‘Former student pressured to withdraw suit’
Published on: Saturday, October 22, 2022
By: Cynthia D Baga
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‘Former student pressured to withdraw suit’
Rusiah Sabdarin, 21, a former secondary student of SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud, said a day after she filed the suit, her father was called by the new principal Nuzie Balus. She was at her uncle’s place in Kinarut then.
Kota Kinabalu: A witness said she and her family were threatened and pressured by several parties to withdraw the suit against a teacher, the Government, Education Minister and two others for refusing to teach English to students three years ago.

Rusiah Sabdarin, 21, a former secondary student of SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud, said a day after she filed the suit, her father was called by the new principal Nuzie Balus. She was at her uncle’s place in Kinarut then.

She said in the witness statement that she did not know about the matter until her father came to Kinarut and asked her to withdraw the suit. 

Rusiah testified before High Court Judge Leonard David Shim that she did not know what her father had been told by the school until he was willing to go to Kinarut. She told her father she would not, which later caused her brother to almost hit her with a wood.

According to Rusiah, after returning to Kota Belud, the relationship between her, her brother and father became a bit cold, but has improved since.

Rusiah who is the first plaintiff, together with two other plaintiffs namely, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung, both aged 21, named the teacher Mohd Jainal Jamrin (JJ), Hj Suid Hj Hanapi (in his capacity as principal of the SMK Taun Gusi), Director General of Education Malaysia, Minister of Education Malaysia and Government of Malaysia as defendants.

Among others, they claimed “JJ” failed to turn up in class to teach the subject for seven months in 2015 while the other defendants took no reasonable action despite being notified.

She further said Nuzie also called her to his office and threatened that he has power to take disciplinary action against her and to bring up her school absences that happened years ago.

Rusiah also testified that Nuzie inquired whether her house had CCTV which she felt was a threat. She also felt that all the questions by Nuzie at the meeting threatened her and her family’s safety.

During the meeting, Rusisah said Nuzie asked if her father knew the real intention she filed the case and suspected that the principal was trying to put pressure on her father.

She said Nuzie warned her to think carefully about her future and for her family.

After the meeting, Rusiah was very worried about the unusual actions of the officers of the defendants and caused her to ask her lawyers at the time to apply from the court to stop such behaviour. 

Her lawyers duly filed for an injunction against the defendants and their officers not to harass Rusiah, her family and other plaintiffs.

On Aug 30, 2021, Raisah said the court issued an order against the first, second, third and fourth defendants not to bother the plaintiffs.

She said she remembered the incident even though five years had passed because it was her first experience and also through the video they had recorded with her friends at SMK Taun Gusi.

Meanwhile, fourth witness Mohd Fadzley Izzani Lamsin testified that he hoped “JJ” and the other defendants would get the appropriate punishments for their irresponsibility so that generations to come would not experience what they faced. 

He also hoped Malaysians would open their eyes about issues regarding teachers not entering class even though looks like a simple issue as the impact of such actions are great.

During the proceedings, counsel Jubili Anilik from Messrs Roxana and Co, who represented the plaintiff, informed the court that the formal application to discharge has been filed.

Jubili said as such he would like to seek the court’s indulgence for leave that their presence in the trial only stands till the hearing of the application for discharge but it was still unsealed.

Senior Federal Counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim who together with Federal Counsel Fazriel Fardiansyah Abdul for the defendants, said they had just received the unsealed withdrawal application and no objection for them to be dispensed during this trial. The plaintiffs also have no objection for the request.

The court allowed the counsel’s application for dispensation of the counsel’s presence during the hearing.

The hearing adjourned to Nov. 14-16.


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