KUCHING, Sept 12 -- The Area Fishermen's Association (PNK) and the Area Farmers' Organisation (PPK) in Sarawak are being encouraged to register as cooperatives under the Malaysian Cooperative Societies Act, said Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar today.
He said the Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) would assist in the establishment of cooperatives among 18 PNKs and 28 PPKs throughout the state.
"Although there is no compulsion for the PNK and PPK to register as cooperatives, they will receive many incentives and obtain assistance if they registered with the SKM," he told reporters after officiating at the Sarawak Cooperative Agricultural Development seminar here.
According to him, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in their meeting on Sept 1 also submitted a proposal for PNK and PPK in the state to move as a cooperative registered with SKM in order to enjoy the facilities provided by the commission.
"I welcome his (Uggah) proposal because it will benefit PNK and PPK members so that they are given the variety provided by SKM," he said.
Wan Junaidi said Uggah made such a proposal as these two entities were not registered under the Cooperatives Act, causing them to miss the opportunity to obtain assistance and loans provided to the cooperative movement by SKM.
Earlier in his speech at the event, Wan Junaidi urged cooperative entrepreneurs to look at business opportunities in the agriculture and food industry sectors which are industrial sectors that provide business opportunities that provide great prospects to cooperatives.
He said cooperatives need to expand their activities in agricultural-based food industries because it is not only able to increase the income of cooperatives, but also help meet the food needs of the country and be able to close the socio-economic gap in society.
Meanwhile, SKM deputy executive chairman Zazali Haron said, as of Dec 31 last year, there were 1,077 cooperatives in Sarawak with a membership of 264,155 people, and with a total share of RM196.41 million, with assets amounting to RM617.04 and total turnover of RM274.43 million.
He said based on the data, the cooperative movement in Sarawak has the strength and opportunity to dominate the business market, especially in the field of agriculture and food industry.
Malaysian National News Agency
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