Council members urged to change approach on cooperatives

National 1 minute, 52 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SHAREHOLDERS of a cooperative are to distribute the revenue they earn equally among its members, not unjustly pay out huge sums to certain individuals only, said the energy and industry minister yesterday.

 Speaking during the 12th session of Legislative Council (LegCo), Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar told LegCo members that it has been a “common practice” among certain individuals in a cooperative to try and monopolise the profits earned.

“Although these shareholders did not hold more than their prescribed percentage share of 20 per cent and was in line with the ‘cooperatives act’ (which prohibits a member to exceed holding more than this percentage)… it is the regular case that these shareholders would keep the full 20 per cent while other members recieved a lesser share,” he said referring to the Chapter 26 Cooperatives Societies act. 

“I would like to invite LegCo members to collectively think about what this type of cooperative is encouraging.

“Isn’t the objective of a establishing a cooperative granting people a chance to be part of a business and not for the benefit of certain individuals only?” he said rhetorically. This was said in reply to LegCo member Yang Berhormat Orang Kaya Jaya Putera Dato Paduka Hj Muhammad Taha Abd Rauf where he pointed out a few factors to be the cause of weakening cooperatives in the sultanate.

“The factors included cooperatives’ unorganised administration processes and the carrying out of activities inefficiently,” the LegCo member said enquiring the minister of what actions the ministry has taken to rejuvenate the cooperatives.  To ensure top efficiency in administration and business activities, YB Pehin Dato Hj Md Yasmin said the ministry had prepared several training and educational programmes.

“We have had programmes with Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Berhad (ANGKASA) whereby ANGKASA and several other Malaysian cooperatives shared products they were exporting,” he reminded the LegCo member.

The minister went on to say that the government is currently organising a number of activities in an effort to help nurture the development and growth of local cooperatives.

“It will involve the participation of cooperatives as a team of partners with the aim to re-energise cooperatives by putting in place a year-round programme.”

 The Brunei Times