KUALA LUMPUR: The threshold for the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) monthly salary deduction has been increased to RM2,000 and above, says Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.
“In order to ease the burden of PTPTN borrowers, the Cabinet decided at a meeting on Nov 23 that the mandatory salary deduction of 2% or RM40 a month will be imposed on PTPTN borrowers earning RM2,000 and above.
“The salary deduction will increase progressively to 15%,” she said when answering a question raised by Wong Kah Woh (PH-Ipoh Timur) in Parliament yesterday.
During the Budget 2019 announcement on Nov 2, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that mandatory salary deduction of between 2% and 15% would be imposed on borrowers earning a monthly salary of RM1,000 and above.
Lim also announced that students who graduated with a first-class honours could no longer convert their loans to a scholarship.
This conversion privilege only applied to those from the B40 group.
However, Teo said yesterday that the Cabinet had also agreed to include those from the M40 category.
“The exemption for students obtaining first-class honours from the lower income B40 group has been extended to those under the middle income M40 group.
“As for those under the T20 (high income) group, we hope they will continue to repay their loans as they come from affluent families,” she said.
She said the loan-to-scholarship entitlement applied to students from both private and public institutions of higher learning.
As at October this year, Teo said a total of 53,113 students with first-class honours were exempted from repaying their loans.
She said this involved 37,355 students from public universities and 15,758 students from private universities.
The Cabinet’s decision was made after students from Mahasiswa Malaysia 2018 held a protest march to Parliament on Nov 22.
The group said student interests, especially PTPTN, had not been protected under Budget 2019.