A father’s love rewarded

Wan Saiful (fourth from left) with Azmi (on his left), Lim (right) and other winners and guests at the prize-giving ceremony. — LOW BOON TAT/The Star

A FOOD caterer who decided to use his late wife’s pension for their children’s education through the National Higher Education Savings Scheme (SSPN-i) Plus account could not have been happier with the decision.

The father of three won RM100,000 in savings through a draw by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), which organised the contest.

Azmi Yusof, 42, could not believe the news when he received a call about winning the grand prize in the “Cabutan Wow! SSPN-i Plus 2018” annual contest.

“I was only sure I had won after receiving an email from PTPTN,” said Azmi who hails from Beranang, Selangor.

He said he lost his wife, a teacher, in 2016 to leukaemia and decided to channel her pension money into their three children’s future education.

“The decision brought us good luck. The win is a windfall for my children and we will use it for their studies,” said Azmi who set up three Pakej Intan accounts for his children aged between seven and 13.

He opted to have RM30 deducted each month under the SSPN-I Plus account beginning April last year.

The second prize was RM50,000.

Teacher Chin Moi Jen, 54, from Batu Caves, won the third prize of RM10,000.

Her daughter Lim Jia Kei, 20, said her mother opened two Zamrud accounts in December 2017 with monthly deposits of RM200 each for her and a sibling.

“I am happy as the money will be useful for our education,” said Lim, a first-year law student at Brickfields Asia College.

Another prize went to the police as one of nine government agencies and ministries to receive PTPTN’s appreciation for awarding SSPN incentives to their personnel for excellent service.

Bukit Aman Management Department representative DSP Dr S. Sivabalan said the police collaborated with PTPTN this year to identify deserving personnel to receive contributions for their children.

He said 9,981 police personnel nationwide were given RM1,000 to open SSPN savings accounts for their children as an incentive for their excellent service.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the fund implemented numerous strategies to encourage Malaysians to start saving early through SSPN.

He said its two products – SSPN-I (launched in 2004) and SSPN-i Plus (introduced in 2015) – rebranded PTPTN as an education fund rather than merely providing study loans.

“We hope SSPN instils the savings habit among Malaysians.

“When a baby is born and a week old, we hope the parents will open a savings account so that it will be easier for the child to further his or her studies when they reach 18,” he said.

Wan Saiful said SSPN offered account holders attractive features such as competitive dividends, takaful protection and tax reliefs of up to RM8,000.

“Organisations can also decide to award SSPN accounts as gifts. I urge all parties, especially government agencies, to use SSPN as an incentive to recognise their best employees.

”We have also introduced various promotional programmes like draws to encourage new depositors and show our appreciation to existing depositors.

He said up to May 31, 4.1 million accounts had been opened with savings amounting to RM4.9bil.

Meanwhile, PTPTN Public Relations and Event Management senior general manager Abdul Ghaffar Yusop said the corporation had 6,000 “Friends of PTPTN” organisations, including schools, ministries, government agencies and private sector companies.

“Employers repaying the study loans of their employees will also get to enjoy tax reliefs, possibly from this month,” he said.

Abdul Ghaffar urged parents to start saving for their children’s future education to avoid the burden of debts.

The event also included the launch of the “Cabutan Hadiah 15 Tahun SSPN-I” and “Cabutan Wow! SSPN-i Plus 2019 draws, and a Hari Raya gathering.

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