Kopeks encourages increasing total share investment

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Kastian (fourth left) presenting education incentive to one of the recipients, witnessed by Maznah (third left) and other guests.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Government Employees Cooperative Society Bhd (Kopeks) is encouraging its members to increase their total share investment to enjoy mutual benefit and greater dividend.

Chairperson Datuk Maznah Abdul Ghani said although the compulsory RM50 fee and the minimum RM200 share may seem like a forced saving, members need not worry as the investment promises them returns for both fee and share.

“We are telling our members to put their leftover money into shares; instead of buying unnecessary items like cigarettes, they might as well put here and get the return.

“While the fee is already deducted through their salary, why not do the same for the share? RM20 is fine, although it seems low but it is safe and they are being paid. We have paid dividends since the last 10 years.

“We currently have RM50 million for fee and RM2 million for shares and this low figure is caused by members who are resistant to invest; I hope in years to come, there will be improvement in both (fee and shares),” she said.

She was speaking to reporters during the Kopeks 2016 dividend distribution and presentation of education incentives for members’ children at Sabah Public Works Department headquarters yesterday.

Maznah earlier announced that the dividend for financial year 2016, amounted to RM521,263, was six per cent that is one per cent on fee and five per cent on share.

“We could actually afford to pay 15 per cent as in 2015 but Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) has asked for nine per cent to be retained in the cooperative to generate business capital,” she said.

Since 2009 until 2016, Kopeks had distributed RM6.09 million cash dividend to its members and from 2009 until 2018, a total of RM207.24 million of loan had been granted with accumulated profit of RM26.253 million.

She added that Kopeks had also successfully settled its accumulated loss of RM24 million it had accrued before 2005.

According to her, the cooperative also sets out RM50,000 every year for education corporate social responsibility particularly for its members’ children who excel in schools.

“Today, a total of 77 UPSR, PT3 and SPM children receives cash incentives of RM300 each; the total payout since it was introduced was RM78,000.

“However, I realize that there were less recipients so I hope parents would recommend their children especially those in the rural areas because we want to uplift these children,” said Maznah.

Noting that Kopeks is currently 37th in the Best Malaysian Co-operative Index out of 14,000 cooperatives in Malaysia, she stressed on the mutual benefit for its members including loans for school or university fees, road tax and insurance as well as medical costs among others.

She asserted that Kopeks had also assisted more than 400 members settle their debts totaling RM4.5 million with loan sharks.

To date, the cooperative has introduced the Ar-Rahnu Islamic gold-for-cash scheme and set up the Kopeks Mini Market in 2015 to facilitate grocery shopping and gain returns for its members.

In the future, she said, they are planning to set up a Kopeks village to provide physical amenities and a social space for its members; it is expected to be located somewhere near the Pan Borneo Highway stretch.

“All along we have been giving loans so now I’m trying to appeal to them please give us a chance to give you something physical where you can enjoy social activities, perhaps a market for members to sell their products every Saturday and Sunday.

“While it is to encourage business, at the same time we are also keeping their welfare,” she said, adding that Kopeks has also started a pilot project on Swiftlet farming.

Thus, she said, it was crucial for members to repay their loans to ensure these plans could be executed and to provide loans to other members as well.

“We need to keep in mind that if we don’t pay our loans, then our performance will be affected and this will bring impact to other members as well.

By DK RYNI QAREENA.

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