Thu, 28 Sep 2023


Ex-Edu Director admits ‘ponteng’ teacher cousin
Published on: Saturday, August 19, 2023
By: Cynthia D Baga
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Ex-Edu Director admits ‘ponteng’ teacher cousin
Former State Education Department (JPN) Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul (left pic).
Kota Kinabalu: Former State Education Department (JPN) Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul is a cousin of the English teacher who was absent many months (ponteng) and refused to teach the subject to a former student in SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud, eight years ago.

Maimunah admitted this to High Court Judge Datuk Ismail Brahim in the hearing of the civil suit filed by Siti Nafirah Siman, now 23.

She was asked by Siti Nafirah’s counsel Shireen Sikayun whether she had any family ties with the teacher Mohd Jainal Jamrin or known as Mr JJ.

According to Maimunah, who held the post from 2016 until 2018, she knew “JJ” not just as her relative but as one of the teachers.

However, Maimunah disagreed with Shireen that investigations into JJ's failure to enter class was compromised due to the family ties.

Maimunah agreed that after the case was filed in 2018, there was an investigation into Siti Nafirah's claims.

She instructed one of her officers and a few people to carry the investigation but she could not remember the findings or whether the investigation team had admitted about JJ's failure to enter class in 2015.

The suit was filed against Mohd Jainal, SMK Taun Gusi Principal Suid Hj Hanapi (in his capacity as Principal of SMK Taun Gusi), SMK Taun Gusi, Kota Belud District Education Office (PPD), Sabah Education Director, Director General of Education Malaysia, Minister of Education Malaysia, and Government of Malaysia, as the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants, respectively.

The plaintiff is seeking among others a declaration that eight defendants are in breach of their statutory duty under the Education Act by failing to ensure that she is taught the English language during the period of February 2015 to Oct 2015; prepare her for examinations as prescribed under the Education Act.

She is also seeking a declaration that the defendants are in breach of their duty under Regulation 3C, 25, 26 Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 1913; a declaration that the act complained off by the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and eight defendants amounted to misfeasance in public office.

She is also seeking a declaration that the defendants violated her constitutional right to access to education guaranteed to her under Article 5 read together with Article 12 of the Federal Constitution, damages, costs and any further and other relief which the court may deem fit to grant.

‘JJ” was earlier found by the High Court to have been negligent and playing truant as a teacher for several months in another case brought by several students of the same school.

Maimunah said although “JJ” had family ties with her, she was professional in her duties as Director.

Another witness, Academic Management Sector Head of the Sabah Education Department (JPNS) Abidin Marjan, said when he investigated the matter, he asked the Principal to show him the Buku Kehadiran or Buku Pengesahan Guru Masuk Kelas but was refused.

Another witness, former State Education Department deputy director Datuk Dr Mohd Kasim Mohd Ibrahim testified that he could not remember much on the investigation pertaining to JJ’s absenteeism.

He also said as deputy director, he only acts on the direction of the director.

Senior Federal Counsel Mohd Hafizi Abd Halim and Federal Counsel Mohd Fazriel Fardiansyah Abdul Kadir acted for the defendants.

Trial continues on Aug 28-30.

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