Maszlee sets out with plans to fix problems

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 23 May 2018

PUTRAJAYA: Fresh graduates drawing a salary below RM4,000 could delay repayment of their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans once the details have been hashed out.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said he was working on this “100-day promise” of Pakatan Harapan and will meet with the Immigration Department soon to discuss blacklisting measures that are currently in place on PTPTN loan defaulters.

“I am confident borrowers will repay the loan when their salary hits RM4,000, and believe there will be more repaying their loans than defaulters in the future,” he told reporters after the handover of duties from his predecessor Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh at the Higher Education Ministry yesterday.

The Simpang Renggam MP, who believes the merging of the Higher Education and Education Ministries was “not a big issue”, said he was working on abolishing the Univer-sity and University Colleges Act 1971.

Dr Maszlee said he will maintain an office where the Education Ministry is located in Precinct One and the former higher education ministry office (now part of the education ministry) in Precinct Five, Putrajaya.

Dr Maszlee will also be meeting with various parties and stakeholders to discuss matters regarding the Unified Examination Certificate, an examination held by the United School Committees’ Association Malaysia for Chinese independent high school students.

Their views and opinions will be taken into consideration to reach a solution, he said.

Dr Maszlee did not rule out the possibility of providing free education in public universities.

“It is a noble idea and a good way forward. However, the Government is fixing a sunken ship right now. We will look into this proposal after the fixing is done,” said the minister.

He added that the ministry is committed to lightening the burden of teachers and students, as part of Pakatan Harapan’s promise.

Having teacher assistants is a plan that needs to be discussed further, but will be made a reality in five years, he said.

“My long-term goal is to make sure the education system of Malaysia is world class or on par with developed nations,” he said, adding that he also hopes to instil the value of “love and happiness” and mutual respect into the education sector.

Describing his appointment as “surreal”, Dr Maszlee said he is happy with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision and called for the public to respect the prime minister’s choice.

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