Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PTPTN goats and poor Bangladeshi women

I am still pissed at the goats who refuse to pay their PTPTN loans. So I have to write another crappy story and force you people to read it.

As I have stated in my earlier articles, it is only basic decency. You borrow money, you pay. It does not matter whether you are poor or your girlfriend ran away or you have been sodomised, you still have to repay what you borrowed. It is not your money. If you signed a contract, then you must honour that contract lah. Kalau tidak, you are no different from the cows - the cows also can also refuse to pay their RM 250 million. I call them goats because the cows are living in the condo. Kambing saje yg tinggal, mengembek tak tentu hala and berak sepanjang jalan.

[BTW, my friend Walski69 summed up aptly by tweeting that Part of the PTPTN problem is that we have an entire generation (plus another half maybe) grown up with a sense of entitlement]

Lembu duduk kat kodo, kambing pula naik moto

I think many of the goats have realised that their refusal to repay the PTPTN loans received very little support. Only Brader Anwar is behind them (BTW, it is actually quite risky to have Brader stand behind you). Their refusal to repay loans had people whacking them left, right and centre.

So now they have changed their tune, now they want free education. “Pinjaman PTPTN membebankan, kami mahu pendidikan percuma”, they say. “Kerajaan zalim, PTPTN tak ubah seperti Ah Long”, they scream.

With the new storyline, the goats have got sympathizers. Many people think it is a good idea to provide free tertiary education. But is it really a good idea?

Let’s ask ourselves some questions.

1. Primary education in Malaysia is free. Secondary education in Malaysia is free. Tertiary education in public universities in Malaysia is 80% subsidized. So students actually only have to pay about 20% of the actual fees (as compared to students in private colleges and universities). Is 20% of the actual fees of getting a degree too much to pay?

2. Those who did not get a scholarship and cannot afford to pay the 20%, have the option of applying for the PTPTN loan (or other loan schemes). Thousands of Malaysians have obtained loans from PTPTN, got their diplomas or degrees and faithfully repaid their loans. Without the loan, many would not have gotten their degrees. With the loan, thousands have gotten a higher education. How do you call the loan a burden when without it, you would not even have gotten your degree?

3. The nation is spending billions of ringgit on tertiary education (including the provision of the PTPTN loans). But what about the 80% of Malaysians who not quite make it to the universities. 80% of Malaysia’s workforce only has secondary education. It is a lot more difficult for them to find decent jobs compared to university graduates. Why should we pamper university graduates? Why should we worry whether they get decent jobs or otherwise? Why are we ignoring the majority of people who don’t have higher education? Shouldn’t we be focussing our efforts on helping this group of Malaysians?

4. All over the world, students work their way through college. I have found that students who have worked while in college turn out to be better employees. They are a lot more resourceful, street-wise and confident. It builds character. Should we encourage our students to work while in college? I did.

5. Even if the country had extra money, is further subsidizing tertiary education the best way to spend the money? Should we not invest in improving our healthcare? Preventing crime? Improving public transport?

I leave you without answers because I have three stories to tell.

Story 1
I was in Manchester in the mid 90’s, doing my post-graduate research (don’t worry, I was not using up Malaysian taxpayers money – I had a partial scholarship from the University of Manchester and topped up with my savings). At that time, Malaysian under-graduate students on government scholarship received a living allowance of GBP 400 per month. Most of them complained and complained at what they termed as pittance. Everytime a government officer from Malaysia visited, the meagre allowance was our students’ number one complaint.

Enter HY. HY was a student from China, also doing his PhD under the same professor as I was. The Chinese government provided him with only GBP 200 per month (for a PhD student – which was only half of what our undergraduates were getting). So I asked HY how he survived with only GBP 200 per month. He told me that he only spends GBP 100 a month. He sleeps in a sleeping bag in the postgrad students’ room. He lives off instant noodles. No movies, no beer, no entertainment, no nothing. He was saving GBP 100 a month so that he could bring his wife and child from Beijing to stay with him in Manchester. He saved for almost three years. By the time I finished, HY’s wife and child were already in Manchester and he got his PhD.

So what was it that the goats in Dataran Merdeka were saying?

Story 2
During my undergrad days at UTM, scholarships and loans were hard to come by. A few got scholarships from JPA, some got loans from various organizations, and many had nothing. Many had to quit halfway through their studies when their parents could not afford it anymore. To make matters worse, when my batch graduated, Malaysian was experiencing a major recession. Jobs were very very difficult to come by. I got a job as a research assistant for RM 400 a month.

My friend, SB, took a loan from Perak State Government during his uni days. After he graduated, he was jobless for a few months before he got a job as a technician with a starting salary of RM 600 per month (he had a degree in Mechanical Engineering). Do you know what he did when he got his first salary? He proudly made his first monthly loan repayment. He did not go to Dataran Merdeka to whine. He did not go to beg to anyone to waive his loan. Despite his low salary, he did the right thing. He paid his loan. According to him, he would be embarrassed if he did not finish paying up his loans. I remember him saying that his father would probably disown him if he did not pay his loan.

So what was it that the goats in Dataran Merdeka were saying?

Story 3
Have you all heard about Muhammad Yunus and the Grammen Bank in Bangladesh?.  Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in the 1980s. Grameen means village. Both Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank were awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2006. Muhammad Yunus has also received numerous other awards from so many countries for his efforts in eradicating poverty in Bangladesh.

The Grameen bank provides micro-credit to the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh. The people are so poor that no one else will give them loans. Grameen Bank gives the loans without collateral. 95% of the borrowers are women.

Do you how many percent of the borrowers default on their loan repayments? Less than 2%. Only less than 2% of the borrowers (who are very very poor people) fail to repay their monthy instalment. Because they know it is immoral not to repay the loans. Because they cannot face their neighbours or friends if they do not repay. Because they have pride. Because they are honourable people.

So what was it that the goats in Dataran Merdeka were saying?

Monyet King says
1. Read this book called “Banker to the Poor. It is the story of Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. Beautiful. Or you can google Muhammad Yunus or Grameen bank.

2. Some friends told me that I should not call people goats. But what choice do I have?. The term “cow” has already been monopolised by the NFC clowns. I did not want to offend the horses and camels. Goat was the only name available. Jangan marah ye…


eddy said...

The sooner the Chief Goat i.e Anwar Ibrahim retires the better our country will be. Only anarchist who has no respect for the law will tell people that loans need not be paid.

Shirley Ong said...

Love the 3 true stories. Those are people with pride and honour and they acted righteously by repaying their loans so that more deserving people will also benefit.

Monyet King said...

Eddy, I am upset that he (and his goons) are actually encouraging irresponsible behaviour.

Monyet King said...

I am actually proud to have known the first two. I am sure there are many more people like that in Malaysia. If you have the time, do read about Grameen Bank. Very interesting story, especially about empowering the village women..

Ard said...

Great read and lesson for those stupid ingrate.

lordapes said...

The first story almost brought tears to my eyes. MK, if you see HY again, tell him I send my regards.

Also, I notice most of the demonstrators are muslims. One of the main characteristic of a muslim is supposed to be "berpegang pada janji". For the non-muslims, this might be an interesting read:
They tried to use Islam as a weapon, but all the "zalim" and "unislamic" crap they threw actually reflects how little they know about Islam themselves. Again, by using religion, they tried to get away with murder.

bruno said...

Monyet King,the goats already have defaulting on their loans in mind.But with the encouragement of the kerbaus they are more likely to do so.So why not make satay out of the kerbaus to set an example to the goats.But beware,kerbau satay is tough meat to chew,real tough.

bruno said...

Monyet King,look at the way the goat is holding(grabbing)onto the motorcyclist.You have to check the moisture content of his pants,when he reached his destination.

Anonymous said...

Sudah pinjam tak mau bayar.. Mentaliti kelas tiga betul.. Nak harap jadi pemimpin macam ni? Hancussss Malaysia!

kahkahkah said...

beza kerajaan dengan microlenders: microlenders (like Grameen Bank) won't lend you money if they think you won't pay. kerajaan malaysia baik sangat apasal.
bayar laa hutang tu woi. dosa. haram cari makan dengan sijil diperbuat daripada hutang yang tak dibayar.

ET said...

Exactly my sentiments about the recent PTPTN protest. Just to share my POV and experience, I worked hard in university to get first class honors for my BSc so that I may be eligible to have my PTPTN loan change to a scholarship. And now I'm pursuing my Masters degree with PTPTN loan and I know full well that I need to pay for this one. I am willing because without it, I will not have financial capacity to pursue my studies. I see it as an aid, not a burden. A short term debt for a long term investment. Some people must understand that although education should ideally be free, it cannot be free of charge as there are so much cost incurred in each facet of the education institution and facility that are either undervalued and simply not tabulated.

sirmudas said...

Great stuff.

Though may you please elaborate on the sources that:

"80% of Malaysia’s workforce only has secondary education. It is a lot more difficult for them to find decent jobs compared to university graduates."

Is this based on your research? For academia purposes. Thank you sir.

Anonymous said...

well said, MK. I admire this HY.. Thank you for posting this to the world.. from SAR, KL.

semuanya OK kot said...

On the other hand, why the secrecy over who gets scholarships instead of loans - and for that matter who get loans - and for that matter, who gets seats? Are the "lucky" ones all that brilliant? Until this culture of doubletalk, hypocrisy, apartheid and moving goalposts ends, we will go around in circles - actually, keep spiralling down.

semuanya OK kot said...

Noted from a TV documentary: Like Grameen, an Ethiopian development NGO only lends to wives. It has successfully turned barren eroded areas green, and is expanding. Its main princliple is that unlike the disasterous foreign NGOs (which also do not seek local opinion) there are no freebies. The (future) beneficiaries must contribute their labour without payment. Thus they value and preserve their work.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Your Royal Monyetness,
Fancy some goat (or the right term - chevon - not mutton) rendang???? purrrr....meow!

Anonymous said...


Speaking of post-graduate research, me thinks it's high time that someone undertake the following study: "IMBECILITY: A LONGITUDINAL ANALYSIS ON THE PUBLIC APPEAL OF ANWAR IBRAHIM NOTWITHSTANDING SALIENT NEGATIVE FACTORS".

Not a bad idea, considering tertiary education will soon be free of charge.

Monyet King said...

I have lost touch with HY. I guess he must have settled down in UK and never went back to China.

Monyet King said...

Lembu, kerbaus, kambings, they are all the same. They make good briyani

Monyet King said...

You said "haram cari makan dengan sijil diperbuat daripada hutang yang tak dibayar". Well said.

Monyet King said...

Good on you. That's exactly what these goats should realise. There is one way of avoiding your loan. That is to study damn hard, get a First Class degree and PTPTN will convert your loan to a scholarship.

Monyet King said...

This was based on statistics quoted by the Ministry of Human Resources a few months ago.

Monyet King said...

Totally agree with you. The award of scholarships and loans must be made transparent.

Monyet King said...

Chevon rendang sounds goat...ooops sorry sounds good.

Monyet King said...

Anon 6:20 PM
Planet of the Monyets will consider giving you a loan of RM 2to do that research. But it is a loan. Kena bayar balik ok.

Leanne said...

Very well written. I fully agree with you. The issue is not free education but enforcement of loan repayment so that the truely needy will get the loan or scholarship irrespective of race, colour or creed. Our young should learn to work hard for what they want and not have things given to them on a silver platter as that will teach them to gain a sense that the government owes them a living.

Two wrongs do not make a right.

Therefore, as voters, we need to really understand the issues we are supporting and not blindly follow whichever party we are supporting even when they are wrong.

cin2tan said...

Please, how to get a 'loan yg lembut-lembek ' of 1k to buy tablets berwarna biru !?

Mya said...

I love this article – I've been saying this time and again – those goats are selfish ingrates.

Perhaps they should go to a restaurant, eat their food and then decide not to pay. Same difference.