Tuesday, December 7

‘Govt also banks on co-ops to drive economy’

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Mawan (third left, front row) receiving a sourvenir from Ladin. Also seen is Cr Madeline (second left, front row) and Rafika (second left, background). — Photo courtesy of Edward Jawie

Mawan (third left, front row) receiving a sourvenir from Ladin. Also seen is Cr Madeline (second left, front row) and Rafika (second left, background). — Photo courtesy of Edward Jawie

KUCHING: The government places high hope in the cooperatives sector to drive the country’s economic growth as it is recognised as an important contributor of the national economy.

Thus, Gerakan Koperasi in Sarawak needs to be competitive, Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan pointed out when contacted yesterday.

All cooperatives should change in their set up and daily operation to meet the increasing challenging and complex economic situation, he added.

The economy as a whole now is dictated not only by world’s economic trend but also by social, politics, globalisation and liberalisation policies including the rapid advancement of information and communication technology, he stressed.

“In a nutshell, cooperatives’ board members and management staff must have the necessary skills of cooperative management and real time businesses,” he said.

The concept of cooperatives was introduced even before the national independent day and its success today is something Malaysians can be proud of, he said.

Up to June 30 in Sarikei alone, 68 cooperatives involving 22,241 contributors with a total value of shares of RM1.2 million have been registered.

The turnover of Gerakan Koperasi in Sarikei alone has reached RM3.7 million, said Mawan.

In a related development, Mawan launched Koperasi Usahasama Sarikei Berhad’s Coopmart under the programme Entreprenuership through Cooperatives in Sarikei last week.

To increase turnover and profit of these cooperatives, the government through Malaysian Cooperatives Commission, has initiated various programmes like transforming sundry shops into coop-mart and transforming wholesale units into distribution centres.

“When cooperatives get involved in high income activities, contributors or members will get better income, dividend and bonus from their shares,” said Mawan who is also Pakan assemblyman and Saratok MP.

Also present at the launch of the coop-mart in Sarikei were Sarikei Resident Dahim Nadot, Henry Gimong who represented Sarikei District Officer Khalid Andong, Sarikei Malaysian Cooperatives Commission assistant director Rafika Supaat, and community leaders including Cr Madeline Ugap, Pemanca Edward Ladin Sabang and several local penghulus.

At the same function Mawan, who is State Senior Minister, pledged RM30,000 to the coop-mart, RM30,000 to SK Assun parent-teacher association, RM10,000 to the local Methodist church and RM20,000 to an association that look after the welfare of local community leaders.