‘Give us 6 months, we will help Sarawakians with PTPTN repayment’ — Abg Jo

Abang Johari (centre, blue shirt) poses with the crowd after the townhall session.

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By Lian Cheng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19: The state government will come up with a mechanism within six months to help poor Sarawakian students repay their PTPTN loans.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said while the state Cabinet was discussing on the Sarawak Budget, which will be tabled next month, the issue of PTPTN repayment has been brought up by several ministers.

“Next month, we will present state budget and we have decided that we want to help the children of Sarawak who were given PTPTN but unable to pay up.

“We need to find ways and mechanism of how to help you, either we take over or we will give it (the payment) to you and you pay back the PTPTN loan.

“We will arrange for a mechanism,” he said at the Sarawak Agenda #TanyakAbangJo Townhall session at Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2019 at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre here today.

Abang Johari speaking at Sarawak Agenda #TanyakAbangJo Townhall session. Also seen is the Lan Berambeh programme founder Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who acted as the moderator.

Abang Johari said the mechanism could also be set up using a special fund for Sarawakian students to pay back the loan.

“Maybe we have a special fund, give it to you, let you pay your debt. Let me see what we can do next so that ‘anak-anak Sarawak’ will not owe money. You give me within 6 months. I will find the right formula so that you will have no difficulty in paying up your loans,” he continued.

The most crucial matter is to make sure that Sarawak has the financial means to help the students, he said.

Abang Johari expressed confidence that the state government will have the resource to help these students.

Once the issue of repayment of PTPTN for Sarawakian students is settled, he said Sarawak will give its own scholarship or loan from its own fund, which will be managed by Yayasan Sarawak.

He said PTPTN loan repayment would need to be made as the federal government will continue to assert pressure on Sarawakian students to pay up.

“I have always said, we cannot 100 per cent depend on Putrajaya,” he continued.

He said that before the general election, Pakatan Harapan had promised to abolish PTPTN loan repayment if it were to take over Putrajaya. However, after winning the election, Pakatan did not do as promised. — DayakDaily