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PETALING JAYA: Loan repayments for the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) continue to be dismal, with the national study loan body collecting only slightly more than half of what was intended so far this year.

PTPTN Public Affairs Department senior general manager Abdul Ghaffar Yusop said for the first three months of 2019, the corporation has only received RM558 million, a far cry from its targeted minimum monthly collection of RM300 million.

“We are supposed to be collecting about RM4 billion each year if we intend to continue providing loans to new and existing students. However, we are only receiving between RM150 million to RM180 million each month.

“If we look at the collection up to March this year, the total loan repayment is only about RM558 million. By right, we should be collecting more than RM300 million a month,” he told a press conference, here, today.

With this latest figure, it puts the current cumulative outstanding loan amount involving 350,000 defaulters at RM6.5 billion, as at April 30.

Asked if PTPTN would be able to continue providing loans to students, Ghaffar said: “At the moment, we still have funds that were collected from last year. So we can utilise this.”

He said this after attending the PTPTN Debt Free Competition 2018/2019 organised by YouthsToday, which was won by Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman graduate 24-year-old Looi Pek Chuan.

Looi, who made the highest number of transactions through the GoPay mobile application – a total of 10,974 transactions between September 2018 and April 2019 – will see her PTPTN loan of RM33,709 fully sponsored by YouthsToday.

On the ongoing PTPTN public consultation programme that seeks to collect feedback on ideas for a viable loan repayment scheme, Ghaffar said the corporation has collected close to 100,000 responses online since it first kicked off on May 16.

“We encourage more people, particularly borrowers, to give their ideas. We are trying to look for the best solution and want any quarters to claim we are cruel in the future. We want a win-win situation for all,” he said.

Ghaffar said the programme was expected to be completed in mid-June, following which a report would be submitted to the Cabinet for a new policy on loan repayment to be drafted.

Under the public consultation programme, 10 ideas are presented in the survey, a result of a series of roundtable discussions with various stakeholders, with the public also given the opportunity to provide their own ideas.