KUALA LUMPUR: The concept of “shared prosperity” has to take into account all segments of societies and not just those at the top, says Tun Daim Zainuddin.
The former finance minister gave the example of how rubber tappers who toiled hard were suffering because of falling rubber prices while glove manufacturers were enjoying big profits.
“Where is the shared prosperity? It means if I am a rubber tapper, I would be profitable. Without the latex, they wouldn’t be able to sell their rubber gloves. Because of me, they are rich, ” he said during the launch of a symposium on the challenges faced by co-operatives.
He suggested that the rubber-tappers should be given a chance to make the gloves, as it was the product that made the profit.
“If the government says they want shared prosperity, don’t only talk. There must be ideas so that the people get the profits as well... We must have action plans on how to achieve it, ” he said.
He also gave the example of fishermen, saying that the traders earned big profits even though the fishermen worked hard to catch the fish.
“They sell the fish for RM5 a kilogramme, but in the town it is sold for RM22. The difference is RM17. Who takes it? This is the role of the government, so that this difference is reduced, ” he said.
“Those who don’t do anything get a profit of RM17. Is this fair, ” he added.
He said the co-operatives could play a role in helping by cutting out the middleman in this example.
According to the Malaysian Co-operatives Societies Commission, the top 100 co-operatives in the country recorded income of RM9.77bil with assets worth RM123.24bil for the year.
There are more than 14,000 co-operatives in the country, with six million members.
In October, the government launched the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030), a blueprint for the direction of the country in the next decade.
The main target groups in SPV 2030 are the B40 (lower income group), the hardcore poor, the economically poor, those in economic transition, Orang Asli, Sabah and Sarawak bumiputras, the disabled, youths, women, children and senior citizens.
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