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Election Watch

'Anwar's PTPTN proposal will weaken the economy'

Source: Malaysiakini
Date : 9 April 2012

Abolishing the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) for tertiary students will weaken the economy, several economists and academicians have warned.

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Asli chairperson Ramon Navaratnam (left) is quoted byBerita Harian as saying that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's proposal to use the Petronas funds is not practical and will result in investors losing confidence in Malaysia.

Former Universiti Teknologi Mara vice-chancellor Ibrahim Abu Shah questioned whether Anwar wanted to implement this policy and asked Anwar to try it out at Universiti Selangor.

Meanwhile Higher Education Minister Khaled Nordin is quoted byUtusan Malaysia as saying that abolishing PTPTN and providing free tertiary education would cause people to flock to public higher learning institutions, causing the private universities to lose out.

"Public institutions will face problems as they will face budget constraints," he said, adding that it would be the Malay students whou would lose out.

Sinar Harian also reports that the PTPTN issue continues to be highlighted by the BN and Umno to garner support.

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New Straits Times reports that the number of tertiary students receiving financial support rose from 27,000 to 230,000 after PTPTN came into existence.
It also quotes Khaled (right) as saying that providing free tertiary education would be impossible as the cost would be too huge.

"PTPTN not only covers the tuition fees but also the living expenses of the students," says Khalid.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said the government would have to spend RM43 billion if the PTPTN loan is abolished.

Anwar had proposed to use funds from national oil corporation Petronas to finance PTPTN to provide free education and to cut on such expenditure.

The details, the opposition leader and PKR de factor leader said, would have to be worked out.

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