KOTA KINABALU: The three students who won a lawsuit against their teacher for failing to turn up for months in 2017 want this to be a lesson for all teachers and a motivation for students to speak up when their rights are violated.
One of the students, Rusiah Sabdarin, hopes that constant monitoring on teachers’ performance and attendance in school would be prioritised from now on.
She thanked her lawyer Sherzali Herza Asli and everyone who had supported the case one way or another.
She said it is also vital that authorities take heed of complaints from students and not to take their voices or grouses lightly.
“I hope all students will have the courage to voice their concerns and dissatisfaction when their rights as students are violated,” she said after the verdict was made.
Calvina Angayung said that after years of waiting and fighting, they can finally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that justice has been served and a precedent has been set for similar cases.
“It remains fresh in my memory when our teacher kept going absent, so much so that many of us failed the English subject,” she said.
“With the decision made by the High Court, I feel grateful knowing that my rights are acknowledged and respected by the court,” she said.
Calvina hopes the outcome of their case will motivate others out there who still choose to remain silent in the presence of injustice, so that they too may find courage to voice out and fight for what’s just.
She hopes this will prove that the rights of all Malaysians must be protected and respected.
“Thank you to our lawyer, to the NGOs, activists, my parents and friends, as well as everyone who gave us support in so many forms during our fight for justice,” she said.
Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali said that after years of struggling and fighting, their patience and determination finally paid off and prayers were answered.
“There were ups and downs throughout our journey in fighting this case, but with the support of everyone including my family, NGOs, reporters and especially our lawyer, it just keeps us going,” she said.
She said this whole trial and verdict has made her stronger and has boosted her will and drive to strive for a better future.
On Tuesday, the Kota Kinabalu High Court ruled in favour of the trio and granted their claims while also awarding nominal and aggravated damages.
There were five defendants, namely former SMK Taun Gusi English teacher Mohd Jainal Jamran, Suid Hanapi (sued in his capacity as principal of SMK Taun Gusi), director-general of Education, Education Minister and the government.