In The Star newspaper dated 7th August 2010, with its headlines entitled “Travel Bar”, reported that some half a million Malaysians will soon be facing a travel bar. The above reported that the Immigration Department will be taking steps to prevent many people from travelling overseas.
And upon reading the above interesting report further, I discovered one amazing thing. The report went on to say, the youngest person to be blacklisted, as according to the Immigration Departments security director, Ibrahim Abdullah, was just 25.
Permit me to ask you one simple question. How on earth does a young person whom I assume, just received his or her degree from the local university, ever end up being listed amongst the list of 196,473 bankrupts? For all I know, the 25 year old graduate mentioned above, has not even as yet attended his or her convocation ceremony.
The only reason I can think of, is that the 25 year old graduate must be owing an educational loan which he or she has taken from the PTPTN or the National Higher Education Fund Corporation. And she has failed to repay her loan.
Immediately after reading the article mentioned above, entitled “Travel Bar”, I wrote an article on it, airing my views on the subject. In it, I quoted two friends, who attended an off campus course to secure their degrees. And both of them failed to repay their loans the authorities provided them. Inspite of the fact, both of them were then in their forties and holding on to posh, lucrative jobs.
Recalling the initial article that I wrote, I now regret writing it. In the first place, I wrote the PTPTN loan article because I was utterly frustrated over a few things.
One, I’ve spent nearly RM20,000 in the 1970’s to secure a better education. Likewise, my 2 friends. But the difference was, they received their goals with educational grants from the government. But they did not reservice the loans from the National Higher Education Fund? Was it a fair decision on their part?
Upon reading the article, “PTPTN Loan, an emotional Strain on Grads”, I immediately felt remorseful. It dawned upon me to then decide to write an article to comment further upon this subject.
As said in my first article which, may or may not have been published in my blog yet, readers reading it might be tempted to comment, that this 65 year old pensioned writer has no right to comment on PTPTN loans at all.
If you should happen to read my article later on, you will find that, the fact is I have the right to make known my feelings on the subject of loans taken from the National Higher Education Fund. I have “locus standi”, as they say.
Because, my youngest daughter, Lin, who graduated a few years ago, from the Multimedia University in Cyberjaya took a hefty RM60,000 loan from the PTPTN corporation. This article therefore, is meant as an advice to all potential undergraduates, who are currently registered at all higher institutes of learning. Parents likewise, should ponder over my advice carefully. Do not end up like “PTPTN Prisoner”.
Permit me to quote further from “PTPTN Prisoners” article. Although I do not wish to plagiarise anyone’s writings, nevertheless, I feel it’s only right, PTPTN Prisoner be allowed to tell her own story.
PTPTN Prisoner, as she claims, is a recent graduate, with a huge education loan over her head. She says, even before she can even get a head start in life in the working world, she tells us, she is currently saddled with a RM48,000 loan.
PTPTN Prisoner continued, from the moment she started working after her university days, she had been paying small sums based on what she could afford. Fair enough, isn’t it?
But what’s troubling her is that, the amount she has so far paid, cannot even come close at all to administration fees charged by the PTPTN Corporation!
I can verify PTPTN Prisoners’ laments. What PTPTN Prisoner said, are unfortunately true! My daughter, as I said earlier is unfortunately facing the same predicament. As far as I am aware, the administrative fee charged by PTPTN or the Higher Education Loan Corporation is a whopping RM150 alone!
If this were to continue, let me tell you, no student, who has taken an education loan, can ever dream of ever repaying whatever education loan taken from PTPTN?
The government or whichever authorities that are responsible for the repayments, should study the matter seriously. Otherwise, PTPTN Prisoner and other students cannot settle their debts, ever.
If PTPTN Prisoner, like my daughter, has not made it a point to settle her education loan, well and good, go ahead, blacklist her by all means. She deserves it.
But inspite of making loan repayments every month, making almost RM450 without fail and finally to realize that the capital amount owned has not even moved RM1000 lower at the end of the year is, I tell you – Disheartening! Something must be wrong somewhere!
The administration fee presently imposed is simply ridiculous. Why charge such a massive administrative fee for a loan that has already been taken years ago? But to impose administration fee month in and month out is not only absurd, I would say, but tantamount to being “insane”!
This is being likened to fleecing the poor undergraduates. It is not fair at all! The authorities, especially the Prime Minister, should step in immediately to alleviate the poor students who have taken an education loan to secure their degrees
As PTPTN Prisoner herself said, sooner or later, she will have no alternative but to default upon her repayments. Do you, as readers know, why some 46,887 students aged between 25 and 35 are to be blacklisted soon under the government’s “Travel Bar” decision?
To the Immigration Department’s Security Division director, Encik Ibrahim Abdullah, and to our beloved Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tin Razak, on behalf of poor PTPTN Prisoner and my own daughter, and many of her friends, this 65 year old pensioned father, would like to make an urnest appeal to you, to restudy and restructure the repayment scheme of the Higher Education Loan Scheme immediately!
Do it now! Many will be grateful to you, I believe! “Pinch your right hand, and your left hand feels the pain”, so the saying goes.
Whenever my youngest daughter, who is now approaching 30 years, and currently repaying a car loan, still single, and with a RM68,000 loan hanging over her hand, it breaks my heart, to see my daughter facing such a massive dilemma trying to make repayments towards her education loan to PTPTN every month!
As a parent and a father, permit me to make an appeal on behalf of all fathers, to allow our sons and daughters, a chance to repay their loan fairly.
Very recently, I handed a meager sum of RM2,000 to my daughter, to help her settle her education loan. As an educated father, I realized that unless a person makes a monthly repayment amount of over RM500 per month, the capital amount owned will not move lower even by an inch, so they say.
To the authorities, this parent will like to finally end this article by imploring, “do not be like Shylock, the Jew, in the Merchant of Venice”, by Shakespeare, trying to get his pound of flesh from Antonio! In doing so, Antonio may eventually bleed to death.
But the government should ideally not face the same consequences as Antonio. At least, in my opinion, not yet!
There are many ungrateful students, who have the money and yet refuse to pay up. There are also many like PTPTN Prisoner and my daughter, who struggle every month to repay, but are unmercilessly burdened by PTPTN unfair tactics. This in my opinion, Mr. Prime Minister, is not one of the ways towards achieving 1 Malaysia! Think about it.