PTPTN urged to review repayment terms to allow S’wakian borrowers qualify for Yayasan S’wak repayment scheme

Chieng (right) meeting Nurulhuda on Jan 9, 2023 before calling for a press conference on Jan 10, 2023.

By William Isau

SIBU, Jan 10:  The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has been called on to review its terms and conditions for loan repayment to allow Sarawakian loan borrowers to qualify for the Yayasan Sarawak (YS) PTPTN loan repayment incentive.

The request came after one of the PTPTN borrowers here was found to be ineligible for the incentive after settling 45 per cent of his study loan. 

The loan borrower paid 45 per cent of his loan after his graduation within the grace period of one year.  Despite his eagerness to settle the loan, he was excluded from the Yayasan Sarawak repayment benefit due to PTPTN’s loan repayment terms and conditions.

Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng who highlighted the case in a press conference here today said he sought clarification from PTPTN Sibu head Nurulhuda Abdul Wahid on the case yesterday (Jan 9) and was told that in order to qualify for the incentive, borrowers have to settle the 30 percent of the loan.

However, if they pay within the grace period (12 month after completing their studies) it is not counted (as PTPTN only counted the paid loan from 13th month onwards).

“So, it seems that he (the loan borrower) had paid the amount too early. By paying early, it shows that he (the loan borrower) is a responsible payer. Instead qualifying for the incentive, he has been penalised as he has been excluded from it. 

“The act of settling the loan should be encouraged and not otherwise as what had happened to this student,” said Chieng.

Chieng was also told by Nurulhuda that there is another similar case, resulting in Chieng believing that there could be more such cases throughout Sarawak.

To him, it is very unfair to the two borrowers as they had settled more than 30 per cent of their PTPTN study loans.

“I will bring up this matter to the attention of our Premier (Datuk Patinggi  Abang Johari Tun Openg) and PTPTN,” said Chieng who added that the fault does not lie with the Sarawak Government as the list of benefactors was decided by PTPTN.

Sarawak is the only State to offer PTPTN loan repayment incentive to its students to ease their burden. 

Under the incentive, the State Government through Yayasan Sarawak will settle 30 per cent of the balance of Sarawak’s graduates who are taking PTPTN study loans.

PTPTN will identify the beneficiaries who have successfully completed their studies and who have settled 30 per cent of their loan repayment.

Chieng said according to PTPTN chairman Datuk Norliza Abdul Rahim, more than 3,000 Sarawak graduates had benefited from the incentive totalling RM12.43mil in 2023 alone.

Since its inception in 2019, more than 25,000 Sarawak graduates were benefactors of the incentives amounting to RM90.42mil.  — DayakDaily