KUCHING, Oct 19 — The state government has decided to set up a special fund to help Sarawakian students to replace their loans with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said the fund will be managed by Yayasan Sarawak.
“The state Cabinet has discussed the setting up of the fund at our meeting recently,” he said a town hall session in Kuala Lumpur with Sarawakian students studying in institutions of higher learning in Peninsular Malaysia.
The chief minister said the state government wants the students to replace their PTPTN loans with the scholarships or loans from the special fund.
He said the state government will come up with the details of the special fund within six months and the mechanism of giving out the scholarships or loans to the students as replacements for their PTPTN loans.
“We may give you the money and for you to pay back all your loans,” he said.
“You give me within six months, and I want to find out the right formula so that you don’t have problems paying your debts with PTPTN,” the chief minister said.
He said the state government does not want the students to be burdened by their PTPTN loans after they have completed their studies later.
Abang Johari said the state government came up with the idea of setting up the special fund after the failure of the Pakatan Harapan federal government to fulfil its promise to abolish PTPTN after winning the 14th general election last year.
“The most important thing is that we must have the funds,” he said, adding that the state government has the money to set up the special fund.
“As I have said before we cannot totally depend on Putrajaya for funds. Let us manage Sarawak in our own way.
“We will expand our economy, create more job opportunities so that we have better living conditions for the state,” he said.