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Ex-student fails in suit against PTPTN

 | May 30, 2012

The Sessions Court ruled that the former student failed to prove that he was unlawfully detained.

FULL REPORT

KUALA LUMPUR: National Higher Education Corporation Fund (PTPTN) loan recipient Mandeep Singh today failed in his bid to sue the student loan’s body for defamation.

Mandeep, the former University Selangor (Unicel) student, was prevented from leaving the country last year as he was blacklisted for falling back in his payment on his study loan.

He filed the suit as he claimed that he was still blacklisted even after clearing his outstanding payment.

Sessions Court judge Unaizah Mohd today said that she found no grounds for Mandeep’s case.

“Based on the witness accounts and documents provided, I find that the plaintiff failed to prove that he was unlawfully detained.

“He also failed to prove that PTPTN acted in bad faith against him and he failed to prove that he had lost his freedom [of movement],” she said.

She added that the costs incurrred during the trial will be calculated by the court and will be borne by Mandeep.

Met outside the court, Mandeep said that although he was “disappointed”, this was not the end of the “fight” as he will still appeal the decision.

“The court decision makes me more spirited [to take on PTPTN). We will continue to fight PTPTN... our goal is for free education. This ruling will not stop us at all. This is just the beginning," he said.

Mandeep's lawyer, Abdul Malik Hakim, said that the full details of the decision will only be revealed in a written judgment.

"We will most likely get the written judgment in a month's time," he said when contacted.

Parti Sosialis Malaysia's (PSM) secretary-general S Arutchelvam and PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli were both present to show their support.

Arutchelvam said the case was important as it meant that former students could still be blacklisted even after settling their payments.

Political issue

Rafizi hoped the court was not being biased as PTPTN has become a political issue.

"Mandeep took a principled stance on behalf of millions of Malaysians. Many of these PTPTN loan recipients are treated as petty criminals.

"We hope Mandeep will pursue this case and the court will not be influenced [by the fact] that
PTPTN has become a political issue,” he said.

Mandeep filed the defamation suit on Sept 20, 2011, after he was detained by Immigration officers at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, Sepang, on July 6 as he was departing for a holiday in Guangzhao, China.

He was detained even after he had settled his outstanding loan payment on March 8, 2011.

After settling the payment, he asked PTPTN to remove his name from the Immigration database but the fund failed to do so.

Mandeep was blacklisted by PTPTN in December 2010 when he did not pay loan for a few months.

He sought RM19,000 in special damages for the flight ticket and hotel booking as well as interests, costs and other relief.

The court dismissed PTPTN’s application to strike out the case on Feb 13 this year. The matter then went for full trial on April 9, 12 and May 11 this year.


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