JOHOR BAHRU – The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) act must be amended to enable educational funding to be expanded to Malaysian students studying abroad.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this was because PTPTN, which was set up under the PTPTN Act 1997 (Act 566), only gave out and collected loan repayments for higher educational study in the country.
However, he said the issue of recovering PTPTN loans must be emphasised first before considering the move.
“We have to table the act in Parliament to amend it, but we forget PTPTN had financial problems two years ago. So pay the loans first. Don’t be too quick to ask for it to be expanded to students abroad,” he told reporters after a ceremony to sign a collaboration certificate between the Polytechnic Education Department and MMC Corporation Berhad at Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelepas here, today.
Idris said the repayment of PTPTN loans was showing improvements lately and a bigger amount was expected to be collected at the end of the year due to the awareness of borrowers.
“The collection can be further improved upon. The amount collected was RM2 billion two years ago, RM3.4 billion last year and we expect to collect more than RM4 billion this year.This figure can be further improved, and this means Malaysians understand and are starting to make repayments,” he said.
The Puteri UMNO movement on Dec 6 was reported to have said that it wanted the education funding under PTPTN be expanded to Malaysian students studying abroad.
The movement’s chief Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin was reported to have said after the National Women Student Secretariat’s (Swinas) appreciation ceremony that the funding could help ease the problem of the cost of living of the students abroad which was high and burdensome.
Mas Ermieyati said it could become a new alternative loan body for Malaysian students studying abroad who now depended on scholarships from entities such as the Public Service Department and MARA. – BERNAMA