KUCHING: The Sarawak government has allocated RM30 million to assist its students to repay their education loan with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), making it the only state with such an initiative.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he had listened to the students’ hardship during a dialogue session with Sarawakian students in peninsular Malaysia at the ‘Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak’ programme in Kuala Lumpur in October 2019.
“Based on the dialogue, I have allocated RM30 million in the last budget to help them repay the PTPTN loan,” he said in his remark during the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Exchange Ceremony between Yayasan Sarawak and PTPTN at his office in Petra Jaya here, today.
Through the MoU, Yayasan Sarawak will utilise the state government’s allocation to provide an incentive to Sarawakian students who have repaid at least 30 per cent of their PTPTN loan, to settle 30 per cent of the loan balance.
Abang Johari said Yayasan Sarawak has its own mechanism to manage the students’ loan repayment and hoped that the initiative would help solve their problems.
Meanwhile, PTPTN chief executive Ahmad Dasuki Abdul Majid said the initiative was a proactive measure, which saw the state government allocating a huge amount to assist its students in settling their education loan.
“This initiative should be praised and become an example for other states,” he said during the ceremony.
He added that as of Dec 31 last year, PTPTN has disbursed a total of RM4.7 billion in education financing to 195,350 students throughout the country, and 3,429 first-class students were given loan repayment exemption totalling RM88.7 million.
Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang said to date, 9,000 Sarawak students were eligible to benefit from the initiative after being screening by PTPTN.