PTPTN: Wan Azizah slingshots attack on Maszlee, Wan Saiful

Wan Azizah’s take on the PTPTN issue only had the effect of casting doubt over Maszlee’s ability to straighten things out. Source (pic): TTF Files

Yesterday, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail took PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan to task in a roundabout manner over the latter’s announcement that travel bans were one way of getting loan defaulters to service loans.

However, her remarks were unnecessary, as Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik had already reacted to the issue.

Not only did she ignore the Education Minister’s soft-toned approach, she gave the impression that the Ministry of Education and PTPTN were on a different planet.

All these are markings of a power struggle that’s in play between people aligned with Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim and those seen associated with tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.


KOTA KINABALU: The use of the mainstream media by government ministers and Pakatan Harapan politicians to slingshot attacks on one another is ramping up.

Yesterday, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail took PTPTN chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan to task in a roundabout manner over the latter’s announcement that travel bans were one way of getting loan defaulters to service loans.

Speaking to reporters after attending a breaking of fast event, the Deputy Prime Minister said the government had yet to make a decision on the matter, adding that the proposed restriction ought to be reviewed.


“We haven’t made any decision. When did we discuss it? PTPTN has provided space and opportunities for the students to pursue higher studies but there are a handful who did not service their PTPTN study loans (after completing their studies).

“So rolling money is tough for PTPTN but to impose travel restrictions is not a wise thing to do. It needs to be reviewed, after all we too protested the travel restrictions before,” she said.

But Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik had already reacted to the issue.

On Friday, Maszlee expressed surprise that Wan Saiful had suggested such a thing and put the whole issue down to a misunderstanding.

“Did he say that?

“What we are doing now is public consultation on the best way to handle PTPTN defaulters and not impose a travel ban,” he reportedly said.

Maszlee’s remarks were appropriate in that PTPTN is an agency under the Ministry of Education.

Wan Azizah’s, however, were unnecessary and had the effect of casting doubt on Maszlee’s ability to straighten things out.

Not only did she ignore the Education Minister’s soft-toned approach, she gave the impression that the Ministry of Education and PTPTN were on a different planet.

Perhaps Tun Daim Zainuddin was correct.

On Friday, the Council of Eminent Persons’ elder reiterated his complaint about the communication woes of Harapan ministers (and politicians) among themselves.

But perhaps also he miscalculated and failed to see what’s truly going on behind the scenes.

Perhaps, the ministers and politicians are taking digs at one another owing to the power struggle that’s playing behind the scenes between team Mahathir and team Anwar.

It was only five days ago that Anwar took a stand that completely destroyed Mahathir’s position on the need for the Election Commission to go easy on election rules.

On Tuesday, Mahathir complained that the EC’s rule of barring ministers and politicians with government posts from campaigning during office hours was unjust as the opposition could campaign around the clock.

This, he implied, was to the detriment of the ruling coalition as the opposition would have an ‘unfair’ advantage.

The very next day, Anwar poured cold water on the idea by stressing that a fair procedure should be put in place when allowing Cabinet Ministers and public officials who are party leaders to campaign during working hours.

If indeed the problem is a lack of understanding on protocols as Daim claims, we can put all this down to a gross misunderstanding and tell both Mahathir and Anwar to buck up and learn how to communicate their disagreements with one another.

But Anwar and Mahathir have long been in the game and are seasoned enough to know what to say, when and where.

And judging from what they’re saying and how they’re saying it, it’s quite clear that a power struggle of sorts is rearing its ugly head, which probably explains Wan Azizah’s undermining of Maszlee and Wan Saiful.

And no, Daim did not miscalculate.

He too is a seasoned politician and can clearly see what’s going on.

THE THIRD FORCE

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