Local Politics

Mahathir has no right to lament about PTPTN defaulters

KHAIRY JAMALUDDIN

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – September 20, 2018: Rembau’s Umno MP Khairy Jamaluddin has objected to Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s reprove of PTPTN loan defaulters.

The former Umno Youth leader tacitly implied on Twitter that Pakatan Harapan had contributed to the RM36 billion of unpaid loans the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) had accumulated.

Mahathir had today lambasted PTPTN defaulters, calling them untrustworthy and that he was ashamed with their failure to pay up even when they can afford to do so.

“Who was the one who removed them from blacklist? Who was the one who promised that they need to repay only after they earn RM4,000 a month? What is your (Mahathir) plan to increase the repayment rate?” read Khairy’s tweet.

Khairy was referring to Pakatan’s electoral promise to allow borrowers to defer payments and remove the names of defaulters’ name from the Immigration travel blacklist. As of June, 429,945 borrowers had been removed from the blacklist.

The promises were a scaled-down version of the coalition’s initial campaign to abolish PTPTN altogether.

In July, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman caused an outcry on social media for doing a turn-around over the promises, saying those with less commitments should settle their loans despite a salary of less than RM4,000.

Last year, it was revealed that some PTPTN borrowers with a monthly salary as high as RM10,000 were paying back only RM50 per month and that 96 per cent of students who had completed their studies between 2014 and 2016 were listed in the Central Credit Reference Information System for not repaying their loans.

Since its inception in 2012, the fund has given out RM43 billion to 1.9 million students.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]