PTPTN borrowers want return of full-settlement discounts

Mastura Malak

Student activists holding placards during a protest in front of Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur on November 14, 2018. – The Malaysian Insight pic, November 23, 2019.

NATIONAL Higher Education Fund Corp (PTPTN) borrowers are upset there are no incentives or alternatives for them in the recently tabled Budget 2020.

They told The Malaysian Insight that the government could at least continue the 20% discount given for settling their study loans in a lump sum.

The discount was introduced by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government but discontinued by the present Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“I have paid off my PTPTN debts using my Employees Provident Fund savings. This is supposed to be my savings when I am old but I have used it to settle my study loan.

“However, unfortunately there is no 20% discount for me. Is this how the government shows that it cares for the people?

“What has happened to their election promises?” said engineer Shahfizul Suradi, 30.

For Shahira Othman, 29, her intention to settle her loan in full has to be put off because of the lack of discount.

“Last year, when I wanted to settle part of my loan, PTPTN said I am entitled to the 20% discount if I settle the full amount.

“At that time, I didn’t have enough money so I went back again recently with enough money to settle the loan in full but I was told the discount is no longer available.

“This left me quite disappointed,” she said.

Azrie Faiz, 31, also feels similarly disillusioned with the government.

“I am disappointed with the Budget 2020 as nothing about PTPTN is there.

“During the last general election, PH spoke about PTPTN issues and said they will help borrowers.

“But now their promises remain just that, nothing has been done. Even if they can’t abolish our PTPTN loans, at least bring back the discounts for repayments,” he said.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan says the fund’s non-performing loans in 2018 amounted to RM6.4 billion. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 23, 2019.

When contacted, PTPTN deputy chief executive Mastura Mohd Khalid said the government is firm in its decision to do away with the discount.

“The discount was given from 2012 and ended on December 31, 2018. 

“From the beginning of this year, we have decided not to give any discounts for the borrowers.

“There will also be no such allocations for such discounts for 2020. This depends of government’s allocations and right now the focus is to settle the government’s debts.”  

However, she said that if there are funds available in 2020, the government may decide to introduce the discounts again.

Last month, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the cabinet will decide on a new repayment mechanism for PTPTN before the year ends.

He told Dewan Rakyat that the fund has identified a new repayment scheme following recommendations gathered from various roundtable discussions with various parties, including banking institutions, parents and students.

Maszlee also said RM1.5 billion had be repaid to PTPTN between January and August this year, which is about half of the RM3.03 billion collected for the same period in 2017.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan had said the fund’s non-performing loans in 2018 amounted to RM6.4 billion, attributable to one million former tertiary students.

It was revealed that some 616,000 borrowers had failed to repay loans in a consistent manner, leading to around RM3.6 billion of arrears as at 2018.

Over 50% or 356,000 borrowers have not paid a single sen to PTPTN, with RM2.8 billion of arrears, while 26% or 499,000 students managed to settle RM5.9 billion worth of loans.

The remaining 23% or 438,000 have been paying consistently to the fund.

PH had promised to defer payments of all graduates earning below RM4,000 per month in the 14th general election.

Last year, the government announced an Income-Contingent Loan Repayment scheme but it was halted following criticism. – November 24, 2019.

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  • Another stupid move by the Pakatan government..

    Posted 4 years ago by Elyse Gim · Reply

  • There are 3 million plus voters under 18 eligible to vote in GE15. If PH govt not coming up with better incentive repayment scheme, WHY SHOULD THE YOUNGSTERS VOTE PH? PH dare to take away the 20% full payment discount is a suicide decision. Stupid PH govt.

    Posted 4 years ago by James Wong · Reply

  • Above 18

    Posted 4 years ago by James Wong · Reply