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Sued absent KB teacher case: Ex-student files petition seeking ‘whistleblower’ protection for witness
Published on: Friday, July 21, 2023
By: FMT
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Sued absent KB teacher case: Ex-student files petition seeking ‘whistleblower’ protection for witness
(Seated, from left) Rusiah Sabdarin, Calvina Angayung and Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali with their legal team at a press conference in December 2020.
PETALING JAYA: A former student of SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud, has launched a petition seeking whistleblower protection for a teacher whose testimony exposed a colleague’s absence from duty for months on end.

The petition on Change.org, started by Safiah Omar, named Nurhaizah Ejab as the teacher in need of legal protection.

Nurhaizah was listed as a witness in a lawsuit brought by three other former students against their truant English teacher, Jainal Jamran.

Safiah said Nurhaizah had testified at great personal risk, adding that until now, the teacher has not been afforded any whistleblower protection.

“In November 2022, my ex-English teacher Nurhaizah testified in the High Court. Due to the 15th general election, most media did not report her testimony,” Safiah said on the petition website.

“Where are our politicians, the police, and the education ministry?” she asked.

Several media previously reported that Nurhaizah had testified that she had received death threats and that her car tyres were slashed after she filed complaints about Jainal with the school authorities.

On Wednesday, the High Court in Kota Kinabalu awarded RM90,000 in damages to the three former students in their lawsuit against Jainal for refusing to teach them English in 2017.

Justice Leonard David Shim held that the plaintiffs – Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung – had proven their case on a balance of probabilities.

The trio had filed the lawsuit against Jainal, and former headmaster, Suid Hanapi, in 2020. They also named the director-general of education, the education minister, and the federal government as defendants.

They said that Jainal had been assigned to teach English thrice weekly from January to October 2017, but only showed up in the first two months. They said the government also failed to take steps to rectify Jainal’s absence and breached its statutory duties through inaction.

“The government must immediately provide full whistleblower protection to Nurhaizah. A second trial soon will call her against the same defendants,” Safiah said.

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