Tuesday, April 10, 2012
'Anti-PTPTN rally is ploy to draw students for Bersih 3.0'
The anti-National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) rally slated for Saturday is an opposition ploy to rouse the anger of students ahead of the Bersih 3.0 rally, said Deputy Youth Minister Razali Ibrahim.
"April 14 is not about PTPTN. April 14 is a warm-up for the Bersih rally and use the campus to prepare for the next election,” he said of the rally calling for PTPTN’s abolition.
Bersih 3.0 is slated for April 28 at Dataran Merdeka, two weeks after the anti-PTPTN rally at the same location.
Razali (right) said Pakatan Rakyat had ran out of issues to play up, and hence deviated from their original Buku Jingga manifesto plan for PTPTN to offer interest-free education loans.
"They have invited students in a last ditch effort because there are no NGOs, no people, and no organisation that wants to attend the Bersih rally.
"But to invite students for Bersih, they would not come out... They do not mention elections.
"They talk about jobs; they talk about housing; they talk about education, to rouse anger among students, so that they can be used by the opposition in Bersih 3.0."
Razali, who is also the Umno Youth vice chief, was delivering a speech while launching a two-day roundtable discussion on PTPTN, organised by the youth wing’s Higher Education Bureau.
The roundtable is held at Vistana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, and is being aired simultaneously online via its Facebook and Twitter pages dubbed mejabulatptptn.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is expected to receive the results of the discussions tomorrow.
In his speech, Razali also urged the roundtable’s participants to consider the possible implications of abolishing PTPTN, such as what to do with repayments already made to the fund, and education loans from other government agencies that would be rendered redundant.
"The RM43 billion (cost of abolishing PTPTN) quoted by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is only what is on paper.
"The implications of the opposition’s decision are actually far larger and far more detrimental," he warned.