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Student Groups Calls the Opposition Hypocritical on PTPTN

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PTPTN-logoThe Penang government has created what some student leaders are calling a "wall of shame" on its official government website.

Online, for all the world to see, are the names of students who have fallen behind on paying back loans granted under Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional (PTPTN).

The two student group leaders are calling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) hypocritical for behaviour that strongly contradicts the Opposition's talk of providing free education for all students.

One of the leaders, Ahmad Yakqub Nazri, head of the Federation of Peninsula Malay Students (GPMS) at the Sungai Pinang branch, represents a powerful lobby of students.

Ahmad Yakqub is boiling mad over the absurdity, saying, "This is the credibility of the Pakatan Rakyat government we have today who can't 'walk the talk!'"

It's only three words, but the punch registered.

Then, Ahmad capped it off by saying, "Is this the government we want?" It is a question many students are asking.

Ahmad said the Penang government's idea to advertise the student's names was in direct contradiction to Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim saying he wants to abolish PTPTN if Pakatan Rakyat forms the Government after GE13.

Anwar got PR in a real predicament when he came up with the bright idea to kill the programme, before figuring out how to finance student education without it.

The Government has said abolishing PTPTN would cost the economy RM43 billion which would have to be paid by a tax hike.

The Opposition leader's promise pushed him so far out on a limb that his PR team-mate, PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, contradicted him by insisting the programme must be kept. "PTPTN cannot simply be abolished just like that," said Hadi.

It took Dr M to remind us Anwar had actually thought up the idea for the student loan programme when he served as Deputy Prime Minister.

Another student leader, the Secretariat Chairman of Students' Voice of Peace, Muhammad Mukhlis Maghribi, said he shared Ahmad Yakqub's views that Anwar's promise was a political move designed to win votes.

They said that Barisan Nasional had shared in carrying the loans by bearing high subsidies and it wasn't fair to abolish something that had helped so many students afford a better education. Interest rates for the students range between 1-3 per cent.

If Pakatan Rakyat's impromptu policy-making does not improve, it will not only be young people wondering what the Opposition pact stands for come GE13.

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