Cooperatives can help stabilise prices of goods – PM

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 18 — A collaborative effort among cooperatives in the country can help stabilise and reduce the prices of basic necessities, ultimately benefiting the people, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said with a strength of six to seven million members involving almost 14,000 registered cooperatives nationwide, cooperatives were seen to be able to play an important role in controlling the prices of goods.

For example, he said cooperation among cooperatives could be established by purchasing goods in bulk for retail sale.

“Because by purchasing in bulk, of course, cooperatives can get cheaper prices, and wholesale cooperatives do not have to worry about customers not buying products (directly) from them, because there are already cooperatives all over the country that can sell at the retail level,” he said while officiating the Keluarga Malaysia Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Programme organised by the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives here today.

He said, however, there needed to be strong cooperation among the cooperatives and their members to make it a success.

“What happens sometimes, (based on experience) I used to be the minister in charge of cooperatives, cooperative members have cooperative shops, but because the shop next door sells (the product) for five sen less, they will go to the other shop.

“If they (members) buy from a cooperative shop, the shop’s profits will be returned to the cooperative through dividends, because it belongs to them, but because there is no loyalty to the cooperative, many members like this end up not succeeding,” he added.

Meanwhile, at a press conference, Ismail Sabri said all forms of government financial assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises should be completed by the first week of March.

He said the assistance included an RM3,000 grant, interest-free loans through government agencies, as well as a one-year moratorium.

Apart from that, the Prime Minister said RM3,000 assistance would also be channeled to ‘informal’ businesses, such as food stalls, including those destroyed by the recent floods that hit most of the country.

Also present at the program were Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency