Khat: High Court dismisses judicial review application by Ng, standard 4 pupil

Dominique Ng Kim Ho

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, Oct 30: The High Court here dismissed the judicial review application by a father of a Malay-medium national school standard 4 pupil and counsel Dominique Ng Kim Ho for a Certiorari Order be issued by the court to annul and/or quash the decision of the Ministry of Education to teach khat as a compulsory subject in Standard 4.

Judicial Commissioner of High Court Alexander Siew How Wai today dismissed the application to file a judicial review after hearing the oral submissions by Ng, who is also Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration (SAPA) president, on the grounds that the application was filed out of the timeframe, which is August 18, 2020.

Ng, who is representing the father of a SK standard 4 pupil, filed in the application for judicial review on August 18 against the Minister of Education, Malaysia and the government of Malaysia.

Ng said that he filed in the application for judicial review on August 18 because of the Movement Control Order (MCO) implemented by the government since March 18 and schools were closed until August 17.

He needed to get more thorough details of the khat (Jawi calligraphy) implemented in Malay-medium national schools in the Primary 4 Malay subject, hence he had to wait until the reopening of schools and filed the application the day after the school was reopened.

However, Siew said that the news of the implementation of khat in Malay-medium national schools as Primary 4 Malay curriculum was reported on both judicial media and online media.

“The court finds that the delay in filing the application partly made sense but unaccepted.

Therefore, the court declined to extend the matter, the court no longer has to consider the merit or otherwise of the application and therefore dismissed the application,” he said.

Ng, in his earlier submissions, pointed out that the teaching of khat in national schools as part of the Bahasa Melayu curriculum infringed Article 12 of the Federal Constitution which in Article 12(3) says, “No person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own.”

The Ministry of Education was represented by Senior Federal Counsel Leo Saggah and counsel Jessica Lee while the applicant was represented by counsel Dominique Ng, Cherishe Ng and Berrylin Ng. — DayakDaily