Maszlee Now Says PTPTN's Controversial Salary Deduction Scheme Has Been Put On Hold
Under the new scheme, borrowers earning RM2,000 and above a month will be subjected to monthly deductions to repay their student loans.
Following the backlash surrounding the Income-Contingent Loan Repayment (ICLR) scheme, Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik now says that the new PTPTN repayment scheme is currently being put on hold
In a tweet posted earlier today, 7 December, the minister explained that ICLR - also known as Potongan Gaji Berjadual (PGB) - has been suspended until they have collected "input and feedback" from all stakeholders.
PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan announced on Wednesday, 5 December, that the ICLR scheme - which will see borrowers' salaries deducted monthly - was supposed to come into effect on 1 January
The ICLR scheme is mandatory for borrowers earning RM2,000 and above a month, with deductions ranging from 2% to 15% depending on their salaries.
Its implementation was reported to be similar to that of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and income tax deductions, in which PTPTN will issue a directive to employers to carry out the deductions on their employees' monthly wages.
The mandatory loan repayment scheme has courted criticism from borrowers since it was announced during the tabling of Budget 2019 last month
The scheme was slated to apply to those earning RM1,000 and above a month when it was first announced. It was later adjusted to only apply to those earning RM2,000 and above.
However, according to New Straits Times, some borrowers have pointed out that the percentages set by the ICLR will mean they may be paying more than what was stated in previous repayment contracts or agreements they have made with PTPTN.
Politicians from both the government and opposition camps, including current and former Youth and Sports Ministers Syed Saddiq and Khairy Jamaluddin - have also voiced their concerns and urged PTPTN to reconsider the new repayment scheme
In a video posted on Twitter yesterday, 6 December, Syed Saddiq thanked borrowers for expressing their views on the scheme and vowed to forward their complaints to the Cabinet.
UMNO's Khairy Jamaluddin also replied to a tweet lamenting the increased repayment rate, saying that the government should re-evaluate the scheme and delay its implementation.