|Harakahdaily,||29 March 2012|
Mar 29: PAS vice president and Kelantan state exco member Husam Musa has furnished details how Kelantan plans to abolish study loans under the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN).
According to Husam, some 93,000 students in the state take loans from PTPTN.
He said the Kelantan state government proposed to repay the PTPTN loans taken by students since 2005 using the oil royalty payment owed to the state, amounting to RM4 billion.
This is of course under the assumption that a Pakatan Rakyat federal government would pay the oil royalty.
“With oil revenue from Kelantan waters, solely without overlapping any other parties since January 2005, we made a decision to repay the PTPTN loans on behalf of students and it only cost RM1.2 billion,” he said.
As such, with RM4 billion in state coffers, the issue of settling PTPTN debts was “not a problem”, added Husam.
“If they pay 10 percent, we’ll get more,” he remarked.
He hit out at the government who he said was more interested in loan repayment and not the problems faced by students who have been unable to pay and blacklisted.
“Why is it difficult to write off their loans? Some of these students are from Kelantan, from poor families with many siblings. It is only appropriate for us to lift their burden off this PTPTN loan,” he said.
On whether Kelantan’s methodology can be applied at the national level, Husam (left) said there was no reason it could not be duplicated.
“With higher income at national level, it is something to be considered,” he said.
The promise to abolish PTPTN loans, under which students would be repaying their loans spanning several years and in many cases decades, is PR’s promise to the undergraduate community in addition to the repeal of the Universities and University Colleges Act.
Yesterday, Mohd Yusof Hadhari, former information chief of the influential Pan-Malaysian Coalition of Islamic Undergraduates (GAMIS), urged PR to qualify its pledge to abolish PTPTN with details of its implementation.
“The present age is no longer that of ‘politics of promises’, but it is about politics of facts and evidences,” he said.
Yusof reminded that even though the youth might find PR’s promises believable, they must be convinced through facts.