MIRI: The move by the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to recover its loans through salary deduction has been met with general approval by the public here.
However, some respondents to a survey by The Borneo Post here said the maximum deduction of 15 per cent might be too high and suggested the corporation amend the payment percentage.
Based on the payment schedule submitted by PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan last Wednesday, borrowers earning RM8,000 a month should pay at least RM1,200 a month (equivalent to 15 percent of their income) through salary deduction, which had received mixed reaction from the public.
Mohamad Aliff Idzwan Abdullah, 26, said the matter is all about responsibility and the discipline of the borrower.
“As a borrower myself, the government’s action in setting the amount of payment based on salary does not have much impact on myself because according to my repayment agreement previously, I am required to pay RM100 every month. And based on what was announced last Wednesday and according to my salary range, I only need to pay two per cent which is RM40 to RM49.99 only. I don’t think the new mechanism would actually burden us.
“If it is being deducted through my salary after this, I hope my repayment will remain RM100 because I want to settle the debt as soon as I can.”
Meanwhile for Mohd Khairolazlin Sahari, the new mechanism would burden those with dependents and suggested deduction of two to three per cent and not up to 15 per cent of salary.
“Yes those with higher salary should pay their debt but I personally think the 15 per cent rate is a bit too high and it will burden those with many dependents. Maybe he or she is the only one working in the family and now with the high percentage to be deducted from the salary for the repayment of PTPTN loan it would put the borrower under great pressure especially when one needs to pay other things like house or car and so on.
“The PTPTN loans need to be paid. How would one land a job with high salary if it wasn’t for the education they got from the university and with the loan from PTPTN?
“I hope the government will revise the percentage so that it would not burden the borrowers so much,” said the 34-year-old assistant sports officer at UITM Kota Samarahan who has been repaying his PTPTN loan through salary deduction.
However, Mohd Khairolazlin’s colleague Mohammad Noor Azuan Hamdan supports the payment schedule.
“This shows that all PTPTN borrowers will have to pay back according to their respective wages. The higher the salary, the higher the PTPTN loan repayment rate and the faster the debt is over,” said the 29-year-old.
Meanwhile, private sector worker Huang Ung Key, who had settled her PTPTN loan, disagrees with salary deduction and prefers the previous policy where borrowers were given discounts if they paid in lump sum.
“What if it is overly deducted from the salary? It would be better if borrowers are offered discounts if they are able to settle the loans but no matter what, debts must be paid. So there should be some leniency for the borrowers as long as they continue to pay the loan without fail,” she said.
The mechanism of percentage to be deducted from salary must be made clear to the borrowers and errant borrowers should be aware that the future generations also need loans to further their studies, said 32-year-old Marlia Mahali.
“Education is becoming more expensive and errant borrowers should realise that their children might be the ones needing the same loan in the future and as a PTPTN borrower, salary deduction is one of the best ways but I hope to get clearer explanation with regards to the percentage of payment according to salary range.
“For example, for a borrower who has never missed a payment, hopefully the deduction will not be more than what he is used to pay all the while because if it is, this will burden the payer and it is persecuting the payer,” she added.