KOTA KINABALU: Three former students of a Sabah school who sued their English teacher for allegedly failing to turn up for class for several months are still waiting for the defendants to file their defence.
Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung, now 19-year-olds, filed the lawsuit at the High Court here on Dec 20 last year.
They named their former Form 4 English teacher, Mohd Jainal Jamran, who was transferred in 2020, and former principal Suid Hanapi, now retired, as the first and second defendants.
The other defendants in the public litigation case are the education director-general, the education minister and the government.
The trio had previously claimed that Jainal had not attended their English class at SMK Taun Gusi in the northern Kota Belud district between March and November 2017, when they were still 16, despite repeated reminders.
The teacher was also said to have failed to turn up entirely after July in the same year.
In their previous statement of claim, they said the other defendants failed to rectify the situation regarding the teacher’s alleged prolonged absence, and were hence in breach of their statutory duties as stated in the Federal Constitution, the Education Act 1966 and the Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations of 1993.
However, after more than 130 days, the trio said the defendants have still not filed their defence at the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.
In a statement issued by their legal team here, Rusiah, Nur Natasha and Calvina said the defendants have 14 days to file their defence after a writ of summons is issued.
They said the last case update on the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak’s portal regarding the case states that the final e-review for the defendants to file their defence has been fixed for June 4.
According to the statement, the trio are “supremely confident” of proceeding to a full public trial against the defendants and exercising their rights under the constitution.
Their litigation is the second against the same defendants.
Siti Nafirah Siman, another former student of the school, was the first to sue Jainal, Suid and the other defendants in 2018 for the same reason.
Nafirah, now 18, had alleged that Jainal had failed to turn up for class for seven months in 2015.