Kuala Lumpur: Convent Bukit Nanas will not be demolished, however the land would be returned to the government after its lease expires.
The Federal Territories Land and Mines Office director Datuk Muhammad Yasir told the New Straits Times in a statement.
“For the record, the Federal Territory Land Executive Committee had on Nov 13 last year approved giving the ownership of the land on a policy basis to the Federal Land Commissioner after the 60-year-lease (held by the mission) expires on Sept 6,” he said.
Muhammad said the extension of the lease by The Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur, the entity operating the site and school building, was rejected for this purpose.
He also highlighted that the “ownership of the land would be given on a policy basis to the Federal Land Commissioner for the purpose of a government school site as it was currently being operated.”
Muhammad said that CBN was now a partially-aided government school which was administered and staffed by civil servants.
In a separate report however he said that it had no sinister agenda in returning the land the school was on to the government.
He said that it would remain a school and there would not be any development on the land.
In the report Muhammad also said that it was so it could be gazetted as a fully-aided government school.
He said that as the school was located near a slope and if there was a landslide or erosion, remedial works would be shouldered by the government.
Muhammad reportedly also claimed that this was the only reason why the committee decided not to renew the lease.
On April 7, the Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur who runs the school was granted an application for leave for judicial review to challenge the government’s decision not to extend the school’s land lease under its name.
The school had reportedly written to the Land Office on October 4, 2017, to seek an extension of the land lease but on Dec 18 last year they received a reply that it would not be renewed.
The school is now seeking a stay against the authority’s decision to let its lease expire on Sept 6 this year.
CBN was established in 1899 by nuns of the Sisters of the Holy Infant Jesus.
The institute is founded on the mission to educate and train underprivileged children and better their lives and is located along Jalan Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur.
Despite the assurance, two petitions are trending on social media calling for CBN to be preserved as an operating school on the site as well as a national heritage site.
Both petitions registered on change.org some two-days ago when news broke about the school’s lease expiry and the judicial review have reeled a combined total of close to 55,000 signatories supporting the cause.
See Original: Babulal, V. (2021, April 21). CBN will not be torn down, only returned to the government. New Straits Times.