Cooperatives: Defining the movement

Bank Rakyat: Bank for the people

Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd (Bank Rakyat) was established in September 1954 under the Cooperative Ordinance 1948 under the name Bank Kerjasama Malaysia Bhd, following an expansion of the cooperative movement in Peninsular Malaysia in which cooperatives set up respective union banks to provide financial needs to their members.

On Sept 28, 1954, 11 of these union banks decided to merge and form Bank Agong (Apex Bank). In 1967, Bank Rakyat replaced Bank Agong with its membership opened not only to the cooperatives, but also to individuals. On Jan 6, 1973, the word ‘rakyat’ – which means ‘the people’ was added to the bank’s name, giving rise to its popularity.  In 1993, the Cooperative Act was reviewed, which allowed the bank to operate in Sabah and Sarawak. In May the same year, Bank Rakyat took a giant step towards becoming a syariah cooperative bank by introducing Islamic banking products. It became a full-fledged Islamic cooperative bank in 2002.

With this landmark decision, Bank Rakyat became the third bank to offer total Islamic banking products in the country.

To date, Bank Rakyat has a total of 134 branches offering Islamic banking facilities to its customers. It is expected to record a pre-tax profit of RM1.85 billion for 2011 as well as a net profit to rise of RM1.45 billion.


Koperasi Green Sabah: Sabah’s ‘green’ cooperative

Koperasi Green Sabah Bhd (Koperasi Green Sabah) was registered as The Green Cooperative Society Ltd upon apporval by Colin Clarkson, Registrar Of Co-operative Societies in North Borneo on Aug 18, 1959. At first, there was no member registered except a pro-tem council that was established only as a requirement to set up the cooperative. It was only on April 5, 1972 that it had enlisted 153 members.

At first, the cooperative had a very slow start. It was not until it ventured into a number of key undertakings – namely its involvement in the Taman Rimba Housing Development, partnership with ExxonMobil Borneo to set up Esso gas stations in the state, and the establishment of an oil palm plantation subsidiary Syarikat Green Ladang Sdn Bhd – that it grew to become one of Sabah’s most progressive cooperatives.

Today, Koperasi Green Sabah has more than 1,737 registered members. For the financial year ended June 30, 2010, it accummulated some RM8.297 million in dividends returns.

Angkasa: The national apex movement

Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa) is an apex cooperative that acts as the umbrella for elementary, primary and secondary cooperatives in the country. The body was founded by the the Cooperative Movement through the First Cooperative Congress in 1966 dan Second Cooperative Congress in 1971. It was officially registered on May 12, 1971.  While many associate Angkasa as the key provider of salary-deduction services to mostly public sector employees, it also offers educational, consultation and training services as well as granting loans under a list of schemes.

To date, Angkasa oversees more than 7,688 cooperatives in the country, comprising over seven million members. As of June 30, 2010, it generated dividend returns of some RM80.468 million.


Koperasi Tentera: Service for the nation

Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Bhd (Koperasi Tentera) was established in November 1960, with an initial function as a thrift and loan cooperative. Fifteen years afterwards on November 1, the army cooperative diversified into becoming a multi-purpose cooperative as it ventured into new business programmes in line with the nation’s economic agenda.  It strode further in 1981, with new focus in investment of related commercial activities, eventually making Koperasi Tentera the strong, energetic business entity as it is today.

As of August 31 last year, Koperasi Tentera recorded a total of 145,335 registered members. Financial-wise, it registered a pre-tax profit of RM159 million in 2010 against RM136 million in the previous year.

Operational turnover for 2010 was RM250.6 million, an increase of 15.4 per cent or RM33.5 million year-on-year.

Ko-Perkasa: Showing strength in numbers

Koperasi Koperkasa Sarawak Bhd (Ko-Perkasa) was set up on Sept 6, 1949 with a membership of 124 individuals. Known then as the Sarawak  Government Employess Co-operatives Thrift and Loan Society Ltd (SGECOP), it changed its name to Koperasi Pekerja-pekerja Kerajaan Sarawak Bhd in 1979 before going for Koperasi Koperkasa Bhd in 1988. The word ‘Sarawak’ was later added into the moniker in 2009.

In 2010, Ko-Perkasa owned asset worth around RM151 million, which was around half of total worth in cooperatives’ assets statewide.

A major portion of these assets comprised 24 units of Ko-Perkasa’s premises across Sarawak.

As the namesake implies, Ko-Perkasa’s membership had been exclusive only to employees of Sarawak’s state government and statutory bodies before being extended to the private sector.

Only recently, the cooperative opened its membership to those working in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

To date, its membership has reached to about 24,000 people.

 In 2010, Ko-Perkasa’s net profit was RM6.62 million.

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