PAS urged the government today to introduce more lenient terms for the repayment of federal study loans, claiming the existing stipulations were too burdensome for fresh graduates just coming onto the job market.
Among the changes the Islamist party is advocating are a longer grace period before the first loan instalment is due and a reduction in the statutory liability for loan defaulters.
PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar today said fresh graduates who were unable to secure employment within six months of graduating were facing the added pressures of having to repay their National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans.
“It is not fair to burden these students before they even have a permanent job; it is immoral,” said Mahfuz.
The Pokok Sena MP also noted that defaulters were liable for their loans for a maximum of 11 years, in contravention of the Limitation Act 1953 that stipulates a liability period of no more than six years.
PAS today also announced the formation of a task force, to be headed by Paroi assemblyman Mohd Taufek Abdul Ghani, to examine issues related to the federal study loan scheme.
The PTPTN fund was incorporated in 1997 to provide student loans to those pursuing tertiary educations.
Since its inception, PTPTN has issued some RM38 billion in loans and recently saw its annual allocation raised to RM6 billion