KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Ministry (Kuskop) via the Malaysia Cooperative Societies Commission (SKM) will focus on supporting the cooperative shops or Coopmart network.

Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk R. Ramanan said the opening of the new Coopmart network will be prioritised in housing areas with potential such as the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) and the Malaysia Civil Servants Housing Programme (PPAM).

In line with the Malaysia Cooperative Policy (Dakom) 2030 to develop the cooperative sector for the socioeconomic development of the community, the ministry through SKM has implemented the Madani Cooperative Sales programme as one of the alternatives to assist the government in addressing the cost-of-living expenses, he said.

“It gives the community the opportunity to get daily necessities with a savings rate of up to 20 per cent which will ease the burden of the people’s daily lives,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the royal address for the ministry at Dewan Rakyat today.

As of March 1 2024, 2,611 Coopmarts have been established nationwide.

In the meantime, Ramanan said the allocation of entrepreneurship programmes and the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were channelled to ministries and agencies that would benefit entrepreneurs in the states.

The state governments have also provided allocation for entrepreneurship and MSME programmes that are reported to SME Corporation Malaysia through the SME Integrated Plan of Action (SMEIPA).

“To ensure smooth development and coordination of entrepreneurship initiatives and that there is no overlap, the National Entrepreneurship Development Council (MPKN) chaired by the Kuskop Minister and represented by the State Entrepreneurship Exco was formed to coordinate the direction of entrepreneurship development and the implementation of initiatives between the federal and state governments,” he said.

At the same time, he said the National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun) will use internal allocations to assist informal and micro-entrepreneurs in their respective businesses.

This is in reply to a question from Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah) who said Kuskop needs an additional allocation of more than RM330 million for Tekun.

However, Ramanan emphasised that even if the allocation is insufficient, the ministry will increase it by using Tekun’s internal funds and re-utilising funds from previous borrowers.