National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) public relations and management council senior general manager, Abdul Ghaffar Yusof, revealed that the body only collects about 60% or less of repayment every month.
PTPTN is expecting to collect RM300 million monthly, but only managing about RM150 million to RM180 million a month. For the first quarter of 2019, PTPTN received RM558.9 million in repayments against the expected RM900 million.
Meanwhile, the agency is still giving out new student loans every year. At the same time, the number of loan defaulters is increasing. Thus, PTPTN’s financial shortage is increases every year.
Additionally, travel ban on PTPTN loan defaulters were lifted after Pakatan Harapan won GE-14. It was a part of the new government’s initiative to fulfil their promise; PTPTN borrowers can have a stay on starting their repayments until they start earning a stable monthly income of RM4,000 or above.
Undoubtedly, the amount of repayment collected by PTPTN for the year 2018 did not show any improvement compared to the year before. This can be seen from the cumulative loan repayment statistics by PTPTN. The funds collected through loan repayment increased in a similar trend since 2015, but at the same time the amount of loan disbursed by PTPTN is also growing consistently.
Therefore, a new repayment scheme is required so that borrowers will repay their debt and PTPTN can continuously disburse loans for the upcoming batch of students.
As of today, the new repayment scheme has yet to be revealed. However, PTPTN said that they might reintroduce the travel ban on loan defaulters in May. The idea received mixed reactions by the public.
On Twitter, the network of PTPTN can be divided into three prominent clusters during the peak period of the issue.
The biggest cluster is the blue violet, taking up 34.18% of the whole PTPTN network. The circular shape surrounding @Aisehman not only made the account the main influencer, but it also indicated that most of the accounts in the cluster responded to @Aisehman.
@Aisehman tweeted a complaint on the bad attitude of almost one million PTPTN borrowers who never repay a single cent of their loans. Most of the people responded to the tweet are supporting @Aisehman.
On the other hand, a similar trend can be seen on the green cluster with @HafizRayyan as the main influencer.
The influencer disagrees with the idea of reintroducing travel ban as it is against the Pakatan Harapan manifesto. Most of the responses @HaifzRayyan received were on his side.
The third biggest cluster which is the orange group was more evenly spread. Nevertheless, it still has a single main influencer; Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq.
The minister tweeted a video of him assuring the people that he will oppose the reintroduction of travel ban if it were to be proposed in the cabinet.
Overall, Twitter users were divided on the travel ban. The previous repayment scheme which introduced a pay cut method was heavily rejected by the public until it was retracted by PTPTN.
The new PTPTN repayment scheme is expected to be revealed to the public by this month. Nevertheless, it is expected to face public backlash because it is difficult for PTPTN to increase their loan collection while trying to fulfil the promise made in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.