The cabinet has shot down the proposal to include those who take National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) loans in the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS).

NONEIf PTPTN had gone ahead with the move, those who defaulted on their education loans would not be able to take other loans from financial institutions.

According to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the cabinet rejected the proposal at its meeting this morning.

"Just completed cabinet meeting. Alhamdulillah, PTPTN will not go ahead with the proposal to list its student loan defaulters under CCRIS.

"Thank you prime minister and education minister for listening to the youth," he said on Twitter.

The decision comes following an outcry over the move by both PKR and Umno Youth, both of which described it as oppressive.

CCRIS is a database with individual credit information that can be made available to financial institutions upon request.

Malaysiakini understands that PTPTN, which is facing severe defaults on its loans, had decided to link up with CCRIS earlier, but deferred the implementation as the general election was pending.

The cost of higher education was a hot topic in the lead-up to the May 5 general election, with PKR promising free tertiary education if Pakatan Rakyat came into power.

In a statement earlier today, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said linking PTPTN with CCRIS would be a "further victimisation" of graduates who are "already burdened with the study loans".

Anwar said the central issue was not PTPTN's loan recovery, about which the opposition had been critical.

"The issue is the failure of the Umno-BN government in discharging its social justice responsibilities of providing free tertiary education, particularly to the underprivileged," he said.-malaysiakini