Court allows lawyer to be exempted from paying PTPTN loan

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 02 Mar 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: A lawyer won her appeal in challenging the decision of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) for refusing to exempt her from paying for a study loan after she obtained a first-class law degree.  

Court of Appeal judge Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who chaired a three-man panel, unanimously allowed the appeal by Teh Guat Hong on Thursday.  

"We find merit in the appeal," she said.

There was no order as to costs.  

Teh's lead counsel Irwin Lo said with the ruling, his client could now get an exemption from paying her study loan.  

"It will be treated as a scholarship. It will be a precedent for other students who face similar situation," he said.  

In her court papers, Teh, 38, said PTPTN had contended that the law degree offered by University of London at Kemayan Advance Tertiary College here was not recognised by the National Accreditation Board at the time.  

She said she applied for a study loan in 1999 or early 2000 and PTPTN approved her application two years later and paid the money directly to the college.  

Among others, she said she was advised by PTPTN that she was qualified for an exemption on the study loan as she obtained a first-class with honours in her course.   

However, in 2006, she said PTPTN rejected her application on grounds that her course was not recognised by the National Accreditation Board.  

Teh applied again on Feb 27, 2006, but her bid was denied again in 2009.   

She was informed on Feb 12, 2014, that PTPTN had rejected her appeal on grounds that only courses recognised by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency could be considered for exemption of payment of study loan.  

In her application for a judicial review, Teh said such a decision not only adversely affected her but also other individuals who were in a similar situation like her. 

In her affidavit, she said the decision was a discrimination to students who enrol in courses where the institutions of higher learning have not or failed to obtain the accreditation certification before they completed their studies.  

Lo said High Court judge (Appellate and Special Powers) Justice Asmabi Mohamad had dismissed the judicial review application last year on grounds that Teh was not entitled for exemption because when she graduated, the certificate of accreditation was not issued for her course.  

PTPTN lawyer Hazizah Kassim argued that Teh did not satisfy the preconditions to enjoy exemption, saying that the course must get accreditation from the board. 

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