Friday, August 23, 2013

Making Education in Malaysia More Affordable, Not Free -- the Obama lesson

In view of the storm in the teacup created  by an ill-fated proposal fo publicly shame defaulters of billions of ringgit in student loans, it's heartening to know that even the Americans are facing the same problems. 

The US position on tuition fees and student loans may differ from the Malaysian position, but the manner President Barack Obama is tackling the issue is worth a look, especially his "income-based repayment program, which caps student loan payments based on new graduates' incomes". 

Please note that US President is stressing on making education more affordable, not free as some lunatics in Malaysia claim they are entitled to. 

The message from President Barack Obama: 


Michelle and I wouldn't be in the White House today if it weren't for our college educations.

It wasn't cheap. We didn't finish paying off our student loans until about nine years ago.

That's why it's been a personal mission of mine to make higher education more affordable for more Americans -- and starting today, I'm hitting the road to talk about real reforms to fundamentally rethink how we pay for college in this country.

I'm asking you to speak out as well.

Stand with me today -- tell Congress you support real action to make college more affordable for American families.

Right now, the average student who takes out loans to pay for school graduates with more than $26,000 in debt. Something's got to change -- it's not enough just to tinker around the edges. We've got to shake up the current system.

My plan won't be popular with everybody, especially those who profit from the way things are. But we owe it to our students to make sure that our colleges are working for them.

While we'll need Congress' help to get some of this done, my administration will continue to do what we can to make sure quality, affordable higher education is in reach for millions more young Americans.

So far, we've taken some good steps forward. We've published college scorecards to ensure that families are getting the best information as they pick a school, doubled funding for Pell grants, and established a college tax credit. And thanks to the income-based repayment program, which caps student loan payments based on new graduates' incomes, 1.6 million young Americans can keep more money in their pockets.

But there's much more we can and should do -- this is key to creating a better bargain for the middle class.

That's something I've talked a lot about -- every day, I think about what I can do to live up to it. 

That's why I'm calling on Congress to tackle rising tuition costs and pass reforms, so families can get a better bargain when it comes to getting a world-class education.

I'm counting on OFA supporters to be part of this fight. Not much gets done in Washington without the voices of people like you.

Add your name:




  1. Anonymous11:30 am

    It is no so much about free education but quality of education. PTPTN is often abused by BN politician to syphon money out from the fund through dubious IPTS courses. One of them is the nursing course which results in many unemployed low quality nurses and all of them burden by the PTPTN debt.

  2. charleskiwi1:06 pm

    emTwo wrongs or even more don't the defaulters right in not paying ! But in Malaysia who are mainly the defaulters and even an idiot knows the real reason behind it. Besides don't use Obama as an excuse for the real reason in Malaysia where there is nothing the authority can do about the situation. This is common knowledge among the students and that is why there are so many defaulters in Malaysia !

  3. Anonymous5:00 pm

    When the proposal to link up PTPTN loan defaulters to CCRIS shot down by the cabinet, I thought it was a set back. How else the government want to recoup the fund? Is there any other effective way? This kind of problem have been around for years. When you're opposing an idea, you should come out with other idea. A solution. You're not opposing just to become bubblegum popular.
    The amount of fund needed to fattening out the already depleted fund is increasing each year. The amount of recipients who qualify for the fund too are increasing. The government have to look else where for that extra money. It is increasingly become burdensome and tiresome. Those whose job is only to spend doesn't understand the predicaments of the earners. Just try put your foot into their shoes.
    Then again, how on earth we want to teach our fresh graduates to be responsible? To know their duty? They should realize they are borrowers, not recipients. The money they used are the money belong to the people. It needed to be used responsibly and prudently. Commitment of paying needed to keep it rolling so more and more students could get access to the fund. The government, as the guardian of the apparatus have a responsibility to chase back the money.
    I don't believe if they say they can't afford to pay back. They could. Some of the defaulters haven't started to pay up to 5 or 6 years or more. Most of them actually have a stable job with a fixed income. They simply just refused to pay. Even if they still haven't have a job, they could go and met the PTPTN officials. There should be a contact after you leave university/college. Explain to them your predicament and ask for a leeway. They could reschedule back the payment as low as 50 bucks a month. The parents too have a role to play. It is part of their responsibility as well since it's their kids and still under their supervision. They could always prioritize their money first until their kids have their own income. it is just irresponsible if you just keep quiet like that. There's always a way if you want to to show a commitment-an effort to start to paying.
    When you pay back the loan, you're not only pay to show you're grateful for the service and hospitality you had received back then, but you're contributing something to the society as a whole. In short you're doing your part for the betterment of other people being. The money that you're paying will be used back to be given to new applicants. Isn't it that noble? You're not only showing your sense of responsibility but you are actually giving something to the society by enabling more and more of them get access to the fund so that they could achieve their ambition. As compared to scholarship receivers where they just duly mere recipients.

  4. Jika kita lihat :-

    1. Agak mustahil jika pembelajaran tinggi secara percuma. Jika meminimakan kos mungkin boleh di perhalusi.

    2. Gaji dan elaun tenaga pengajar di bahagian swasta agak/terlampau tinggi. Mungkin satu mekanisma gaji boleh di selaraskan. Kos-kos lain kolej yang tidak semesti nya di bebankan kepada pelajar-pelajar sepenuh nya. Umpama penyediaan infrastruktur, kemudahan dan bangunan.

    3. PTPTN mesti di perbadankan mencontohi KWSP. Semua akta-akta berupaya memberi impak perundangan di mana majikan dan pelajar wajib mematuhi deklarasi di mana pemotongan gaji pekerja di buat secara otomatik kepada PTPTN. Pemotongan berjadual yang di persetujui. Keingkaran pekerja memaklumkan deklarasi, rekod bekerja dan berhenti bekerja wajib melibatkan majikan. Dengan cara ini ia boleh di kawal dan PTPTN berhak tahu kemampuan peminjam yang sudah di ambil bekerja.

    Mungkin banyak perkara boleh di perhalusi. Cara begini para peminjam pelajaran lebih bertanggung jawab terhadap adik-adik mereka yang bakal menggunakan duit tabungan pinjaman silih berganti.

  5. Not A Zero Sum Game12:38 am

    Good one Rocky.

    Its worth noting that Americans are richer than Malay or Ibans or Kadazans and yet they depend very much on student loans.
    In our case, the Malays and other natives are not able to continue their study hence the necessity of PTPTN.
    But what is being forgeotten by UMNO is the eagerness of the Malay youths to continue their study!! This factor alone is justification for continuing PTPTN. The repayment is secondary. This is not a zero sum game. Educated Malays citizens will contribute towards in the overall quality of the nation. No amount of billions can buy that!
    Imagine if the youths prefer not to study at all even with PTPTN that would be terrible and then UMNO would have to come out with incentives schemes to stay in college to encourage them to study!
    Here we have the wonderful situation where every youth want to study and the UMNO government is bickering and treating them like felons or poor pay master.These are poor malay students for heavens sake.
    The obvious solution like taking from their EPF student portion seems to evade the officials.
    Those who manage to find jobs will contribute to EPF and it is only a small matter to deduct suitable portion which EPF already allocated for study.
    But what about those not earning enough to contribute to EPF? So what? Do you still beget them their small earnings? So UMNO leaders must get their head and heart right just like Obama.

  6. PTPTN penjana ekonomi negara1:00 am

    "That's why I'm calling on Congress to tackle rising tuition costs and pass reforms, so families can get a better bargain when it comes to getting a world-class education."

    "It is no so much about free education but quality of education. PTPTN is often abused by BN politician to syphon money out from the fund through dubious IPTS courses."

    Jika kita lihat apa yang Obama katakan adalah lebih kurang sama. A better deal for families and students. Apakah sebenarnya kos yang ditanggung oleh pelajar yang perlu dibiayai oleh PTPTN?

    Gaji guru, bangunan kolej dan keuntungan kepada pengusaha IPTS?

    Jika Kerajaan tidak mengeluarkan harga pelajaran yang munasabah maka ini tidak adil jika beban kos perlu ditanggung oleh pelajar melalui pemberian PTPTN.

    Mungkin keuntungan IPTS terlalu tinggi menyebabkan pelajar perlu mengambil PTPTN.

    Sebenarnya apa yang berlaku adalah pengusaha, pengajar, developer semua menjadi kaya raya ber puluh bilion dari Tabung PTPTN. Kemana pergi semuanya wang PTPTN ini yang kemudian perlu diagihkan kepada pelajar untuk membayar?

    Sudahkah kajian dilakukan jika caj kolej munasabah? Bagaimana Kerajaan UMNO boleh memberi secara percuma berbilion ringgit kepada orang Cina yang kaya raya yang menggunakan 4WD dan diesel tetapi tidak pula dikenakan bayaran balek?

    Wang yang diberi kepada tokey-toeky,developer dan kilang Cina melalui pemberian "subsidi" melebehi dari wang PTPTN kepada pelajar Melayu. Kenapa tidak di tuntut balek bila mereka kaya?

    Kesimpulannya, wang PTPTN ini sebenarnya menjana ekonomi negara melalui pembangunan kolej, gaji guru dan keuntungan kapitalis.

    Adalah tidak adil anak-anak Melayu yang rajin berbelajar dibebankan sedangkan yang untung adalah developer cina dan kapitalis.

  7. Anonymous1:27 am

    "Better bargain for the middle class"...perhaps our govt should look into this. SERIOUSLY.

  8. Anonymous10:31 am

    Anon 11.30 . FYI, Masterskill one of those responsible for churning out nurses. Its CEO was opposition candidate in GE13. Blame umno also meh ?

  9. Anonymous10:38 am

    Correction. Lecturers at private colleges don't earn as much as their IPTA counterparts. When you take into account the gross salary income plus allowances and other perks, private colleges' lectures bring home less. Only those who occupy high level positions like ce, ceo earn more than their equivalents at public colleges/universities. How do I know this? I'm a lecturer. And I work at a private college/ soon to be university college. So no bull from me.

  10. Anonymous3:43 pm

    Anonymous 10:31

    Masterskill is exactly what Obama is talking about. Students taking out student loan for dud courses.

    UMNO is the government ma.. UMNO should close down Masterskill for producing unemployable nurses as you say.

    What more the CEO is opposition.
    UMNO tak cekaplah mcm tu.. tido saje.. is Pak Lah or Muhyidin still around?

    You see the Edu Minister Muhyidin, opposition kolejes not performing he close one eye. Students cheated by lousy colleges he want to criminalise! Why is he so scared of opposition?