KUALA LUMPUR: The government will help 300,000 borrowers repay their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) through its JobsMatchingPTPTN portal.
Not only would graduates be able to secure jobs but they would also be blessed with a steady source of income to allow them to repay their study loans to PTPTN.
This was made possible with the launch of the initiative by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during PTPTN's 20th anniversary celebration here this afternoon.
JobMatchingPTPTN which is a collaboration between PTPTN and Prestariang Bhd to help borrowers secure jobs via up-skilling courses, among others.
He said that the initiative would not only help PTPTN borrowers to get jobs but also help them repay their study loans.
"Today, PTPTN have introduced a new way to help borrowers, especially the 300,000 borrowers who have yet to repay their (PTPTN) loans.
"PTPTN is collaborating with Prestariang Bhd to help borrowers get jobs after completing their studies via the JobMarchingPTPTN programme," he said to loud applause.
Zahid said the portal would be an efficient way for borrowers to apply for jobs, help them match their academic qualifications and experience with suitable jobs, arrange job interviews, and arrange up-skilling training at public universities and private institutes of higher learning.
"Those (applicants) who succeed would be offered jobs straight away, while those who still need up-skilling would be given a conditional offer for a job," he said.
He said that the said condition is for the applicants to enrol in up-skilling courses.
"PTPTN have made early allocations of RM20 million to allow the earliest 10,000 borrowers take up up-skilling training worth up to RM2,000 for free," he said.
Zahid reminded borrowers that they have a responsibility to repay their loans to PTPTN.
The Home Minister said that borrowers must remember that their repaying back the loans would make it possible for PTPTN to continue to lend out to other deserving students of institutes of higher learning.
He said that this is why PTPTN had to resort to immigration measures to make defaulters repay the loans, adding that he backs such measures.
"Do not regard the steps taken (by PTPTN to recover the loans) as cruelty.
"No religion teaches that a person need not repay their loans," he said.
"We only harm ourselves by not repaying debts," he said.
Zahid trained his guns on certain quarters who have been involved in demonisation of PTPTN's efforts to recover study loans.
"We (government and PTPTN's actions) have been misinterpreted and described as cruel in campaigns to plant hatred, with claims that the loans need not be repaid," he said.
Then in a surprise announcement that drew applause from PTPTN staff present, he suggested for the agency's management to give additional one-month bonus to all of its staff.
As loud cheers reverberated through the hall, the smiling Zahid said that the bonus should be based on the staff's key performance indicators (KPI) of last year.
Also present during the event was Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, PTPTN chairman Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, its chief executive officer Wan Ahmad Wan Yusoff.