Wan Saiful: PTPTN will close shop if payment deferment continues

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Wan Saiful was quoted as saying the promise to delay repayments for borrowers earning less than RM4,000 would have a long-term negative effect on the fund. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has defended Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) failure to implement its manifesto pledge to defer repayments for borrowers.

Its chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan was quoted as saying the promise to delay repayments for borrowers earning less than RM4,000 would in turn have a long-term negative effect on the fund.

“We appreciate the suggestion by all quarters for PH to fulfil its election manifesto. However, we are unable to fulfil this promise right now,” he was quoted as saying in a report by the New Straits Times at the 2018 Education Career carnival in Arau, Perlis.

“We do not want [the implementation of delaying repayments] to result in the government having to close down PTPTN in the coming years due to a high debt burden.”

Wan Saiful also commented on a new repayment method being mooted by the fund, saying the mechanism is still being reviewed and subject to the approval of the Economics Affairs Ministry.

“I plead for the Economic Affairs Ministry to speed up the internal discussion process because we have been waiting for more than two months.

“As soon as they finalise a decision, we will bring this to the Cabinet where it will be decided if it can be implemented or otherwise,” he reportedly said.

Wan Saiful’s comments come on the back of Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim’s debate in the Dewan Rakyat last week, urging the government to fulfil its promise of payment deferment for PTPTN borrowers.

Hassan had also urged the government to restructure the fund so that it can still be of assistance to the youth and graduates.

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