KUALA LUMPUR: A Perikatan Nasional MP has hit out at Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim over a proposal to collect student loan repayments through automatic monthly salary deductions.
Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan said a similar proposal was mooted when he served as National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) chairman in 2018.
However, Wan Saiful said the idea, which would involve deductions of up to 15% of the monthly salaries of those earning above RM2,000, was rejected by Anwar then.
The initiative was then postponed.
Subsequently, Anwar welcomed the government’s decision to postpone the initiative as the repayment for the loans would have been higher under the scheme.
Currently, payment of PTPTN loans through salary deductions is on a voluntary basis.
Wan Saiful also claimed Anwar and Johor Bahru MP Akmal Nasrullah Nasir had opposed the idea as it was unpopular.
“It’s clear the objections (to the idea) were hastily done and only in the interests of popularity,” he told a press conference in Parliament.
Wan Saiful said the postponement of the initiative did not solve PTPTN’s problems and this was why the government was revisiting the idea.
Last week, Anwar said the government was mulling making PTPTN loan repayments compulsory through monthly salary deductions.
In a speech read out by deputy prime minister Fadillah Yusof at an event, Anwar said recovering PTPTN loans remained a challenge.
The prime minister said the move was seen as the “most practical and least-burdensome” proposal.