PETALING JAYA: There has been a drop in the average monthly collection by National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) this year.
PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the drop began in January 2018, about the same time Pakatan Harapan released its manifesto for the 14th General Election.
“Last time, the average monthly loan collection was more than RM300mil per month but since January, the monthly collection has not exceeded RM300mil and has dropped to only RM200.45mil in May,” he said at the PTPTN office here yesterday.
PTPTN deputy chief executive Mastura Mohd Khalid attributed the drop to Pakatan’s pledge to allow fresh graduates who earn less than RM4,000 to delay settling their loans.
She said that borrowers took on a wait-and-see attitude when the announcement was made by the coalition.
“There was definitely a drop (in payment collection) and we expect the drop to continue once this is implemented,” said Wan Saiful.
“But it is our responsibility and challenge as the new PTPTN to face the challenges of the current situation (in the country),” he added, referring to the promise in the manifesto.
In March, former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in 2015, the amount repaid to PTPTN was RM1.45bil.
This amount increased to RM3.43bil in 2016 and RM3.98bil last year.
He added that steps must be taken to ensure graduates repay their loans to safeguard the continuity of the fund and help other students in need.
On another matter, Wan Saiful said the corporation was still in discussion about allowing those earning less than RM4,000 to delay repaying their loans.
This is also part of Pakatan’s 100-day manifesto.
“The Education Ministry and PTPTN are working hard to obtain borrowers’ income details and hope that the Public Service Department, Inland Revenue Board, Employees Provident Fund, Retirement Fund Inc and the Armed Forces Fund Board will work together with us,” he said.
He said they were facing difficulty in obtaining income details due to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.
The final announcement will be made by Aug 17, the 100-day mark of the Pakatan manifesto.
Borrowers will have to continue paying their loans for now until the Government has worked out a way to fulfil its manifesto pledge.
Currently, the grace period for loan repayment is 12 months upon completion of study, as compared to the six-month period previously.