KUALA LUMPUR: All 429,945 National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan defaulters have been removed from the Immigration Department travel blacklist.
The entire exercise to “whitelist” these borrowers was completed on June 8, a week earlier than scheduled, says PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan.
“This also fulfils the Government’s 100-day manifesto for Malaysians,” he said at the PTPTN office yesterday.
This move enables some 1.8 million PTPTN defaulters to travel overseas, make and renew their passports without any restriction from the department.
Wan Saiful is the new PTPTN chairman. His two-year term started on June 18. He took over from Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, who resigned on May 15, about a week after Pakatan Harapan won the elections.
Wan Saiful said although the names of defaulters had been removed from the immigration blacklist, borrowers must continue to service their education loans.
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik announced earlier this month that the Government was working with the Immigration Department to remove PTPTN loan defaulters from the travel blacklist.
He had said this exercise was being carried out in stages beginning May 24.
Wan Saiful said the practice of listing all PTPTN borrowers in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) would continue.
“This does not mean borrowers are automatically blacklisted but that they will only be recorded in the system,” he said.
“If borrowers have a bad credit record, they will face difficulties in applying for personal loans, housing loans and car loans, as financial institutions look at a person’s credit history before approving loans.”
He stressed that PTPTN must maintain this measure to ensure borrowers repay their loans.
“We have to be strict about this,” he said, adding that “a debt is a debt”.