PTPTN groping in the dark

For almost a year now, since Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government, the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is still ding-donging the best way out to resolve its loan recovery process. Seriously, do they know what they are doing?

There was a proposal made earlier to recover the outstanding loans. However, due to protests, it was not carried out. Since then, we have not heard much except that PTPTN is now in the midst of gathering more feedback from stakeholders.

Seriously, I wonder what is so difficult unless we have an agenda other than recovering the money owed to PTPTN.

Loans must be repaid, otherwise how can PTPTN extend new loans to other students in need of financial assistance?

To be fair, student loan recovery should rightly be based on the ability and capability of borrowers to pay back. Sometimes, I think we are just spending too much time discussing the repayment criteria to no avail.

With proper computerisation and management information system, PTPTN can actually decide on the quantum of repayment of all borrowers/defaulters based on a “case-by-case” basis.

The most important consideration is for PTPTN to update its database.

Does PTPTN have:

  1.  The full names and identity card numbers of all borrowers/defaulters?
  2.  The amounts owed by each borrower/defaulter?
  3.  The income of each borrower/defaulter?
  4.  The employers?
  5.  The number of dependents of each borrower/defaulter?

The first step really is to get the information up-to-date. If records are readily available, PTPTN would have no difficulty deciding on the quantum of repayment that is reasonable for PTPTN to recoup the money while, at the same time, not imposing a heavy burden on the borrower/defaulter.

My concern is PTPTN may not have this information in hand. It is time for PTPTN to issue an ultimatum to all borrowers/defaulters to provide complete information, failing which they will face a travel ban again.

With complete information obtained, it is not that difficult to decide on the quantum of repayment, based on salary and number of dependents of each borrower/defaulter.

If it is not legal to deduct the salary of borrowers/defaulters to repay PTPTN, then make it legal.

Look, loan recovery process must begin somewhere. Even deducting RM30 a month from a borrower’s salary is still better than nothing.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.