Have you ever heard of free education system? Free education system is currently a hot topic that has been discussed lately in Malaysia since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has brought this issue up to the eyes and minds of Malaysians. Some of the Malaysians are in to it and some are simply disagree with this free education system. In fact, there are a few issues has been raised since then. One of it is the politicians and rulers are arguing among themselves to stand their opinions on to implement or not to implement free education. According to Wikipedia, free education can be defined as an education that is funded through taxation or charitable organizations rather than tuition fees. So, the questions is can free education system be implemented in Malaysia?
The very first reason why free education cannot be implemented in Malaysia is the higher taxes that will be charged to the citizens. In order to do free education in Malaysia, the government must taxes its citizens more as those taxes money will be used to support the free education system. According to Aziff Azuddin (2012), while Malaysians only have to pay up until 21% of tax, the Scandinavian’s citizens have to pay up until 57% and it is not something that is impossible. Can you ever imagine that out of your RM 1 000 monthly income, you have to pay RM 570 just for taxes and that’s exclude the other bills that you have to pay as well. The increases of taxes will just end up being a burden to the citizens especially the ones who comes from poor family and having a lot of things to support as well. Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (2012) states that the tuition fees in Finland were funded through the high salary taxes of its people provided the taxes measure is in between 6.5 to 30 per cent. Hence, every salary that Finland people have earned is taxable. Most of the incomes earned by Malaysian are not taxable when the taxes measure is ranging only between 0 to 26 per cent. So, this could be prove that free education is not free at all as higher taxes will be charged to us, the citizens so that the taxes’ money could be channel to free education system.
Another reason why we shouldn’t implements free education in Malaysia is because the government has already subsidised education fees in Malaysia. Every tuition fees of every education level in Malaysia especially tertiary education has been majorly subsidised by the government. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (2012) indicates that Malaysia’s government has already subsidised between 85 to 95 per cent of education fees just to lighten the load that have been carried by the students at Public Institutions of Higher Learning, IPTA. For instance, to learn the medical programme in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, one only has to pay RM 9 000 to complete a five-years programme instead of the actual tuition fees which is RM 166 000. Out of 100 per cent, a medical student merely pays 5.4 cent while the 94.6 per cent of the tuition fee have already been subsidised by the government. Another example is that to complete a four-year programme of engineering, one have to pay only RM 5 600 which is only 9.2 per cent compared to RM 55 600 which is 90.8 per cent that have been subsidised by the government. Beside, Malaysia’s government also has subsidised the interest for the National Higher Education Fund Corporation, PTPTN. PTPTN is a system where the government borrowed money from the local financial institutions for tertiary education students and they subsidised the interest charge for us. Out of 4 to 5 percent interests that have been charged by local financial institutes, the students only need to pay 1 per cent of interest which is rather called as service charges. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (2012) also notes up that up until now in 2012, the government have already subsidised RM 1.09 billion to pay for the interest that have been charged by the local financial institutions and as December 31, 2011, a sum of 11 764 students who managed to graduate with first class degree or equivalent have been exempted from repaying their loans as their loans were given to them in sort of scholarship.
The other reason is that Malaysia could go into bankrupt crisis. It is a fact that Malaysia is a country that have oil and petroleum sources and Malaysia will get RM 80 billion annually. The main income of this country is coming from petroleum and this petroleum, sooner or later will run out and it takes million years to have petroleum back. Later on, when this petroleum finishes up, Malaysia’s income will decrease abruptly and we will become like a normal country that depends on its citizens’ taxes to move on. Take a look on what had happened in Morocco. As they are too concentrated to implement free education, it does not have any effect on strengthening the economy, development of economy, growth and much more, Datuk Khaled Nordin (2012). On the other hand, Khairy Jamaluddin (2012) argues that in order to make Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) promises to become a reality, RM 188 billion is going to be spent whereas the budget’s portion is only RM 233 billion. Deduct RM 188 billion from Budget, the nation will only have RM 45 billion left. As the government is paying the salary of our civil servants, RM52 billion is needed. In that case, the government would not be even able to pay the salary of our civil servants. Our country will next undergo bankrupt phase. As a fact matter, Greece which provides free education towards all of it citizens is now almost going into bankrupt phase. This could be one of proves on why we shouldn’t implemented free education in Malaysia.
Finally, free education system has been tested in Selangor and it is not working because the Selangor’s government cannot afford to support the expenses of free education. As a response towards the accusation of PR which claimed that Selangor would be fine with free education and without National Higher Education Cooperation Fund, PTPTN, the PTPTN management has freeze loans to University of Selangor, UNISEL and Kolej Universiti Islam Selangor, KUIS applicants. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (2012) proposes that to test whether PR is able of giving free education towards Selangor students, it is fair for PTPTN to temporarily freeze the loans that have been given to UNISEL’s students. However, as time moves on, it is proved that PR did not have the ability to deliver free education as being claimed before. According to Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (2012), the freeze was lifted as the administration of UNISEL has acknowledged that their students are indeed in need of PTPTN while Datuk Ismail Mohd Said (2012) states that as the Selangor’s government has not been able to provide free education as they claimed before, the freeze has been lifted up due to many requests from the parents itself. If a district like Selangor could not even able to do free education, is the idea of implementing free education in a country like Malaysia sounds like an excellent idea to you? By any means, Selangor is much smaller being compared to Malaysia and of course, it would take a lot to take in if free education is going to be implement in Malaysia.
As a conclusion, based on the reasons that have been stated before, free education system has been proved that it is not suitable to be implement in this country, Malaysia due to many weakness of the system itself and for the best for its citizens. Although that free education might be beneficial for short terms, in long terms, it might risk our country towards bankrupting. So, we should not risk something good for something that is not surely will bring the best out towards the citizens of this country.
Okay, all of the words that have been italized up above are my Academic Writing for Bel311 in my third semester for my diploma. My friend, Erna and I wrote this essay and I'm the one who came out with the idea of writing on reasons why we can't work this free education system in Malaysia. We made our research so please don't stomp on the idea that we've been trying to deliver through this essay.
I believe all the human in this world like to get free things, moreover when you get one of life's need ( in this situation: education ) for free. The compulsory 11 years of schooling education are already free and that is enough for me. The government play its role for giving chance to every child for its right of education without the parents getting worried of the school fees. However, when you choose to further your study in tertiary education ( which are not compulsory ), you just have to pay a small amount as your study already have been subsidied by the government. Im not saying that imma rich kid but my parents are still able to pay the fees as well as giving me allowance without me borrowing from PTPTN. Nevertheless, you can always borrow from PTPTN and further your studies as those money you'll get can be used as tuition fees and also the living cost of you when you're in your university. The PTPTN itself for me are standing up as good last option that you can get. Why would I'd be saying it as the last option? Because, if you did get excellent result during your SPM, you could have got scholarship from many many companies or organizations or government itself that are willing to fully support your tuition fees when you're in your your tertiary education. For those who aren't lucky enough with their SPM, like me, they could have still apply for PTPTN which are almost given to every students that applied for it. If I would destined to be one of PTPTN appliers, I would be in grateful because I can still further my studies even when my SPM result are not good enough without feeling any worry of paying the tuition fees. I would be grateful because I would only need to pay a few percentages out of 100% of my actual tuition fees and in the same time, did not have to borrow a lot from government and as well as did not have to pay the bank interest. I would be grateful.
DISCLAIM: Im not saying the people whom demand for free education are not being grateful, they are as well have their own reason for demanding this system to be implemented on our country, Im just saying that, above are my reason and my logics on why would I think that free education are not something that should be done in our country. Its my opinion, and I'm sharing it with you guys now. Take care and have a good day people (:
p/s: I tend to appreciate things when I need to spend money before I could get it being compared to things that I get by free. Same condition goes to free education. My logics.