KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The cooperative movement should be inculcated and promoted in the urban areas as part of measures to contain inflation, introduce more choice and intensify competition, said an independent think tank.
Emir Research’s Social, Law and Human Rights head, Jason Loh noted that as of last year, there were 14,625 primary cooperatives with 6.1 million members nationwide.
“With government support, cooperatives can be a dominant force in the supply chain and ensure prices are stable and low over the long-term.
“This is in line with the government’s compassionate and empathetic approach to the economic challenges the country’s facing,” he said in a statement today.
Loh said one of the ways to ensure that the cooperative movement increases its impact on the nation and economy is to align the cooperative movement with existing socio-economic measures.
For example, on January 31, the government has launched the 5MY programme designed to eradicate urban poverty and improving the social safety net system among the urban poor.
“All of these commendable initiatives could be strengthened, reinforced and taken over by the cooperative movement in the medium- to long-term while at the same time relieving the government of direct financial burden,” he said.
Additionally, other policy measures to enhance the role and function of the cooperative movement in Malaysia could also be taken to promote social and socio-economic welfare of the rakyat, particularly the B40 and lower M40 groups.
He said these measures include increasing the allocation for the cooperative movement under the future budget, as there is a critical need for credit services provided by the cooperative movement.
More allocation is also needed for the expansion of the e-commerce business for cooperative retailers involved in the 100 Basic Goods Supply programme (BA100).
“This will further boost digitalisation efforts and ensure the cooperative movement is well-integrated into the low-touch economy,” added Loh.