Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has suggested that mosques and surau nationwide set up their own cooperatives to generate income through cooperative business activities.
He said a study on the suggestion had been approved and would be presented at the ministry-level in the near future.
“Next, we will submit a proposal to get feedback and comments from the Cabinet because it involves all parties and ministries,” he told reporters after attending the Cooperative Capacity Building and Encouragement programme in Kampung Boyan here today.
He said if the initiative was implemented, mosques and surau would no longer need to depend solely on government assistance, besides being able to provide benefits to their congregation.
“These small cooperatives can unite to become a medium-sized cooperative before going on to become a big enough cooperative with a large number of members, providing benefits and returns to the congregation as well as surrounding residents,” he said.
According to Wan Junaidi, a meeting with Minister at the Prime Minister Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri would be held in the near future to discuss the proposal so that the mosques and surau could be united in a cooperative.
He said the development of such a cooperative was important as it could drive the economy, especially in helping small and medium-sized enterprises in local communities access to quick and easy funds without having to go through the bureaucracy.
“Through cooperatives, they can set up their own ar-rahnu (pawnbroking), wholesale market and such, and this will not only provide funds to the mosques and surau managing the cooperatives but also generate income for the congregations involved,” he said.