Malaysiakini Letter

'How dare you PTPTN guys send me a warning...'

Wong Ee Zern  |  Published:  |  Modified:

My plight/issues with PTPTN started ever since my younger sister who was a first class honours student was declined a full waiver on her PTPTN loan. It was not made known until she graduated and was asked to pay her loan back. She tried to appeal to PTPTN but was rejected.

All these years, PTPTN borrowers were exempted from loan repayments provided they graduated with a first class honours degree. However, things changed in 2005. If one were to refer to the PTPTN website, it is stated that: ‘Exemption of repayment will only be considered for borrowers who obtain a first class honours for loans approved prior to July 1, 2005 only by submitting an application’.

Following the announcement of the budget plan of 2010, I sincerely believed that all the university students (especially my sister) were delighted by the news that first class honours graduates would be exempted from the loan repayments (again).

Unfortunately, after checking with PTPTN, only graduates who completed their studies in 2010 are eligible for that privilege. How could this happen? It is extremely unfair to the few batches of students whose loans were approved after July 2005 and who graduated in 2009. My sister is one of those unlucky ones.

Secondly with regards to the loan administrative charge from previously 3% to 1%:

‘Caj perkhidmatan Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN) diturunkan kepada satu peratus bagi semua pelajar universiti berkuatkuasa Jun tahun ini, kata Menteri Pengajian Tinggi Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.’

‘Peminjam diberi tempoh sebulan untuk melengkapkan dokumen baru itu dan mengembalikannya semula kepada PTPTN.

‘Peminjam perlu menjawab surat tawaran itu sama ada setuju atau tidak, ini perlu kerana ia melibatkan perjanjian, mereka (peminjam) tidak boleh anggap bila kita umum ia akan berubah kerana ini ada perjanjian.

‘Kalau peminjam tidak memberikan sebarang jawapan, kadar caj yang lama akan tetap dikenakan,’ katanya.’ - media report on Aug 13, 2008

Until today there is no letter for both me and my sister with regards to this matter. Has the 1% gone into hiding or only selected people are having this 1%? A recent call to PTPTN gave me this answer - ‘We are still in the process of sorting out all the paperwork and also the list of loan applicants year by year’.

Do you all need two years to settle this? What is technology for? What is the use of the taxes that all Malaysians pay? To get poor technology that can’t assist and speed up the process? Then I would like to question - what is the use of the administrative charges if PTPTN works this way?

Thirdly, with regards to repayment of PTPTN loans. I have been paying my loan's repayments without fail every year. But due to my busy schedule, I usually like to pay a lump sum every six months. Early this year, I wanted to pay via deductions via the EPF but I had too many of ‘roadblocks’ till I got fed-up with all the hassle. The chronicles are as follows:

March 2010 - Called up PTPTN, asking about the procedure. Person on the line wasn't clear of the procedure at all.

April 2010 - Called up PTPTN again. This time, procedure was clear on how to make EPF deductions to pay for my PTPTN loan. Was asked to fill up form online, but the site was down.

June 2010 - Was sent a letter by PTPTN saying that if I don’t make payment of RM X amount, I will be barred from leaving the country. Still can’t access the form from their website; the particular page was unaccessable.

July 2010 - Still can’t access the form from their website, the particular page was still inaccessible.

Aug 23, 2010 - Managed to fill up the form online and submitted. Was told that it would take seven working days to get back to me on my total repayment due. Called PTPTN, confirmed they received my application.

Sept 3, 2010 - Called PTPTN, enquiring about me not getting the letter that states the total repayment amount. ‘Not ready’. Was told to wait 7-14 working days. Accepted and waited.

Sept 14, 2010 - Called PTPTN again. Told them its been 14 days and still no letter. They told me at their end, it is still being processed. I asked when could I expect the letter from PTPTN? The answer was ‘ Tak tau bila. You wait saja lah. Kita akan highlight kat PIC/Department itu ’.

My question now is, is it true that many don’t want to pay up their PTPTN loans? Or is it you PTPTN guys giving us a hard time to pay-up? In my case, PTPTN with its incompetent workforce is giving me a hard time paying back my loans. And then you guys have the nerve to send me a warning letter telling me that I will not be able to leave the country if I don't pay up?. So shouldn’t you receive a warning letter for your incompetency? How dare you.

Again the question I would like to throw to you all is, what is the use of the administrative charges if PTPTN works this way? Why should you PTPTN guys impose even the 1%?

I'm very disappointed with how things are run with PTPTN and the MoHE for not following-up and monitoring these matters. I believe I'm not the only or first or last to complain regarding this. I really hope this will be a wake-up call for you guys at PTPTN. If no response or action is taken by PTPTN, I will have to escalate this matter to a higher authority.

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