A total of 375,925 borrowers have yet to start repaying loans from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said the government had yet to decide whether to reintroduce the travel ban previously imposed on loan defaulters to boost repayments.
“A travel ban was one of the suggestions raised during the public consultation on (PTPTN’s) new mechanism,” she said.
“However, it has yet to be finalised by the Cabinet, whether to reintroduce the travel ban.”
Teo was responding to supplementary questions by Datuk Wira Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PH-PPBM-Masjid Tanah) who asked about the possibility of reintroducing travel bans on loan defaulters and to Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (Pas-Rantau Panjang) on the number of those who had yet to start their repayments.
The travel ban was part of the 10-point proposal presented to PTPTN during a public engagement series which ended in June to ensure its sustainability.
Teo said PTPTN needed RM4.3 billion every year to provide loans to some 180,000 new borrowers and 420,000 existing ones.
“As of September 2019, PTPTN has approved RM72.1 billion loans to 3.14 million borrowers, of which, RM36.5 billion was allocated for students at the public higher education institutes and RM35.5 billion for those in private institutes.
“Of the total, RM57.7billion has been dispersed to borrowers,” she said.
To a supplementary question by Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris (BN-Jerantut) on PTPTN’s new loan repayment mechanism based on the public consultation, Teo said the findings had been presented to the debt and liability management committee in August.
“The Education Ministry was then asked to set up a committee to carry out an in-depth study not only on PTPTN, but also free education as well as issues related to higher education.
“The Cabinet has yet to decide on the mechanism and there is no date set for its implementation,” she said. – NST