By Nizam Zain
KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad slammed the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers who did not serve their education loan which has escalated to RM36 billion.
Mahathir said, he was ashamed with the attitude of the PTPTN borrowers who refused to pay their loans despite they could afford to do it.
“I am ashamed (with those who refused to pay despite they could afford to do so), they have the income, they received the repayment schedule, but, they don’t feel like paying.
“If they only need to pay RM100 monthly and with their RM2,000 salaries, the RM100 is not much for an education loan. However, they choose not to pay.
“Why? This is because, they are not dependable and they cannot be trusted,” he said when delivering a speech during the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) Japan Day and UTMKL Residency launch today.
Besides, openly attacking the 433,000 PTPTN education loan defaulters since 31 May before Minister of Educadion, Dr Maszlee Malik, Mahathir’s action today also contradicted to the Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s 100 days promises during the 14th General Election, which was to delay the PTPTN loan repayment for all borrowers with less than RM4,000 monthly income.
Earlier, Maszlee said that the Education Ministry needed more time to seek for the best measure, including the mechanism to delay the repayment in order to fulfil the promise.
Mahathir also regretted the irresponsible actions of the defaulters when the government had spent a lot in providing education to the poorest community in the country.
“We gave them scholarships, we spent a lot so that they can get higher income, to improve their lifestyles.
“They furthered their studies in the country and also overseas using the scholarship given to them, actually, the loan (PTPTN) given to them.
“Unfortunately, when they return (to Malaysia), when we wanted to collect the loan we’ve given to them, there is a total of RM36 billion in default payments to PTPTN,” he said.
He also said that the people cannot blame the government if the government stop the education loan as records showed that the majority of the defaulters came from the majority race of the country.
“When this happened, it referred to a certain race (Malays), when they borrow money, they don’t pay back.
“When people refused to give loan, they cannot get angry because they have an untrustworthy record for not wanting to pay their loans despite having the money to do so,” he said. -MalaysiaGazette