PTPTN ‘sorry’ for back­ing out

Coun­try’s debt sit­u­a­tion made it im­pos­si­ble to keep prom­ise

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By RE­BECCA RAJAENDRAM ed­u­cate@thes­

KUALA LUMPUR: The Na­tional Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Fund Cor­po­ra­tion (PTPTN) has backed down from a prom­ise to al­low bor­row­ers to only be­gin ser­vic­ing their loans once their salary hits RM4,000, say­ing that it is owed al­most RM40­bil.

Its chair­man Wan Sai­ful Wan Jan, who con­trib­uted the pledge for Pakatan Hara­pan’s elec­tion man­i­festo, apol­o­gised for back­ing out but stressed that it was in­evitable due to the coun­try’s debt sit­u­a­tion.

“I feel re­spon­si­ble be­cause I wrote the prom­ise in the Buku Hara­pan man­i­festo af­ter get­ting in­put from var­i­ous par­ties,” he said dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mony for the 10th Gen­eral Meet­ing of the Fed­er­a­tion Of Malay Stu­dents Union here yes­ter­day.

Wan Sai­ful said he was un­aware of the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial stand­ing at that time, as they did not have ac­cess to the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion.

“Many peo­ple are de­mand­ing that the Pakatan govern­ment ex­e­cutes its pledge to de­fer PTPTN loan re­pay­ment for those earn­ing be­low RM4,000,” he said.

How­ever, he said if PTPTN were to go ahead with the plan, stu­dents would not be able to ob­tain loans, and this would jeop­ar­dise their pur­suit for a ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

Wan Sai­ful said de­spite con­certed ef­forts over the past months seek­ing ways to ful­fil the pledge, it could not be done.

In Bud­get 2019, the govern­ment an­nounced a sched­uled re­pay­ment scheme of be­tween 2% and 15% of the monthly in­come of bor­row­ers to en­sure PTPTN’s sus­tain­abil­ity.

The re­pay­ment sched­ule for bor­row­ers is de­pen­dent on their in­come and only ap­pli­ca­ble to those earn­ing over RM1,000 a month.

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