PETALING JAYA: The budget presented last Friday is not considerate or sensitive to the demands of M40 students, who want a 100% funding rate for national higher education fund corporation (PTPTN) loans, Gerakan president Dominic Lau said.
He said if the government is unwilling to provide full loans to all social groups, it should grant flexibility to M40 students who wish to pursue programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
“Where is the pro-people incentive like a 100% PTPTN loan rate for the M40 community?
“It is disheartening when no avenue is offered to students from the M40 community, who are also likely to feel the negative effects of limited job opportunities and a weak economy,” he said in a statement.
On Thursday, the Malaysian Islamic Student Union had urged the government to consider increasing funding for all M40 categories.
Currently, the funding rate for PTPTN loans is set at 100% for the M1 category of the M40 group and 75% for categories M2 to M4.
Lau, however, praised the government’s efforts to create opportunities for women to re-enter the workforce and venture into entrepreneurship, but said there is not enough attention given to young working women.
“The prime minister’s announcement does not depict any direct action plan to improve the socio-economic status, expertise, and competitiveness of working women.
“This encouragement does not require additional allocation, it can be done in the form of higher education grants or full educational loans to enhance their marketability in their careers,” he said.