PETALING JAYA: Serious attention should be given to the cooperatives sector because the members are usually made up of lower-to-middle-income members, said Cooperative Union of Malaysia adviser Thuraisingham Shun.
The issue affecting Bank Rakyat may only be the tip of the iceberg with regards to the state of affairs of the management of some cooperatives nationwide.
Thuraisingham called for an independent body to carry out an investigative audit of the bank.
Bank Rakyat is currently accountable to the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia under the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister and not Bank Negara.
“It is ambiguous and a misconception to call it a bank when it is a cooperative,” said Thuraisingham.
There are some 12,769 cooperatives nationwide, with 7.49 million members.
The cooperatives have a total share capital of RM13.8bil, with assets worth RM123.27bil and returns of RM33.56bil.