KOTA KINABALU, May 2 — The Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED) is targeting for cooperatives to increase its contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) to RM50 billion this year from the current RM42 billion.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof said he is confident that the target can be achieved by ensuring that the cooperatives accelerate their economic activities.
Mohd Redzuan said the Malaysian cooperative movement, which currently has about 9.5 million members nationwide, should be expanded until it is able to establish a cooperative community as product suppliers and producers to generate income.
“The cooperatives have RM140 billion in assets, which is huge. As such, the cooperatives, which can be called ‘sleeping giants’, should be awakened and activated so that they can generate more revenue.
“I believe with the strength of the cooperatives, as well as the stimulus, space, training and knowledge from the ministry, the cooperatives will be able to contribute more to the nation’s GDP,” he said.
He told reporters this after delivering the keynote address at the Professional Training and Education For Growing Entrepreneurs (Protege) programme at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here, today.
Also present were UMS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr D Kamarudin D. Mudin and Protege chief secretariat Norashikin Ismail.
Meanwhile, in his speech, Mohd Redzuan urged the UMS cooperative community to expand its activities by making use of the university’s land as well as creating education tourism.
This will also enable the UMS cooperative community to optimise the university students’ expertise, creativity and innovation to generate incomes, he said.
Earlier on, Mohd Redzuan had launched the UMS Coop Concept Store, the UMS Bhd’s cooperative store and presented a mock cheque for RM500,000 loan which had been approved for the cooperative’s revolving capital and RM10,000 for its development assistance.
The UMS cooperative has three retail, bookstore and stationery outlets in its main campus in Sepanggar, its international campus in Labuan and the Sustainable Agriculture Faculty in Sandakan.
The cooperative also provides credit financing for its members.
The UMS Cooperative was in the 21st position in the list of 100 best cooperatives in Sabah last year. — Bernama