PETALING JAYA: The government’s new policies for National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers are inconsiderate, says MCA Youth chairman Nicole Wong Siaw Ting.
She said that Pakatan Harapan, in its general election manifesto, stated that it would defer repayment of PTPTN loans for borrowers earning RM4,000 a month and below.
Wong, in a statement, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s announcement to overturn the policy “disregards the trust and mandate given by the voters”.
During his Budget 2019 speech, Lim announced that the option of payment through deductions of between 2% and 15% from the borrower’s salary, based on their monthly income rate, would be applicable to borrowers earning more than RM1,000 a month.
Wong said most PTPTN borrowers were from low- or middle-income families.
“The government policy on monthly salary deduction will increase the financial pressure of borrowers.
“In fact, most fresh graduates earn ‘meagre’ salaries; how do they survive in Kuala Lumpur?” she added.
Wong said the previous Barisan Nasional government had taken great efforts, together with the Higher Education Ministry, to blacklist more than 500,000 PTPTN borrowers from travelling abroad.
She said this resulted in more than 300,000 defaulters coming forward to negotiate a repayment plan.
She said if defaulters were unable to repay the loan amount, further negotiation was allowed for debt restructuring.