KUALA LUMPUR: The government has expectations for co-operatives to play a role in supporting the economy and contributing more to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), says Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
The Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) member said co-operatives should play a role in bolstering the economy in all areas of activity.
“The co-operatives need to play a role in supporting the economy and other economic sectors, including the higher value-added activities,” Zeti told reporters after the CEP met with heads of co-operative movements and representatives from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry yesterday.
Malaysian National Co-operative Movement (Angkasa) president Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah said contributions of the co-operatives sector to the national GDP was currently between 3% and 4%.
“This percentage needs to be increased,” said Abdul Fattah after the meeting at the Ilham Tower.
He said the Government has also asked Angkasa to play a bigger role in stretching the people’s income and cushioning the impact of the rising cost of living.
Angkasa has a large number of members with 6.5 million across its 14,000 co-operative societies but its turnover was small compared to co-operatives in other countries.
“For example, co-operatives in Singapore contributed more than 5% to its GDP while in Thailand, it was 19% and 26% in Vietnam.
“Angkasa will focus on housing and retail services to reach the target of increasing our contributions to the GDP,” said Abdul Fattah.
He added that the government must do away with policies that were “unfriendly” towards co-operatives.
“Currently, there are 28 guidelines by the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia that all co-operative movements must abide,” he said.
He said some of these rules hindered co-operatives from progressing and developing, citing the long duration in getting an approval to start a business.