Len Talif dares PR states to settle PTPTN loans
by Lim How Pim firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on May 21, 2012, Monday
KOTA SAMARAHAN: States ruled by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners, namely Penang, Kelantan, Kedah and Selangor, should pay back the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans on behalf of their students.
Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) Datu Len Talif Salleh, who threw the challenge yesterday, said they should do so to prove their sincerity in serving the people.
“If they are honest and sincere, they should pay back to PTPTN. There is no need for them to wait till they are in the federal government,” he told reporters after representing Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to hand out initial payments of PTPTN to 563 students at Unimas yesterday.
Len Talif, who is also Assistant Minister of Envrionment, pointed out that if PR state governments believed in their struggles
and were sincere enough to fulfil all their promises, they should not hesitate to repay the fund.
“If they did not pay back, it should make them liars. This is just to try their sincerity.”
In Sarawak alone, he said PTPTN had granted RM2.5 billion to some 114,000 students since 1997.
Earlier in his speech, Len Talif blasted Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for having fuelled the idea of abolishing PTPTN.
“He was the deputy prime minister when PTPTN was set up, and now he has this idea of doing away with the fund.
“Do not politicise education-related issues, especially PTPTN, which has benefited many students across the country.”
He was pleased to note that 85 per cent of Sarawakian students who received their PTPTN loans had not shirked their repayment obligations.
“This goes to show that a lot of our children are responsible. In the meantime, I hope students make good use of the fund, spend it wisely and prudently.”
Meanwhile, Unimas deputy vice chancellor (Student affairs and alumni) Prof Mohd Fadzil Abdul Rahman said he had observed that some students abused their PTPTN loans.
“There were students who said the amount they received was not enough. That was because they spent it on advanced gadgets like Samsung Galaxy Note and Tab.
“Some of them even used it to purchase Suzuki motorbikes, so of course the amount would not be enough. A responsible student will think about what is genuinely needed.”
Mohd Fadzil also advised students to repay the fund as soon as they had the financial ability.