KUALA LUMPUR: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has backed down from a promise to allow borrowers to only begin servicing their loans once their salary hits RM4,000, saying that it is owed almost RM40bil.
Its chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who contributed the pledge for Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto, apologised for backing out but stressed that it was inevitable due to the country’s debt situation.
“I feel responsible because I wrote the promise in the Buku Harapan manifesto after getting input from various parties,” he said during the closing ceremony for the 10th General Meeting of the Federation Of Malay Students Union here yesterday.
Wan Saiful said he was unaware of the country’s financial standing at that time, as they did not have access to the necessary information.
“Many people are demanding that the Pakatan government executes its pledge to defer PTPTN loan repayment for those earning below RM4,000,” he said.
However, he said if PTPTN were to go ahead with the plan, students would not be able to obtain loans, and this would jeopardise their pursuit for a tertiary education.
Wan Saiful said despite concerted efforts over the past months seeking ways to fulfil the pledge, it could not be done.
In Budget 2019, the government announced a scheduled repayment scheme of between 2% and 15% of the monthly income of borrowers to ensure PTPTN’s sustainability.
The repayment schedule for borrowers is dependent on their income and only applicable to those earning over RM1,000 a month.