Verdict today on students’ suit against teacher

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court is expected to deliver its judgment today on an unprecedented suit by three students against their English language teacher in Sabah’s northern Kota Belud district.

Their lawyer Sherzali Herza said Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Leonard David Shim will deliver judgment on the case via e-review.

“The judgment is fixed for Tuesday (today). It will be heard over zoom,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The suit was filed in December 2020 by Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung against Mohd Jainal Jamran at SMK Taun Gusi in Kota Belud for failing to turn up and teach them for seven months in 2017, when they were aged 16.

Mohd Jainal was first defendant, with then school principal Suid Hanapias as second defendant, and the Education Ministry director-general, Education Minister and Malaysian government as the third, fourth and fifth defendants.

A total of 10 witnesses testified for the plaintiffs while three witnesses testified for the defendants during the trial which wrapped up in January after beginning last September.

Senior federal counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim and federal counsel Fazrul Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir acted for the defendants.

The suit by the trio, now 22, is among two lawsuits against the same teacher brought by former students of the school.

The first was filed by former SMK Taun Gusi student Siti Nafirah Siman in October 2018. The trial before Justice Ismail Brahim at the High Court here is scheduled to resume on Aug 16.

The suits came about with a campaign started by Sabah-based NGO Tiada.Guru which has been pushing for students’ right to quality education and awareness on teacher absenteeism, especially in rural Sabah.

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