KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — The previous Pakatan Harapan administration had already agreed for borrowers of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) with salaries below RM4,000 a month to defer repayment of their study loans, said DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng.
Lim said the Pakatan Harapan administration was ready to implement this pledge although the formula, approved by PTPTN and the Finance Ministry, will see the government bear the brunt of the cost.
However, Lim said PH was unable to make the formal announcement on the initiative as the administration fell apart.
“The PH government had already agreed to implement the pledge in the PH General Election Manifesto to allow PTPTN borrowers to repay loans only when their monthly salaries exceed RM4,000.
“This formula by PTPTN and approved by the then Ministry of Finance, will result in the government having to bear additional loans on top of existing ones borne by the government to finance the PTPTN loans.
“Unfortunately, the PH government fell before this formal announcement could be made. Hopefully this pledge to help PTPTN borrowers to repay loans only when they earn more than RM4,000 monthly will still be fulfilled, despite the additional loan obligations that are to be incurred by the government,’’ he said.
In his statement, Lim also stated a list of PH government’s efforts to fulfill and deliver its manifesto promises progressively in the last 21 months, ranging from lowering the cost of living, providing new health protection and enhancing transparency, among others.
According to a parliamentary reply in October of 2019, PTPTN had approved RM72.1 billion loans to 3.14 million borrowers as of September 2019.
In the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, the coalition initially pledged to abolish PTPTN but failed to do so.
On Tuesday, PAS vice-president Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah stated that the Islamist party only pledged to abolish PTPTN if it were able to form the federal government on its own, rather than as part of a coalition like it is now under Perikatan Nasional.