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KUCHING, July 27: National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers regardless of status, race and religion who obtain First Class Honours in their degree will be exempted from paying back their loan.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Federal government will reinstate this privilege for PTPTN borrowers who graduated starting in 2019.
“I hope PTPTN can discuss with the Finance Ministry on this matter in terms of allocations involved.
“This is to provide encouragement for children to study hard and get the best results in their studies,” he said in a statement when officiating at the PTPTN Silver Jubilee celebration at Matrade Convention and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.
Since its establishment 25 years ago, Ismail Sabri said that PTPTN has assisted 3.67 million Malaysian families continue their higher education with total loans amounting to RM66.78 billion to date.
“I believe many have completed their studies and are well employed, which indirectly improved their standard of living while also becoming an important asset or human capital of the country.
“As such, it must be stressed here that repaying education loans is important to guarantee the continuity of funds for new students who are also the future of the country,” he added.
As of June this year, he pointed out that more than two million or 82.04 per cent of borrowers have repaid their loans with a total collection of RM17.8 billion.
“I want to thank all borrowers for their commitment in making repayments. For those who have not done so, I advise them to pay off their loan so that the loan process to other borrowers will not be delayed,” he advised.
The government through PTPTN, he continued, has allocated more than RM3 billion per year to finance education loans to an average of 180,000 new students at the higher education level.
To address concerns on graduates being bound by repayment of education loans, he said the government has created the National Education Saving Scheme (Simpan SSPN) since 2004.
“Simpan SSPN has shown encouraging performance with total saving deposits amounting to RM12.5 billion through 5.4 million accounts as of the end of last month (June).
“I also see that PTPTN focuses on saving aspects through strategic cooperation. As such, PTPTN can also implement similar initiatives to increase the collection of loan repayments.
“I was made to understand that this collaboration has started with the Sarawak government with a contribution of more than RM30 million,” he added.
With that, Ismail Sabri called for the cooperation to be enhanced and expanded to other State governments as the PTPTN targets to collect RM50 million through the initiative. — DayakDaily