(File pix) Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said a total of RM6.84 billion was owed by borrowers, of which 410,500 of them had not paid a single sen.

ALMOST half a million National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) borrowers have not paid a single sen of the RM2.79 billion that they owe.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said a total of RM6.84 billion was owed by borrowers, of which 410,500 of them had not paid a single sen.

Idris, in a written reply, said the government should have collected RM18.97 billion but only RM12.13 billion was collected until Sept 30.

“Out of the RM6.84 billion, RM2.79 billion involved borrowers who have yet to pay a single sen, while RM4.05 billion involved those who are currently paying, but not according to the amount of installment set.

“Out of the 410,500 borrowers who have yet to make payments, 355,272 borrowers involving RM2.44 billion are Bumiputera while 55,228 borrowers involving RM0.35 billion are non-Bumiputera,” he said in the written reply dated Nov 8.

Idris said this in response to a question by DAP’s Bakri member of parliament Er Teck Hwa, who had asked the minister to state the number of students who paid in full, partially or defaulted on their PTPTN loans.

According to Idris, since PTPTN was introduced, 1,900,743 borrowers have graduated from universities until Sept 30.

“Out of the paid amount of RM12.13 billion, RM6.55 billion was collected from 970,330 Bumiputera borrowers, while RM5.58 billion was collected from 519,913 non-Bumiputera borrowers.”

Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced in the 2018 Budget that a 20 per cent discount would be given to those who settled their loans by December next year.

A 10 per cent discount would be given to those who settled half of what they owed, as well as for those who paid their loans via salary cuts or direct debit according to schedule.

PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said from the 410,500 borrowers, 58 per cent were those who had completed their studies in the last four years while 41 per cent had graduated between five and 12 years ago.

The one per cent balance were those who had graduated more than 12 years ago, he added.

Reports by ARFA YUNUS, BEATRICE NITA JAY and FERNANDO FONG

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