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The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is in talks with several government agencies to ensure borrowers, especially the hardcore loan defaulters, make their loan repayments. -- NSTP Archive

PUTRAJAYA: The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) is in talks with several government agencies to ensure borrowers, especially the hardcore loan defaulters, make their loan repayments.

Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said the methods or actions against errant borrowers are different from those who have recently graduated.

“There are borrowers who make repayments and those who don’t. These include recent graduates and hardcore defaulters.

“So our target would be more on the non-paying and hardcore defaulters who graduated 20 years ago. It’s almost impossible that they still cannot afford to make repayments,” he told the media after the presentation of PTPTN advance financing warrants (WPP) for September Intake 2019 for the Simpang Renggam Parliament, here today.

Maszlee said among the agencies involved in the talks were the Employees Provident Fund and the Inland Revenue Board.

PTPTN in its media statement said RM1.33 billion worth of WPP had been disbursed to 902,881 students from 1999 to July 31, 2019.

A total of 20,716 students were offered WPP for the September intake this year, which involved an allocation of RM31 million.

Commenting on a viral photo of parents or guardians of tahfiz students showing papers of permission for tahfiz school to punish delinquent students by caning them 60 times, splashing wastewater and making them stand in the sun from Zohor to Asar, Maszlee said the ministry has never imposed unreasonable punishment on students.

“Tahfiz schools do not come under the MoE. Under the MoE, there is no such punishment because we follow the law. We have advised the state government monitoring tahfiz schools to do something about it,” he said.

On his Facebook page, Maszlee also said he was concerned over the spread of photos.

“At the ministry level, we recognise that the tahfiz institution is under the jurisdiction of the Sarawak state government, but these types of punishment are inhumane and undermine the dignity of the country's education system.

“At the same time, I believe, the Sarawak Islamic Religious Department has taken appropriate action to resolve this problem,” he said.

He also called on private educational institutions to adhere to humanitarian principles and the law in formulating forms of punishment for students.

“Education does not work with violence. Education is about showing love, affection and compassion," he added.

-- Bernama

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