10 May, 2009

Give Exemptions for PTPTN Loan Repayment to Top Grads

By KAREN CHAPMAN (from Star Newspaper 10-5-2009)

STUDENTS who obtain first class honours in their undergraduate degrees should be exempted from repaying their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans.
Kedah Gerakan youth chief Tan Keng Liang in an open letter to Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin dated Wednesday, said this would serve as recognition by the Government of the students’ academic excellence.
He said it would also be in line with the promotion of better quality undergraduates in local universities.
“The minister should also consider allowing a 30% discount for graduates when repaying their PTPTN loans if they obtain second class upper degrees,” he said in his open letter which was also distributed to the media.
Tan hoped Mohamed Khaled would consider the requests as before July 1, 2005, graduates who obtained first class honours could be exempted from the repayment of their loans, which has since been discontinued.
He said currently there were students who were given full scholarships to enter local universities before achieving any result and who might not perform up to expectation.
“It would be disappointing to see that Malaysian students who were not granted scholarships initially but who actually performed up to expectation, not being rewarded for their academic excellence,” he said.
In an immediate response, Mohamed Khaled said the Cabinet had decided on this matter about two years ago.
“We can only consider this when the financial situation of PTPTN is sustainable,” he said when contacted.
PTPTN chief executive officer Yunos Abd Ghani said the corporation was presently unable to consider the requests.
“The amount would be too much for the corporation to absorb,” he said.
On Tuesday, Mohamed Khaled had said the ministry was currently conducting research on how to ensure the sustainability of the PTPTN.
“If the PTPTN funds continue to operate as they are, we will have a RM42bil deficit by 2020,” he said.