KUALA LUMPUR – September 24, 2018: Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik is under fire again for his statement urging people not to politicise the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) issue.
Yesterday, Maszlee reportedly said that “whathever the manifesto (Pakatan Harapan) says, borrowers have to pay the loan.”
He further took aim at the opposition, which he claimed wanted to just politicise the issue although it concerns the behaviour and moral of PTPTN borrowers.
“When you borrow money, you have to pay, even at RM10 a month,” Maszlee said after a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Siputeh.
Former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin sneered at Mazlee’s statement through his Twitter account, sarcastically telling PTPTN debtors to only start re-paying their loans after earning RM 4,000 a month. He was obviously referring to Pakatan’s promise to defer the repayment for borrowers earning less than this sum a month.
Khairy’s tweet was retweeted almost 5,000 times and recorded almost 4,ooo likes.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also took a jab at Maszlee through Facebook, labelling him a hypocrite for lashing out at PTPTN borrowers.
“For 10 years, the then opposition had incited borrowers not to repay their loans and now they are attacked for not repaying!
“PTPTN borrowers are only seeking to hold PH to its manifesto’s promise,” said Najib, whose post garnered over 11,000 likes and close to 2,000 shares.
Besides opposition figures, many Malaysians are showing their unhappiness with Pakatan’s latest stance and are attacking Maszlee via social media.
Twitter user Hermy Rahim called Maszlee stupid for attacking the opposition on the issue.
“Who was the one that camped in Dataran Merdeka to abolish PTPTN? Who was the one who promised to abolish PTPTN? Was it your grandmother?” asked Hermy.
Another Twitter user Faekah Husin lambasted Maszlee for saying borrowers with high moral value should pay back their loans.
“Yes it’s true, borrowers with moral will pay their debt. Also remember that leaders that have moral and dignity will not encourage people to not pay their debt, promising to cancel or give discounts but fail to deliver once the people give their trust,” she said.
Last week, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad lambasted PTPTN borrowers, calling them untrustworthy and that he was ashamed with their failure to pay up even when they can afford it.
Mahathir also attracted a lot of heat from the opposition and public, with many labelling him a hypocrite since his party Pribumi Bersatu had promised to defer PTPTN repayments in its manifesto.
Pakatan, after coming to power in May, also removed the names of PTPTN defaulters from the Immigration travel blacklist.