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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Mar 11: Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Co-operatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar pledged to do his best to step up the entrepreneurial and cooperatives sector amidst the global economic slowdown and Covid-19 situation.
“It is a great challenge to develop entrepreneurs amidst economic slowdown. It is not going to be easy but I promise to do my best for this beloved nation.
“I know it is difficult but we are going to give our best despite me only having the book knowledge but not the experience in this sector,” he told a press conference upon arrival at Kuching International Airport today.
He observed the importance of simplifying the processes, cutting red tape as well as strengthening mechanisms in order to create greater value and make Malaysia more competitive for businesses.
“Based on what I have gathered today alone, we have been all there. So now we need to work on how best can we established ourselves in the new environment of the business world using existing facilities be it SME Corp, SME Bank, Tekun and Bank Rakyat.
“There is a lot of funding available as well as training but we have to leapfrog the system so that we can make it even better in the new environment,” he said.
On whether a think tank will be established to assist the ministry, Wan Junaidi said that it was still too early to decide but worth considering when the need arises.
He pointed out that meantime, he will use National Council of Professors (MPN) headed by Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose to assist the ministry.
“And if there are other needs along the way, after taking the views of all relevant agencies, we can establish (a think tank) if needed to better develop the entrepreneurial sector and cooperatives,” he added.
Even though reports showed that only 30 per cent of the cooperatives in the country were competitive and profitable, Wan Junaidi however highlighted that the sector was very promising as it recorded a turnover of RM40 billion.
“That is a lot money. There are about 14,000 cooperatives in Malaysia and nearly 6.6 million of Malaysians are involved one way of another.
“If we can increase to 50 per cent or millions of ringgit, it can contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) via cooperatives. I’m confident that Sarawak especially cooperatives in rural area can flourish and do better as well,” he added.—DayakDaily