Youth to gain from participation in cooperatives — CM

Abdul Karim (third right) launches the Global Youth Forum 2020, as Fattah (right) and Guarco (fourth left) look on.

KUCHING, Feb 3: The youths are encouraged to participate in cooperatives as it provides a wide range of benefits including promoting entrepreneurship.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believed that youth should be involved in cooperatives as it provides them jobs, apart from training and experience to become an entrepreneur that enables them to generate income for themselves.

“Why the young professionals and entrepreneurs need cooperatives? The answer is clear.

“It is during these hard times (global economic situation) that we need to promote cooperatives and encourage youth to become part of cooperative enterprises. Cooperatives are known to be resilient in times of crisis,” he said at the launch of Global Youth Forum 2020 entitled “Cooperatives Entrepreneurship” here today.

His text-of-speech was read by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Abdul Karim delivering the chief minister’s keynote address.

Abang Johari cited a study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2009, which found that cooperative enterprises around the world have shown resilience to financial and economic crisis.

Referring the ILO report, he said that cooperatives remained financially stable, while consumer cooperatives reported increased turnover and worker cooperatives witnessed growth as people chose the cooperative form of enterprises to respond to new economic realities.

He noted that the cooperatives model is the principal-based enterprises that values people in the heart of their businesses, which is driven by values and not profit.

He pointed out that the cooperative model of enterprise contributes to youth employment by facilitating job creation through self-employment.

Abang Johari said the democratic nature of the cooperatives enterprise encourages participation, broadens ownership and foster empowerment of youth.

“It allows people to start a business systematically and enable young people to crowd fund financial resources, sharing knowledge, contribute expertise and empower the flexibility of self-employment.

“What if you can create jobs? What if you can work and own an enterprise? You are in a perfect position to do that,” he continued.

Citing statistics from the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), he observed that cooperatives around the world are the main source of income for more than 279 million people, or almost 10 per cent of the working population.

Additionally, Abang Johari noted there are about one billion women and men globally involved in cooperatives, which generates approximately 100 million jobs.

On another note, Malaysian Cooperative Movement’s (Angkasa) president, Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah, disclosed that there are more than 208 youth co-operatives with membership of approximately 81,000 people in Malaysia.

He noted those cooperatives were able to collectively generate RM12 million in turnover in the first six months of last year. The cooperatives recorded RM142 million and RM34 million in assets and shares respectively.

“The cooperatives sector is a great platform that allows young people to demonstrate their talents. The youth must seize the opportunity to participate in co-operative to further enhance their knowledge and skills,” he continued.

Among those present at the Global Youth Forum 2020 were ICA’s president Ariel Guarco and  representatives from 107 nations. — DayakDaily