KUCHING: The Malaysian Cooperative Institute (IKM) will be able to give a boost to the cooperatives industry in the country once it is upgraded to university college status soon.
Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the ministry has come up with a forward-looking system for the institute whereby it will focus on producing professionals in cooperatives.
“The institute will provide education and training for members of cooperatives on business administration, financial management, entrepreneurship and so on.
“We will also collaborate with the big industry players from advanced technology industry to work on the practical training of the students.
“Once the cooperative members completed their studies, they are able return to the cooperatives and contribute in developing the industry,” he said during his work visit to the Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad (Angkasa) Sarawak office and BA100 outlet at Jalan Matang on Sunday (Dec 27).
He further said that 30 percent of subject matters in the university will focus on cooperatives administration in terms of finance, entrepreneurship, and the industry itself.
“This is to ensure that we can increase the income of cooperative members so that the cooperatives industry can be developed whilst the less active cooperatives can be guided and monitored to be successful in the future,” he added.
Wan Junaidi also mentioned that the ministry is currently working on transforming the cooperatives industry as a whole through the proposed amendments to the Cooperative Societies Act 1993.
Among the proposed amendments included allowing the setting up of a cooperative with a membership of at least 20 people compared to 50 currently, reducing the minimum number of members of the internal audit committee of a cooperative from three to two, and to reduce the number of cooperative board members to three people from the existing six.
To date, there are about 14,625 cooperatives nationwide with over 6.09 million members. The cooperative sector’s revenue contribution is at RM45.7 billion. Also present were Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad (Angkasa) Sarawak chairman Wan Azizan Wan Zainal Abidin and Malaysian Cooperatives Commission (MCC) Sarawak director Basuini Ali.