KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 – School cooperatives in Malaysia have been successful at the international level and are also looked upon as a reference by other countries because they operate under an organised and systematic movement, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said India, Thailand and Fiji were among the countries that had shown interest in Malaysia’s school cooperative system.
“I was made to understand that these countries have already conducted studies on our school cooperative system and want to learn more and apply our management strategy and mechanism. “Therefore, it is not surprising for our school cooperatives to be regularly invited to present working papers at international events. Congratulations!” he said. Muhyiddin was addressing about 2,000 teachers, students and representatives of school cooperatives in the Muar district while launching the national-level School Cooperative Day 2014 here Tuesday.
Muhyiddin noted that school cooperatives in the country, which have thrived for 46 years, had reached a high level of maturity, particularly in management. “From just nine in 1968, the number of school cooperatives is now 2,280 or 96 per cent of the overall 2,376 secondary schools nationwide,” he said. He said that through the Cooperatives Commission of Malaysia and Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd (Angkasa), school cooperatives had successfully carried out development programmes, which was also proof of their capability.
“As at Dec 31 last year, school cooperatives had contributed to a turnover of RM312.9 million with assets worth RM271.39 million. “This has also contributed significantly to the country’s income and economy,” he said. Meanwhile, Muhyiddin urged institutions of higher learning which had not set up cooperatives to jump onto the bandwagon. He said they should also register with Angkasa to empower their cooperatives through the latter’s guidance.
“The successes achieved by the school cooperative movement and the entrepreneurial skills acquired by the students should not stop when they leave school,” he said. Muhyiddin said it was important that the students’ entrepreneurial knowledge and skills continue to be developed when they were in public and private institutions of higher learning, through their respective cooperatives. “As at August this year, 175 institutions of higher learning had already set up cooperatives. Of the number, 120 have registered with Angkasa,” he said.