KUALA LUMPUR: The problem of the urban poor could be overcome through their participation in community cooperatives that conduct business by means of members’ share capital for which they would benefit from dividends based on the profit garnered.

Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) Federal Territories director Jaafar Ahmad said this could provide an opportunity for the urban poor and marginalised individuals to play a role through concerted efforts and strong resolve to set up cooperatives to meet their basic needs.

“Community cooperatives can benefit the urban poor, especially B40 in big cities. Armed with 43 personnel, SKM Federal Territories is supervising cooperatives in nine regions through its development, audit and administration units.

“Every regional officer is trained and has skills in monitoring, inspecting and providing advisory services and guidance to the cooperatives under his or her supervision,“ he said in a statement.

The community cooperatives in collaboration with the Ministry of Federal Territories will be set up in the People’s Housing Project (PPR) and public housing areas in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

As of Dec 31, 2021, a total of 22 community cooperatives in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya have enrolled 700 members.

At the same time, SKM Federal Territories has also collaborated with the ministry by introducing the Coop Community Mart (CCM) project to develop grocery stores in PPR or public housing areas run by community cooperatives.

Jaafar said several areas had been identified and the PPR and public housing cooperatives had to meet the minimum share of RM30,000 requirement before being selected to participate in the CCM programme.

“Besides, selected PPR community or public housing cooperatives will also be given infrastructure assistance and revolving capital worth RM180,000.

“Development assistance amounting to RM5 million a year allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan can be fully utilised by community cooperatives with assistance of up to RM300,000,“ he said.

Jaafar said SKM also provided financing facilities of up to RM10 million to cooperatives through its Revolving Capital Fund.

Meanwhile, SKM Federal Territories together with SKM Headquarters and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives are currently in the process of implementing Pemulih’s Cooperative Economic Rehabilitation Intervention Programme.

The intervention programme is divided into four sub-programmes, namely Koperasi Prihatian Rakyat (KPR), Koperasi Prihatin Rakyat Sales (JKPR), Cooperative Movement Economic Transformation (Transfer), and Online Cooperative Sales and Services Trade Programme (e-DAPAT).

“All the programmes can support the development and revival of business in the cooperative movement in general so that it can continue to operate and carry out business activities continuously,“ he said.