Co-operative legislation under review in Malaysia

The Bill had its first reading in parliament on 26 August

A bill to amend co-op law to make it easier to set up and manage co-operatives is being debated in the Malaysian parliament.

Introduced by deputy co-operatives minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati binti Samsudin, the Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Bill 2020 would reduce the number of members needed to set up a primary co-op from 50 to 20.

Other changes include lowering the number of members required to sign the minutes of an inaugural general meeting – submitted with the application for registration of a primary co-operative society – from 25 to 10.

The new legislation also reduces the number of required board members of a co-op from six to three.

Under special provisions Malaysia’s Co-operative Commission will be able to also register a co-operative society that consists of at least five persons as well as revoke a co-operative registration if it has less than five members. Currently, the Commission can revoke the registration of a co-operative society if its membership has been reduced to fewer than 15.

Co-operative societies will also be allowed to raise funds through loans from any licensed financial institution or co-operative society as determined by the Cooperative Commission.

Malaysia is home to over 14,000 co-operatives with six million members.