SO much has been said regarding the repayment of PTPTN loans and objections from borrowers, who give excuses about being unable to pay their loans. I have loans from universities and have paid in instalments as it is fair and dutiful to do so. I understand that it is difficult to repay if the repayment amount is big. So here are a few simple suggestions:

1. Pay back as a percentage of earnings rather than a fixed amount once employed. For example, 5% if one’s income is below RM2,000, 10% if income is between RM2,000 and RM4,000 and RM500 if income is above RM4,000. No one should be excluded. If 5% is still too much, then start as low as 2% or 3%. Everyone should start paying once they are employed.

2. Collection is always difficult. Thus, use the best collector that we have. The IRB can collect on behalf of the government and channel the monies accordingly.

3. Zero interest to those earning below RM2,000, and sliding up the interest when their earnings increase. This is to force those who can already pay to quickly do so rather than spend their money on big cars for example. It should be above the current bank rates for the highest tier to prevent borrowers from fleecing the government on cheap interests while they enjoy the benefits from taxpayers.

4. By using the IRB to collect the money, it would be easy to track any persons on government loans as the employers would have to report them for income tax and they will be tracked. Deduction is automatic from the employer to IRB. It is important to cut government staffing allocated just to collect loans and put my tax money to better use. Thus, utilising existing collection systems would help.

It should be a honour to repay loans and not have an attitude of ‘why pay when others have not’. Sadly, that’s the thinking by many people.