By Karen Bong and Lian Cheng
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19: The National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) cannot be abolished but the government must find ways to help borrowers and come up with better mechanism to address repayment issues.
Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, Dr Annuar Rapaee, felt that PTPTN has been manipulated into a heated issue before the 14th general election (GE14).
“This issue has become a propaganda which has influenced majority of the people,” he told reporters after a dialogue programme at Lan Berambeh Abak Sarawak 2019 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition (Mitec) here today.
“Many people were attracted and consumed by the promise that PTPTN will be abolished. But the reality is, PTPTN cannot be abolished,” he opined.
The most important thing now is to come up with a better mechanism to address the repayment problem, he said.
“The ability to repay is dependent on factors of employment and income sufficiency, in which the rising cost of living has to be taken into consideration. We have to find a way to tackle the repayment issue,” he continued.
Yayasan Sarawak, he added, will try to help Sarawakian students who are short in PTPTN fund to further their studies.
“For example, the student is given RM20,000 PTPTN loan when the tuition fee required is RM45,000. We can always write to Yayasan Sarawak to top it up, not 100 per cent but the remaining needed,” he explained.
The dialogue, “Reimagining Education: Equity Through Equal Opportunity” was moderated by UKEC former chairperson Faizal Zuraimi.
Panelist included Closing The Gap founder Ida Thien and SK Ulu Lubai, Limbang, headmaster Jaul Bunyau. — DayakDaily