Friday, October 2, 2009

Pay Before You Are Barred From Leaving The Country, Says Deputy Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers are advised not to wait until they are barred from leaving the country to seriously discuss repayment of their loans.

Deputy Higher Education Deputy Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung said a total of 26,000 names of hardcore defaulters who owed about RM400 million had been sent to the Immigration Department.

"As of Aug 31, 2009, a total of 124,455 letters Of demand (LOD) had been sent out but a disappointing 81,556 defaulters or 65.5 per cent did not respond to the letters at all.

"I appeal to all PTPTN borrowers to come forward early to engage with PTPTN if they find they have some difficulties in servicing their loans," he said after presenting airline tickets to two lucky parents of students from the Penang Medical College (PMC) here today.

He said the hardcore defaulters were those who had ignored every effort by PTPTN for more than five years to get them to service their loans.

Dr Hou said that although he appreciated the recent call by an employees' union to PTPTN to stop the practice of barring its loan defaulters from travelling overseas, nonetheless the union should take the moral responsibility to advise its members to comply and make all efforts to repay their PTPTN loans.

"PTPTN has provided every opportunity to the borrowers to repay their loans which includes allowing them a grace period of six months after graduation to start servicing their loans," he added.

On top of that, they were also provided with painless repayment amounts and a long period to repay besides being given friendly reminders and legal notices before they were barred from leaving the country as a last resort, he said.

Hardcore defaulters who do not travel overseas would not be be spared either as PTPTN was is already discussing with other government agencies to seek their cooperation in addressing this issue, Dr Hou said.

The students whose parents were drawn to receive the tickets are Praveena Mahadevan of Selangor and Ooi Huah Chiang of Penang.

Praveena will study at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Ooi, at the University College Dublin.


No comments: