PETALING JAYA: I would like to meet with the Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) Sisters to find out what I can do to help preserve the school, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
The Federal Territories Minister said the issue of the iconic all-girls school was never referred to him and he has been trying to get more information on the matter.
"I personally think that CBN should not be touched and should be allowed to continue operating.
"Land ownership issues are something that we can discuss. I would like to meet the CBN Sisters and lend an ear to find out more.
"The issue of CBN, which is currently in the news, was never referred to me as of yet, despite it being in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur as all federal land matters fall under the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry and Chief Secretary to the Government under the Prime Minister's Office.
"I have also asked the director of the Federal Territories Land and Mines Office (PPTGWP) for more details on the background of the matter and a status report on the CBN issue," Annuar said when contacted Wednesday (April 21).
He was commenting on the CBN issue which has been in the news after the government decided not to renew its land lease.
The 122-year-old mission school is currently operated by its owners under the school board Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur.
On Tuesday (April 20), PPTGWP director Datuk Muhammad Yasir said that CBN will not be demolished once its lease expires and the land it sits on will revert to the government so it can be gazetted as a fully-aided government school.
However, lawyer Derek Fernandez questioned Yasir if the matter was put to the Cabinet.
"Such matters are to be decided by the Cabinet after extensive stakeholder discussions and not something the PPTGWP is authorised to do on its own.
"In fact, the former ministers in charge of natural resources at the relevant times should shed light on this matter as the application to renew the lease was allegedly made, as reported in the media, on Oct 4,2017, and the rejection received on Dec 18 last year.
"They should let the public know whether such an application was ever referred to them at all during their tenure or if such a policy-decision was made as the basis of rejecting the application," Fernandez said in a statement Wednesday.
On April 7, the Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur, the corporate entity operating CBN, was granted an application for leave for judicial review to challenge the government's decision not to extend the school's land lease.
The school had written to the Land Office on Oct 4,2017, to seek an extension of the land lease.
The school received a reply on Dec 18,2020, that the lease would not be renewed.
The lease is due to expire on Sept 6,2021, and the school is seeking a stay against the authority's decision.
The all-girls school, established in 1899 by nuns of the Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus – an institute dedicated to the education and training of underprivileged children and the betterment of their lives – is located along Jalan Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur.