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 EDUCATION

Overall positive reactions to news on extended deferment

24th March, 2020

By VESTA VANESSA JSOL

KOTA KINABALU: Graduates with loans from the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN), expressed positive reaction towards news of loan repayment extension.

“The extension is good and timely during this crucial situation (COVID-19 pandemic). Within this period, PTPTN borrowers are under the Movement Control Order (MCO), unable to work as they used to.

“Workplace, companies where they work were shut down. Hence, some of the employees are forced to take an unpaid leave or half-paid,” said Cyril Modili.

Speaking to New Sabah Times, the 29-year-old Tamparuli native added that if the pandemic gets worse, the MCO will be prolonged.

“In the meantime, borrowers also need to cope with their daily necessities. Money which is allocated for the repayment ends up covering expenses during MCO.

“Foreign countries like the United States of America gave postponement on education loans due to the pandemic. However, to those who have the ability, please keep on paying your loan as usual as it is our responsibility.”

Another borrower, Sue Jane Malupin, 32, expressed her gratefulness about the news.

“This allows us to get a breather, especially those of us financially affected.”

Saddam Edris said the announcement was the government’s wise decision to help the rakyat.

“Imagine those who work as entrepreneurs, farmers and self-employed, can their earnings cope with the payment? “The pandemic forced the country to declare MCO, limiting movement to make money. Unstable income causes inconsistent PTPTN loan. Thus, it is better to give us some time.”

Beaufort native, Kasmah Mat Kasim questioned whether employers will be able to pay employees their salary throughout the MCO.

Thus, she warmly welcomed the announcement. She foresees that it will lighten the borrower’s burden, at least for a while.

A private institution teacher, Dewiana Tinggolongon believes it was a reasonable action.

“Our economy is uncertain now, causing some employees to lose their job. The announcement is perfect. Thank you for taking the initiative.”

For Jamalis Jika, though the repayment amount is small, it means a lot.

“It can be used on various things such as food and essentials, to name a few. Even though the extension is short but it will benefit numerous people.”

Aksan Salim, 27, said the announcement was a relief.

“Looking at the matter positively, it reduces financial burden, especially those who worked in tourism and hospitality industry that have lost their job due to the COVID-19 and MCO.

“However, if we see it negatively, it creates ‘laziness’ among borrowers. Previously, many of them are purposely not paying back, let alone after the extension announcement.”

As for Mohammad Saiful Sinring, 27, he urged those who have the ability to pay back.

“Nowadays, people able to make any payments via online platforms. There is no need to be physically present at the PTPTN counter.

“In the meantime, our government is facing enough burdens, economically and socially.

“Thus by paying back, we are indirectly helping the country.”

On Monday, the federal government announced a six-month repayment extension for the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loan, amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in announcing the government’s agreement to extend the repayment period from three months to six months, said the extension is effective from March 23 to September 30.

   
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