on Saturday (July 4) included a counter claim by one of the teachers filed against the chairman, for damages for harassment, trauma, mental and emotional anguish.

A police report was also lodged against the chairman for alleged intimidation and harassment.

Tan said the NUTP is concerned that an official complaint, lodged by the teachers who are members of the union, has been used to file a defamation suit.

"This may deter other teachers from filing legitimate complaints as their letters may be 'leaked out' and then taken to court," he said.

When contacted, Kota Baru OCPD Asst Comm Abdul Rahim Daud confirmed a report was made at the Pengkalan Chepa police station.

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