Anwar: Smart move to put off new PTPTN repayment scheme

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim welcomes postponement of new PTPTN repayment scheme. (Bernama pic)

ALOR SETAR: The government’s decision to postpone the scheduled salary deduction scheme for the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) was a smart move which took into consideration the unhappiness of borrowers.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said he believed Education Minister Maszlee Malik had given due consideration to the protests by borrowers over the scheme.

“We welcome the explanation given by the minister who took into consideration the protests and unhappiness of the borrowers because under the scheme, the repayment for study loans is more than before.”

Anwar spoke after the closing ceremony of the Kedah PH Leadership Convention – “Kedah Government: Challenges and Hopes” — held here today.

In a posting on Twitter today, Maszlee said the scheme had been postponed for the ministry to gather the views and recommendations from all stakeholders.

Earlier, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had cautioned that the PTPTN issue could lead to Pakatan Harapan’s downfall.

He said this is why the issue must be properly discussed by all parties as it affected the cost of living — often a major concern among the younger generation.

“When we talk about the PTPTN, I have to defend (the interests of the younger generation) and bring it to the Cabinet to find a comprehensive solution,” he said at a talk organised by Sinar Harian here today.

Syed Saddiq said PTPTN must ensure any new repayment scheme for its borrowers is fair.

At the same time, he said, borrowers currently paying for their loans according to the schedule set by PTPTN must also be taken into consideration as they had signed the repayment contract before the new schedule was released.

“We cannot treat everyone the same.

“Borrowers will find it too much of a burden if they have to suddenly pay RM600 to RM700, when prior to this they were paying only RM100 to RM200 each month.”

On Wednesday, PTPTN had announced that those earning at least RM2,000 a month will have to start repaying their study loans under a new scheme that involves deductions from their salaries.

The decision drew a lot of flak, including from politicians, who demanded that it be reviewed.