KUCHING: The state government will assist eligible Sarawakians to repay part of their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans through Yayasan Sarawak.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said RM30mil had been allocated in the state budget for this purpose.
"The assistance from the state government will be based on Yayasan Sarawak's procedures, as Yayasan Sarawak also provides loans to students.
"Otherwise there will be a discrepancy between students under PTPTN and those under Yayasan Sarawak.
"So Yayasan Sarawak will coordinate this assistance to ensure consistency," he said on Friday (March 5).
Abang Johari was witnessing the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding between Yayasan Sarawak and PTPTN on the repayment assistance.
He said the cooperation would help resolve the issue of outstanding loans faced by Sarawakian students and ease their financial burden.
Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang said about 9,000 students would benefit from the initiative, which would help them repay 30% of their outstanding loan balance.
To be eligible, he said, the students must have completed their studies and repaid at least 30% of their loans.
"Yayasan Sarawak will top up 30% of the balance," he said.
PTPTN chief executive Ahmad Dasuki Abdul Majid said Sarawak's initiative should be emulated by other state governments to assist PTPTN borrowers, particularly when incomes have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The Sarawak government has taken a proactive measure by allocating a large sum for this initiative," he said.