When breaking promises and indecision become learnt traits

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Irresponsible and selfish students not planning to repay PTPTN loans.

Recently, a posting submitted to the “UPM Confession 2.0” Facebook page created quite a stir online. The anonymous post suggested that those who cannot afford to study should take a PTPTN loan and choose against repaying the loan. The author even said that if they are unable to repay the loan in 15 years, then there is nothing the government can do about it, and they should consider it “charity”!

The author even admitted that he or she has no intention of repaying his or her PTPTN loan.

PTPTN was formed with the noble intention of making higher education affordable by offering cheap study loans. The repayment for those loans will then be used to fund cheap study loans for the next cohort of students. In theory, PTPTN should be just as commercially viable as any privately-owned bank. In reality, though, PTPTN has become a drain on government coffers due to irresponsible and selfish behaviour like the above.

The author of the post must be chastised for such a reckless suggestion. A rise in non-performing loans will lead to cashflow problems, resulting in the collapse of a system to finance tertiary education for many.

However, the Facebook post author is not alone harbouring such irresponsible attitudes.

Even the Malaysian Government has a knack for going back on their words if it suits them. Just look at some of the major commitments in the form of projects that will ultimately benefit the people and how the Government has chosen to dilly-dally about them.

The Government appears happily sitting on projects like the ECRL, the Phase 2 of the Pan Borneo Highway and the Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System despite prior commitment to expedite them. These reflect a deeper Malaysian struggle with fulfilling commitments.

With the littoral combat ship (LCS) project, things become even funnier. In it, we see the failure of Malaysian contractors (Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation/Boustead Naval Shipyard) to honour their commitment by getting the job done and we see multiple Cabinets (all three – PH, Perikatan Nasional and the mishmash that we have right now) kicking the can down the road by suspending the project and doing nothing else.

Instead of honouring commitments and making difficult decisions, it seems that we have opted for the option to bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best. The Navy can make do with its capability gap and the Rakyat can make do with the additional expenses related to project delays.

Going back to the Facebook post about the student not planning to repay his or her study loans, where do you think the student got the inspiration from? We look up to our leaders for inspiration and guidance. And if our leaders choose not to stick to their words, lesser mortals cannot be faulted for doing the same.

The views expressed here are strictly those of The True Net reader Thiyagu Subramaniam from Johor Baru.