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asked on Sep 25, 2009 at 18:57
by   Karen Chapman
edited on Nov 21, 2016 at 20:01
 
Friday September 25, 2009

Non-bankrupt debtors can be barred going overseas!

VIPs blacklisted for not paying study loans
By KAREN CHAPMAN

PETALING JAYA: They are known as Yang Berhormat and Yang Berbahagia (YBs) but now some of them have earned the not-so-pleasant status of Yang Berhutang (debtor).

These YBs (the prefix used for elected representatives and those who carry honorary titles like Datuk) are not the only public figures on the list of National Higher Education Fund Corporation loan defaulters.

Professionals and celebrities are also among the 26,000-odd people who owe a whopping RM400mil.

The corporation's chief executive, Yunos Abd Ghani, said the defaulters included those who studied medicine, law and business.

He said the corporation had to resort to barring the defaulters from leaving the country because they had been ignoring repeated reminders to repay their loans for more than five years.

Of the 26,627 names submitted to the Immigration Department since the corporation started recommending the travel restriction in August last year, 4% or 1,018 had settled their loans amounting to more than RM20mil, he said.


"This (overseas travel ban) has been an effective method as they have no other alternative but to settle what they owe," he told The Star.

"We don't apply double standards in implementing the action," he said, adding that borrowers could check if they were barred from travelling overseas via the corporation and Immigration Department websites.

When asked what excuses the borrowers gave for not settling their debts on completion of their studies, Yunos said they often claimed they did not receive the corporation's notices.

"Change of address is a favourite excuse despite their legal obligation to update their latest addresses with the corporation," he said.

Yunos said barring defaulters from going overseas was a last resort.

Since the corporation began operations in 1997, he said it had disbursed RM18bil in loans.

In general, Yunos said that 76% of borrowers start repaying their loans as soon as they finished their studies.
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