BY AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by BERNAMA
The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three organisations to help unemployed graduates to find jobs and pay study loans.
PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the collaboration with the Labour Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM), National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) and Jobstreet.com Sdn Bhd, is expected to benefit about one million borrowers.
“We are aware that some of the borrowers do not make enough from their salary. This collaboration would offer them a better job and remuneration so that they could also rearrange their repayment to PTPTN,” he told reporters after signing the MoU in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Also present was Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Wan Saiful added that the cooperation, the first of such initiative by the fund, is hoped to help earlier PTPTN borrowers since 1997 if they were still unemployed or wish to seek better jobs.
It was reported that some 616,000 borrowers have failed to repay they study loans consistently, leading to around RM3.6 billion in arrears. As of last December, about 356,000 borrowers have never paid did their loan instalments to PTPTN involving RM2.8 billion in arrears.
In its 14th General Election manifesto, Pakatan Harapan (PH) had promised to defer payments of all graduates earning below the RM4,000-a-month threshold.
Following its victory, the PH-led government had initially removed 429,945 loan defaulters from the Immigration Department travel blacklist which was reported to have led to losses worth billions to PTPTN.
This has led to the higher education financier to bear some RM6.4 billion worth of non-performing loans last year.
Subsequently, PTPTN, which sits under the purview of the Education Ministry, conducted a public consultation on May 16 and garnered almost 35,000 submissions within four weeks.
The paper summarised 10 new ideas that took into account issues of affordable repayment scheme, ways to improve consistency of repayments, helping PTPTN borrowers to reduce the cost of funds and increasing revenue.
Wan Saiful said the outcome of the consultation paper is still being discussed at the ministry’s level.
“We need to wait for the MoE’s decision and the Cabinet’s official announcement,” he added.
Meanwhile, NCCIM honourable treasurer Nazwin Don Najib said its job matching platform MyJobs would help 650,000 NCCIM members to advertise vacancies at their firms.
“The platform will assist in building a database on employment applications which could be used especially by members of NCCIM to meet their requirements of finding candidates to fill vacant posts quickly.
“About 650,000 employers are expected to provide job opportunities on contract or temporary employment training as short term measures before the candidates can land better permanent jobs,” he added.