In conjunction with the national-level International Day of Cooperatives on
KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 (Bernama) -- National-level celebrations to honour the
International Day of Cooperatives will be organised on July 21st. However, the
global event is scheduled on the Saturday of the first week of July.
July 21st was chosen for the national-level celebrations to commemorate the
registration of the first cooperative in the country – ‘The Federated Malay
States Posts and Telegraph Co-operative Thrift and Loan Society,’ which was
registered in 1922, Taiping in Perak.
Today, this cooperative is known as ''Koperasi Kakitangan Telekom Malaysia
Berhad'' or Kotamas.
This national-level event is held to acknowledge the cooperatives'' movement
which has contributed to the country''s economic development.
According to the Malaysia Cooperatives'' Societies Commission (SKM) Executive
Chairman Datuk Md Yusof Samsudin, the ''Hari Koperasi Negara'' (HKN) is a platform
to enhance the operations of cooperatives in line with the National Cooperatives
This has also been set up to create collaboration among these cooperatives.
Md Yusof said the theme of ''cooperatives enterprises to build a better
world'' is to create awareness among the society on the role that cooperatives
play along with their contribution to the country''s socio-economy.
"All this while, Malaysians thought that a cooperative was an organisation
that only serves the cooperative''s members and others by offering products at
cheap prices. Whereas the role of the cooperatives can also be seen from the
other benefits it offers to its members and the rest of the society," he told
Md Yusof explained that the profits from the cooperatives are utilized for
initiatives like education and emergency assistance amongst others.
"This is what the idea behind our theme was. An estimated five million
cooperative members benefit from this fund," he claimed.
He said the theme also encourages the establishment and expansion of
cooperatives among individuals and institutions in the country in order to meet
the demands of a growing economy.
The HKN exposition was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun
Razak on July 14 in Bukit Jalil here.
BIRTH OF COOPERATIVES
Going back 90 years ago, the cooperatives began to emerge in this country to
enable their members, including civil servants and farmers, to escape the
clutches of poverty and victimisation by middlemen.
At that time, the cooperatives managed to play their role required of them.
The ''Ulu Langat Malay Co-operative Shop Society'' can be seen as the
initiator to the cooperatives'' movement of the country.
In the 1950s, the government encouraged the establishment of consumer
cooperatives to stabilise the price of daily essentials while controlling them
during the Malayan Emergency. A total of 24 of these cooperatives were
established by the end of 1956.
Md Yusof explained that the country''s cooperatives movement has seen a
significant improvement since it took roots in 1922.
"Starting with only 11 credit cooperatives, the number of cooperatives have
gone up to 9,600," he remarked.
He said that the cooperatives are now more actively involved in various
economic sectors like retail and wholesale, plantation, housing, tourism,
services, transport, agriculture as well as other agriculture-based industries.
"Supported by more than seven million members, the cooperatives are able to
garner RM10.49 billion capital and generate RM23.09 billion worth of
procurement. This proves that the cooperatives movement continues to be an
economic contributor," he explained.
Today the government is in the midst of transforming the local cooperatives
via the National Cooperatives Policy 2011-2012.
Plans to execute changes with regards to the cooperatives movement will be
formulated to shift away from the previously held argument that focused on rural
areas and centered on the services sector.
The government aims to transform the cooperatives to be bigger business
entities that are capable of generating better income for their members.
Md Yusof further revealed via the SKM, that the government will channel
financial assistance to the cooperatives in the form of grants and loans.
"The financial assistance is to help the cooperatives that need financial
aid to expand their operations and business activities," he stated.
Md Yusof said there are two types of grants offered by the SKM – the
development and launching grants.
"The development grant is for cooperatives which cannot afford to implement
the planned development programmes with promotions and marketing. Thanks to the
launching grant, a maximum of RM30,000 will be given to a cooperative to develop
the infrastructure for business while a maximum of RM300,000 will be granted for
research and development," he explained.
Md Yusof said that the government also provides soft loans to cooperatives
with a competitive profit rate in the form of a Revolving Capital Fund.
"This is fully funded by the government and cooperatives that wish to
establish large-scale businesses will get a loan of up to RM 10 million," he
stated, adding that the fund is available to all cooperatives registered under
the Cooperatives Act 1993.
1MALAYSIA COOPERATIVES OUTLETS
The introduction of 1Malaysia Coop products by SKM in collaboration with
Felda Trading Sdn Bhd, into the market is continued from its earlier successes
in the ''Transformasi Kedai Runcit (Tukar)'' programme.
Md Yusof said the 1Malaysia Coop initiative is in line with the government’s
effort to help consumers obtain products at cheaper prices.
"Now consumers can obtain daily essentials at cheaper prices at the
1Malaysia Coop outlets nationwide," he said.
Today there are 500 of these outlets offering 71 products with the 1Malaysia
"Now the consumers have more choices of goods at their disposal," he
NAS ZUL INE CR