The new repayment scheme for the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) borrowers has been postponed pending further consultation.
Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the postponement of the Income-Contingent Loan Repayment (ICLR) scheme, which was to have come into force in January 2019, was decided on during a cabinet meeting today.
The matter was decided after taking into account grouses and suggestions raised by the people, especially PTPTN borrowers, he said in a statement today.
"The cabinet feels that the input brought forth by the people were with basis, and the Pakatan Harapan government [...] wants PTPTN to postpone the implementation of the ICLR and to seek the best formula for all vested parties," his statement read.
He called on PTPTN to honour existing ujrah agreements signed by borrowers.
Maszlee added that the new scheduled payment plan should not have included all borrowers at once, especially those already committed to making monthly payments without involving salary deductions.
The minister had earlier tweeted that the ICLR scheme would be temporarily suspended.
"The ICLR PTPTN scheme will be suspended for the time being until we receive the collective input and feedback from all stakeholders," he tweeted today.
Depending on their salaries, the ICLR scheme would have seen PTPTN borrowers earning more than RM2,000 a month having to pay between two and 15 percent of their wages on their loan repayments.
The scheme has been heavily criticised by borrowers who have been making regular repayments and are tied by a repayment contract.
Politicians from both the government and opposition have also spoken out against the scheme.
PTPTN chairperson Wan Saiful Wan Jan had defended the scheme as necessary to ensure that the younger generation is able to attend universities.