By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — PKR’s Rafizi Ramly today demanded Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin reveal if he ordered the freeze on loans to University Selangor (Unisel) students, claiming this was likely the minister’s “revenge” against Pakatan Rakyat (PR) over the ongoing PTPTN debacle.
The PKR strategy director said he suspected Khaled had ordered the reported lock out, adding that the minister should resign from his post for taking such “childish” and vengeful action against students in PR-held Selangor.
“He is clearly vindictive about the whole thing. I would wager a bet that PTPTN (National Higher Education Fund Corporation) would not have taken that step unless instructed by Khaled himself,” he told a press conference here.
News portal Malaysiakini reported yesterday that the federal student loan scheme had halted loans to students applying for places in Unisel, for an unknown reason.
Khaled referred to the matter on his Twitter account yesterday, suggesting that Unisel scrap its student fees to “fulfil” PR and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s promise to offer free education and abolish PTPTN loans should they come to power.
“Unisel boleh hapuskan yusan, dgn sendirinya memenuhi matlamat pendidikan percuma dan penutupan PTPTN yg dilaungkan Anuar dan Pakatan, (Unisel can abolish its fees, thereby fulfilling the goal of free education and the closure of PTPTN as proclaimed by Anuar (sic) and Pakatan),” he had written on the micro-blogging service.
Khaled later added that without PTPTN, a student’s education would definitely face hindrances.
Rafizi, in his scathing attack against the higher education minister, labelled Khaled as “immature and lacking in intellect”, even saying that he should be replaced by Khairy Jamaluddin, the latter’s junior in Umno.
“I have to praise Khairy here. If you were to compare the two, Khairy is more professional and has better knowledge on this issue. He should be the higher education minister instead of Khaled.
“Khaled just issues responses without intellect or maturity. Just by looking at his tweet, you can assume that he was linked to the loan freeze because he seems happy that the students are not getting the loans,” he said.
PR and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders have been at loggerheads over the PTPTN federal student loan scheme, which the opposition claims should be abolished before the country is saddled with a massive education loan debt in the future.