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Umno, PKR oppose move to list PTPTN loan defaulters

ptptnPETALING JAYA: Umno and PKR have taken a similar stand in objecting the Government’s move to list National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan defaulters in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS).

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, in a statement Tuesday, said the Government should exhaust all mechanisms and avenues against the errant borrowers instead.

“In fact, priority should be given to concerted action that takes into account the repayment incentives and flexible payment methods based on the situation of the borrower,” he said.

Khairy, who is also the Youth and Sports Minister, said the education loan should not be seen as other loans such as housing or car.

“This is because PTPTN is very different from other loans, for example, credit cards or car loans, because the loan is not based personal choice.

“We have to admit that the education loan is based on needs because the Government does not offer free education at higher learning institutions,” he said.

The Rembau MP also said the blacklisting exercise could create a negative perception of the PTPTN’s role in ensuring youths’ academic future.

Sharing the same opinion, PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the Government’s decision to corporatise the education sector has added a financial burden on youths.

“Apart from being burdened with minimum wage and the high prices of cars and houses, they will face numerous other loans in the long run,” he said.

He said according to Bank Negara, the rate of household debt had increased 12 percent each year in the last five years, and among the main victims were youths.

“We have to remember that most students who use this financial assistance come from low-to-middle-income families.

“If they can afford it, they wouldn’t have borrowed from PTPTN,” he said.

On Monday, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the move would be in effect beginning this month, with the cooperation of Bank Negara.

He said this would control rising household debt as it would affect approval of credit such as personal loans, credit cards and hire purchase by financial institutions for PTPTN borrowers with a poor repayment record.

– THE STAR

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