KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he will speak to Education Minister Maszlee Malik about the public backlash to the National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s (PTPTN) proposed wage garnishment.
The Port Dickson MP also showed reporters his smartphone that he said was being “overwhelmed” with messages from PKR members about the announcement.
“I will raise concerns of the borrowers for consideration of the minister and the chairman as soon as possible,” he said in Parliament’s lobby today.
Asked about criticism of Maszlee’s performance in the portfolio, Anwar urged the people to exercise patience with this as the latter has only been a minister for six months.
PTPTN chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan announced yesterday that the agency will garnish the wages of borrowers earning above RM2,000 monthly at tiered rates ranging from 2 per cent to 15 per cent.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress president Abdul Halim Mansor questioned the legality of the scheme, saying the law only permitted mandatory wage cuts for selected statutory bodies such as the Inland Revenue Department, the Employees Provident Fund and the Social Security Organisation.
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said the proposal was complicated and burdensome on private firms as it was unlike income tax and EPF deductions that were applicable to all employees.
Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan felt the scheme would unfairly penalise those already repaying promptly as this would cause a spike in their monthly obligations, and urged the PTPTN to state clearly who it intends to be included in its proposed wage garnishment.