GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been urged to use its acquisition powers to take over the land and buildings of three iconic convent schools that have decided to close in 2024.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said the three schools – Convent Light Street (CLS), which houses both primary and secondary schools, and Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT), which is a secondary school – were important historically to Penang and Malaysia’s education system.
“I urge the state government to take the necessary steps to acquire the said land under the Land Acquisition Act 1960 in the event the landowners insist on taking it back.
“There is no doubt that this option is open to them as it is certainly in the public interest and for a public purpose to preserve the said schools.
“They are iconic structures in Penang and will continue to contribute immensely to the cause of education in the state, as they have in the past,” Ramkarpal said in a statement today.
The missionary that owns the land and the buildings – the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (SIJ) – has informed the education ministry it wants to repossess the land.
The schools were previously operated by SIJ before they were nationalised in the 1970s.
Ramkarpal said while acquiring the land would incur costs to the government, it was the only way to save the schools and maintain them as they were.
He urged parents and teachers to support the proposal.
“It would be very sad indeed if CLS and CPT no longer stand where they are today, and all efforts ought to be made to ensure they remain, more so from Penangites,” he said.