KUALA LUMPUR – SMK Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) has been granted another 60 years on its land lease, which had been due to expire on September 6.
The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement today, said the government took into consideration the application by the school’s governing body to have the lease extended.
“After taking into account the contributions of SMK Convent Bukit Nanas to national education since 1899, the government has agreed to extend the lease period to 60 years for SMK Convent Bukit Nanas, located in Section 49, Jalan Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur.
“This permission is granted specifically for education purposes.”
The chief secretary to the government and the Federal Territories land and mines director met Lady Superior of the Society of Saint Maur Theresa Chua Siu Yan, representing the school board, over the lease issue.
“Hopefully, with this, SMK Convent Bukit Nanas will continue to achieve success as a cluster school of excellence, producing high-quality national human capital,” said PMO.
Following the extension, Chua in a statement said she is grateful for the government’s decision.
“We thank God Almighty for giving us the grace and privilege to continue our vocation to educate children in this beautiful country.
“We also thank Malaysians for their love, care and concern towards the well-being of Convent Bukit Nanas, which has been educating children for some 122 years.
“The support for the school demonstrated over the past days has certainly encouraged us, particularly the teachers, who have toiled to ensure the children continue to receive a good education.”
Speaking to Bernama, CBN Alumni deputy president Junaidah Ishak expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support from all quarters.
“The long hours we (CBN Alumni) put in over the last three days turned out to be very fruitful. We truly appreciate all the media support we received, from TV, radio and online portals.
“The #saveconventbukitnanas petition saw almost 70,000 signatures… it became like a nationwide campaign.
“We hope that the heritage listing will be smooth, and that CBN will be able to maintain our ethos and continue to produce exceptional women for nation-building, for many more years to come.”
There had been public outrage following the school’s failure to obtain an extension on its land lease.
Several prominent Malaysian figures who are the school’s alumni slammed the government’s refusal to renew the lease.
Lawyer and human rights advocate Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said she was devastated to learn of the non-renewal.
“CBN has for so long provided top-quality education to countless students, and is, for all intents and purposes, a national treasure, and should be treated as such.”
She said the school should be a heritage site, adding that the authorities’ action in not renewing the lease beyond September “makes no sense at all”.
Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said Putrajaya should ensure heritage institutions like CBN remain where they are.
“More so, when they are institutions of learning, the pioneers in the nation’s development in the education sphere. In fact, instead of just giving the leasehold status of the land, such institutions should be given permanent titles to their sites. As such, it can be the motivation for long-term planning.
“As far as I am concerned, CBN gave me a good grounding of good values and principles, even as far back as primary school. And, the inculcation of discipline and a sense of responsibility. I would like to appeal to the authorities to consider giving CBN permanency of tenure over the site it is on.”
The all-girls school was established in 1899. In 1961, the Ruler in Council granted CBN a state lease.
In 2017, the school applied to renew the lease, but received a letter dated December 18, 2020 only in January this year.
See Original: The Vibes. (2021, April 22). Convent Bukit Nanas gets another 60 years on land lease. Thevibes.Com.