AYER KEROH: PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir voiced concern today that speculation over the transition of power from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim is affecting economic stability in the country.
“I believe the Pakatan Harapan presidential council will ensure a smooth transition of power from Mahathir to Anwar.
“We remain firm in our support for the government to guarantee this smooth transition, but at the same time, speculation and unrest is stunting economic growth and giving our enemies room to derail this plan.”
In his policy speech at the PKR Youth congress in Melaka, Akmal also spoke of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) which recently revealed that more than 375,000 borrowers had yet to repay their loans.
Blaming low salaries in part for this, he said PTPTN, which he called an “outdated” remnant of the Barisan Nasional government, should be dismantled and replaced with a more holistic and sustainable programme.
“These borrowers are not just tied down by this debt but also by low wages. In fact, 68% of PTPTN borrowers are still in the B40 category,” he said.
If not handled correctly, he said, the government’s burden of liability which increases by RM2 billion to RM3 billion each year would balloon to RM76 billion in the next 20 years.
He also called for a “mandatory” reduction in foreign workers over the next five years, to 10% of the total workforce from the current 15% or 2.3 million to 2.4 million people.