KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasir urged the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to reconsider its wage garnishment plan starting next year, saying the sudden announcement would cause unreasonable burden to debtors.
Highlighting the negative reactions to the proposal, the Johor Baru MP said consultations should have been made to arrive at a payment structure that would not strain the finances of the student loan takers.
“Aside from the excessive increase in repayment rates compared to monthly income, the matter must also be examined from the point of existing repayment agreements between PTPTN and the borrowers,” he said in a statement.
He added that this was not the first time the corporation has invited controversy over its loan repayments, noting that it previously aimed to begin collections from those earning as little as RM1,000 monthly.
Akmal said that PTPTN should at least delay its plan if it is adamant on the tiered scheme that will deduct salaries of those earning above RM2,000 a month at a rate of 2 per cent to 15 per cent.
The PKR Youth chief also requested a meeting with PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan to discuss the issue.
Wan Saiful 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.