KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 663,000 National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers have not paid back a sen.
PTPTN chairman Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said borrowers who did not take their debts seriously were a burden to the government.
This could also affect its ability to assist the next generation of Malaysians to pursue higher education.
“Since PTPTN was established in 1997, as of Jan 31, we have disbursed RM48.7 billion in student loans.
“By now, we should have collected RM18.8 billion back but we have managed to collect only RM10.8 billion, meaning many borrowers are in arrears.
“According to our records, 663,000 students owing a total of RM4.7 billion have not repaid their loans at all,” he said here today.
He said after careful consideration, PTPTN had decided to blacklist the loan defaulters.
“We have no choice; they must be blacklisted so that the money flows back to us smoothly.”
Even so, he said, of the 663,000 defaulters, only 19% had been blacklisted because they owed too much.
Earlier, Shamsul launched the #BolehBincang campaign aimed at persuading loan defaulters to discuss their problems with PTPTN, which was ever willing to negotiate.
There are 2.6 million borrowers in arrears.
“The borrowers can talk to PTPTN easily and quickly through various channels to work out how they can settle the debt, including by converting the conventional loans into ‘ujrah’ loans for repayment.
“We realise there are those who wish to settle their debts but are afraid there is no way to do it.
“But we are always open to negotiations.”
He said the campaign would dispel the notion that PTPTN collected its debts without giving any room for negotiations.
PTPTN has set up 24-hour counters at the klia2 low-cost carrier terminal to enable defaulters who are blacklisted to repay their loans so they are no longer barred from leaving the country
Last year, PTPTN collected RM3.4 billion in loan repayments.
Shamsul said it aimed to increase the sum to RM4 billion this year.