KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) will still be able to give out student loans annually in spite of the huge debt chalked up by previous recipients, said PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan.
He told Berita Harian that the government has allocated between RM3 billion and RM3.5 billion for some 190,000 students.
“We still have enough funds because the loans are guaranteed by the government,” Wan Saiful told the Malay daily.
“However the big issue is how far can the government handle the debt, which includes debts the previous government left?”
It was revealed late last year that PTPTN had incurred debts amounting to RM36 billion. Most of them are from unpaid loans.
Those who have evaded repaying their loans remain subject to Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) blacklisting and legal action.
“That’s why we hope those who still have outstanding loans to repay their debts as in every small way it’ll affect PTPTN,” Wan Saiful was quoted saying in Berita Harian.
In December last year, the tiered wage garnishment scheme was introduced where loanees will have an amount taken out from their accounts monthly till the loan was paid. This came under heavy scrutiny and was scrapped.
Wan Saiful was then asked if they had changed the repayment schemes from what the previous government had established to which he said they had not.
“We’re in the process of studying a new repayment mechanism and we will discuss it next month,” said Wan Saiful.
“After the previous idea was frozen we have to delve into detail how to reduce the burden on the students,” he added.