This BN government can postpone loan repayments for political cronies but not for low income students

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP, on the 12th of March 2018

In Pakatan Harapan’s Manifesto which was launched on Thursday, 8th of March 2018, one of the promises outlined was to allow students to postpone the repayment of their PTPTN loans until their monthly incomes reach RM4,000. The next day, PTPTN chairman and MP for Lenggong, Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah criticized this proposal as being unrealistic and irresponsible.[1] He also said that the practice of allowing PTPTN borrowers to defer their repayments for as much as 36 months before they find a job is a more ‘reasonable’ proposal.

What is ironic about the statement of the PTPTN chairman is that the government has given far longer extensions on loan repayments due to cronyism and corrupt deals. For example, in 2007 the government gave a RM4.6 billion soft loan to the Port Klang Authority (PKA) to fund the scandal ridden PKFZ deal.[2] The full servicing of this loan was postponed to 2011 but in 2011, PKA was not in a financial position to start the full repayments.[3] In 2013, the cabinet decided to give another ‘grace period’ to PKA for another 4 years and to allow PKA to start servicing this loan only in 2018.[4] In total, PKA was allowed to defer its repayment for 10 years as a result of the PKFZ scandal. In other words, students who cannot find jobs get a maximum deferment of 3 years but if you are a government owned company who squandered billions of Ringgit because of a corrupt business deal, you can be given a 10 year loan deferment! Barisan Nasional boleh!

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Two Malaysians ran faster than the existing national record in the Tokyo Marathon 2018 but unfortunately, their accomplishments have not been ratified

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP, on the 2nd of March 2018

Imagine running 42km in slightly under 2 hours 30 minutes in 5-degree Celsius weather and setting what you thought was a national record for the marathon, only to find out that your record couldn’t be ratified by your country’s governing body for athletics. That was exactly what happened to Leo Tan in last Sunday’s 2018 Tokyo Marathon. He set what he thought was a national record, clocking a nett time of 2 hours 25 minutes and 28 seconds (gun time of 2 hours 25 minutes and 32 seconds). Not far behind Leo, was Muhaizar Muhamad, 2017 SEA Games marathon bronze medallist, who clocked an impressive 2:27:21 nett time in his first overseas marathon. The times of both Leo and Muhaizar were faster than the Malaysian marathon record in the record books (more on this later). But for the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) to ratify Leo’s timing as a national record, he had to undergo a doping test. Since both Leo and Muhaizar were not considered as elite runners (the winner, Dickson Chumba of Kenya, won in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 30 seconds), the Tokyo Marathon race director did not allow them to take the doping test. This was noted by Leo in a facebook post (see below).

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In Najib’s economy, the rich get richer and buy more Mercedes and BMWs

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP, on the 27th of February 2018

There has always been this disconnect between the healthy GDP growth figures which Najib and his cabinet like to talk about and the feeling among the people on the street that life is not improving for them. When I examine the car sales figures over the past 5 years, it shows that under Najib’s economy, the rich get richer and buy more Mercedes’ and BMWs while those in the B40 cannot afford to buy cars.

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