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MELAKA, Dec 20 — The National Cooperative Movement of Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa) has identified more than 10 conglomerates and major cooperatives in the country as its strategic partners in vying for one of Bank Negara Malaysia’s five digital bank licences, which will be issued by year-end.
Its president, Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah, said the strategic partners include telecommunication and finance companies, which gives Angkasa a significant edge as each partner has its own strengths to support Angkasa’s application for the license.
“For example, large companies have large capitals and we need a certain amount of capital as it is one of the conditions to apply for the licence.
“Additionally, we need strategic partners among cooperatives because of their large number of members,” he told reporters after launching the Koperasi Ihsan Rakan Niaga Fazil Group Bhd here, today.
Abdul Fattah said the digital bank licence will be able to strengthen Angkasa’s position from various aspects, including its role as the driving force of the country’s cooperatives in the future.
Meanwhile, he said cooperatives which have yet to hold their annual general meeting (AGM) for this year will be exempted from doing so in order to alleviate the financial burden on cooperatives caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as the cost of holding an AGM can be quite substantial.
Citing an example, he said Angkasa had spent about RM8 million to hold its AGM, which covers expenses such as members’ attendance allowances, food and beverages, as well as accommodations.
“The exemption took into account the restrictions in terms of compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the pandemic, as well as the quorum problems, as the meetings cannot be held if the quorum requirement is not met.
“Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has agreed with this decision and it will be announced in the near future after it has been gazetted,” Abdul Fattah said.
Nevertheless, he said cooperatives will need to conduct an audit for the year, and may refer to Angkasa and the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia for further information.
In the meantime, Abdul Fattah said Angkasa has proposed for more large and strong companies to set up cooperatives to provide employees the opportunity to invest in the companies’ equities.
“This concept is not widespread in Malaysia, but overseas, many large companies have set up cooperatives for their staff, such as the Mondragon Corporation,” he said.
He noted that such initiative will give the staff as well as the company an advantage, as the staff will work harder to develop the business. — Bernama