Wednesday, July 17

‘Deduction should target defaulters, not regular payers’


Vitcsy Michael Niob

KUCHING: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has been urged to relook its method of implementing the scheduled salary deductions from its borrowers.

Several members of the public when interviewed yesterday say the scheduled salary deduction method would be unfair to those who are currently paying their PTPTN debt in instalments.

They feel that salary deductions would be more suitable to be implemented on errant borrowers or on those who are about to start repayment.

Vitcsy Michael Niob, 39, said PTPTN should bear in mind those borrowers who have been repaying the loan for several years after having secured employment.

“For example, they (borrowers) may have been paying RM100 per month. But when the scheme kicks in January next year, they could be paying a different amount based on the mechanism of percentage to be deducted from their salary. To me, this is not fair,” she said.

Vitcsy explained that in her case, she had signed an agreement with PTPTN to settle her debt by paying over RM140 every month for a period of 15 years.

She said if the new scheme were to determine that the amount she would have to pay each month be different, this would be akin to infringing the agreement.

“In my case, I have completed the repayment of my debt after paying more than RM140 every month for a period of 15 years.

“But I am speaking on behalf of those who are still paying. How would they feel if they are suddenly told that they need to pay a different amount when the scheduled salary deduction scheme is implemented?”

Siti Nuraini Bashar Mohamad Yusuf

As such, she hoped PTPTN would clarify the matter and even relook the method of implementation.

For Siti Nuraini Bashar Mohamad Yusuf, 22, she agreed that the salary deduction method would be unfair especially on those with dependents who have to cope with the rising cost of living.

She nonetheless believed this scheme is fair as it ensures all borrowers repay their debt, thus making sure PTPTN has sufficient funds in its coffers for the benefit of future students.

“For me, RM40 monthly repayment for those earning RM2,000 monthly is low enough,” she said.

Meanwhile, Melanie, 31, hoped the government would give consideration to borrowers who have consistently repaid their PTPTN debt, but concurred with Siti Nuraini that the new system will at least ensure all borrowers start repaying what they owe.

“This (new scheme) is reasonable because the deduction only involves several per cent off the monthly salary,” she added.

PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan on Wednesday said borrowers earning more than RM2,000 a month would no longer be able to escape repayment once the scheme kicks off in January.

He said PTPTN would issue a directive to employers to carry out the deductions according to the percentage set.

Those earning RM2,000 to RM2,499.99 would have a deduction of two per cent; RM2,500 to RM2,999.99 (three per cent); RM3,000 to RM3,999.99 (five per cent); RM4,000 to RM5,999.99 (eight per cent); and RM6,000 to RM7,999.99 (10 per cent).

Borrowers earning RM8,000 and above would have a deduction of 15 per cent, or at least RM1,200, from their monthly salary.