GEORGE TOWN: The Education Ministry has defended the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) over its statement to re-introduce a travel ban.
Its minister Dr Maszlee Malik said it was a misunderstanding, adding that PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan could have responded in such a manner while answering a question from newsmen.
“Did he say that? What we are doing now is having public consultation on the best way to handle the PTPTN loan repayment and not impose a travel ban.
“The agency should clarify the misunderstanding,” Maszlee said at SJK(T) Sungai Ara yesterday.
Wan Saiful’s statement drew criticism from various quarters, including PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who had questioned the need for such a measure.
Anwar said the defaulters should be given some space as many did not have jobs and should not be pressured.
Penang exco member Dr Afif Bahardin said the travel ban should not be considered at all as it was something practised by the previous government.
“Wan Saiful should be reminded that the PTPTN issue was a ‘rallying cry’ for Pakatan Harapan Youth in the GE14 where we galvanised the youth nationwide for a new formula to be carried out on PTPTN loan repayments.
“If Wan Saiful is not able to defend the Pakatan promise, he has to reconsider his position as the corporation’s chairman,” said Afif.
On Tuesday, Wan Saiful had said that Putrajaya would have the final say on whether to impose the travel ban, which he said was one of the most effective means of getting defaulters to service their loans.