The pledge by the Pakatan Harapan government to National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers earning less than RM4,000 a month will take more time to be fulfilled.
Due to the debt situation inherited from the previous administration, the government had to defer its “promise”.
Borrowers earning less than RM4,000 a month will have to continue paying their PTPTN loan for now, said Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.
He explained that the Pakatan manifesto was prepared based on the financial figures reported by the previous government in 2017. However, as the country’s debt is revealed, the Manifesto Implementation Main Taskforce, which has been set up to discuss and finalise the details of Pakatan’s promises, will now look for ways to fulfil this promise.
“The ministry needs time to find the best way to fulfil this promise within the 100 days,” he added.
“We hope PTPTN borrowers can continue repaying their loans as repaying a loan is part of our moral responsibilities,” said Dr Maszlee.
He also said that the government was working with the Immigration Department to remove PTPTN loan defaulters from the travel blacklist. This exercise has begun on May 24, and will continue until June 15.
According to PTPTN chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusuf, there are one million borrowers blacklisted, of which about 655,000 have started repaying their loans. The remaining borrowers will be removed from the blacklist gradually.
However, borrowers would continue to be listed under the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) and that the discounts for repayment, as announced in Budget 2018, would remain.