KOTA KINABALU: Three cooperatives from Sabah were listed among the top 100 cooperatives in Malaysia last year.
Sawit Kinabalu Personnel Cooperative Berhad was listed at number 14, Sabah Government Servants Cooperative Berhad at 50 and Nasip Kita Tawau Cooperative Berhad at 77.
Additionally, Mukim Batu Puteh Kinabatangan Tourism Cooperative Berhad from Sandakan was also awarded the Best Cooperative in Tourism, Personal Grooming and Healthcare Category.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin said Sabah had recorded an excellent performance in the cooperative sector, marked by many significant achievements throughout the year.
Yahya, who is also the Agriculture and Food Industry Minister, said 1,053 cooperatives with a combined membership of 296,309 and assets worth over RM517 million were registered in Sabah as of November, last year.
The capital shares and membership fees collected amounted to RM89.81 million while the estimated income generating capacity stood at RM281.4 million per year.
“These figures clearly show that the cooperative sector has its own strength. Developed collectively and properly, it will have a huge impact towards the economic development of the State,” said Yahya when officiating at the state-level launch of Institute of Cooperative Malaysia (iCOOP) here yesterday.
Yahya, who also chairs the Sabah Cooperative Council, said the government recognized the potentials in the cooperative segment and had implemented various programmes specifically for developing this sector.
He noted that in 2013 focus was given to five key result areas identified in the National Cooperative Policy, including to transform cooperative outlets to boost their competitiveness.
He said 69 cooperative premises benefited from the Transformasi Kedai Runcit (TUKAR) programme in Sabah, each received a grant up to RM72,000.
“The impact was noticeable, with the sales of cooperatives involved increased by almost four folds from RM5.5 million in 2011 to RM21.4 million in 2012,” he said.
In terms of human capital development, 235 training programmes were implemented last year, he added.
Meanwhile, Cooperative Malaysia College (MKM) director general Dr Ahmad Zahiruddin Yahya said 57 ‘Integrated Approach’ programmes had been planned for 2014.
With the launch of iCOOP in Sabah, various long-term development programmes will be implemented, starting with the introduction of Diploma in Cooperative Management by MKM this year.
“If the response is encouraging, it is not impossible that we may bring more long-term programmes to the State,” he said.