MAJLIS Amanah Rakyat (MARA) collected better loan repayments of about RM513 million from education and business financing last year compared to its target of RM420 million.

MARA chairman Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said loan repayments had improved in the past three years, reflecting that many entrepreneurs had paid back their loans.

“We have better collection that we use to have before, people have realised that they should be paying what they owed to the government,” he said.

Of the total, MARA has managed to collect about RM165 million in education loan compared to its target of RM120 million, he added.

Idris was speaking to reporters after launching Malaysia Design Year 2012 (MDY 2012) in Kuala Lumpur last Friday.

He said the long-held perception that people are not paying when they borrow government’s money is not there anymore. “It’s not to say it’s not there anymore but it has improved a lot.”

On the MDY 2012, Idris said its gives the opportunity not only for industry players to exchange views but also for the young to absorb new thinking and share their thoughts on innovation and creativity.

The programme was organised by Design Development Centre (DDEC), a subsidiary of MARA.

It was aimed at creating awareness about the importance of the design industry to drive the economy into a developed nation status by 2020.

Malaysia currently stands at number 31 as the most innovative nation out of 132 countries with Switzerland, Norway and Singapore topping the list, according to the World Global Innovative Index 2011.

The government has forecast the creative industry will increase by RM35.7 billion to reach RM58 billion by 2020.

Read more: MARA loan repayments collection improves

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