KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Pakatan Harapan should strive to deliver its pledge to defer National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) payments when the country can afford this, said civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan.
The political secretary to DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said that while he accepted that weak finances made it difficult now, it should not be used as an excuse to abandon the pledge entirely.
“I understand the reason why the government cannot implement the manifesto promise and I also appreciate the frankness of Wan Saiful Wan Jan in apologising for not being able to implement that part of the manifesto.
“However, PH must still try our best to fulfil that promise, perhaps when the financial situation of the country is better,” he told Malay Mail.
Earlier today, PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful said it was not possible to honour the pledge to delay repayment for PTPTN borrowers until they begin earning more than RM4,000 a month as Malaysia’s finances were not robust enough to support this.
He also added that some RM40 billion still owed to PTPTN would be a burden on a national level and that failure to repay this would deny future students from pursuing their tertiary education.
Syahredzan added the PH government must now take additional steps to regain the confidence of young voters, saying this was certain to have repercussions on the youth vote.
“I am sure a lot of young people will be disappointed.
“Pakatan Harapan must ensure that despite this, they are still seen to take care of the welfare and aspirations of young people,” he said.