Interview with Dato’ Abdul Fattah Abdullah, president of ANGKASA
This November, hundreds of co-operators will converge on Kuala Lumpur for Cooperatives: Putting people at the centre of development, the Alliance’s 2017 Global Conference.
We took a moment to check in with ANGKASA, the Malaysian National Co-operative Movement and conference co-host, to see how the conference planning was progressing and to give participants a sneak peek at what awaits them at the biggest co-operative event of the year.
- What unique aspects of the Malaysian co-operative identity will be represented in the conference?
Mr Abdullah: ANGKASA is very pleased to announce that all preparations to welcome co-operators from around the world to the ICA Global Conference are underway and on schedule. As hosts, we are all very excited as the countdown to the Conference draws nearer to the day we receive our first co-operator in Kuala Lumpur.
Our hosting committees are also very busy finalising all the details together with the ICA secretariat to ensure that co-operators coming to the Conference will experience the true Malaysian hospitality that the country is known for in this region.
I am also proud to announce that our hosting of the Conference has also opened opportunities to local co-op participation, from providing the airport transfers to bringing co-operators on our scheduled tour programmes during the Conference. The scheduled programme tours will allow delegates to visit successful co-operatives in the country.
The 50 volunteers that will be assisting during the Conference will also be from the Co-operative College and by being part of this event, it will provide them with a global insight to the world of co-operatives.
As part of the Conference, the hosts have also prepared a programme that will showcase the rich culture and traditions of Malaysia Truly Asia, through sampling of local fruits, enjoying traditional performances or picking up local crafts.
Nothing was spared from ANGKASA, from the local hibiscus inspired Conference logo motif to the daily melting pot of various foods that everyone will be enjoying.
- What are some of the most exciting and unique elements of the Global Conference that you can share with delegates?
Mr Abdullah: Again, as host and the apex organisation for co-operatives in Malaysia, we feel that this will be the best opportunity for us to showcase the very best of Malaysia to fellow co-operators from around the world.
In line with the co-operative spirit, ANGKASA is happy to announce that we will be providing special tour visits to interesting places for friends and family accompanying you while you attend the Conference. So, I welcome you to bring along your partners and family to the Conference. I promise you that there will be a lot of things to see and experience. To those visiting Malaysia for the first time, you will be in for a memorable experience during your visit.
- Tell us about the opportunity that MACCOPS presents.
Mr Abdullah: At ANGKASA, we are also very proud of our Malaysia Carnival of Co-operative Products & Services (MACCOPS). It is our way to see Malaysian co-operatives play a greater role in the ASEAN economic integration by linking with other co-operatives from the region.
The 2017 MACCOPS edition will see more participation from international co-operatives exhibiting products and services. As it will be organised in conjunction with the ICA Global Conference and General Assembly, delegations from various countries from this regions can also join the planned business matching and business forum sessions.
Co-operatives need to play a more active role in the economy, especially when it comes to wealth creation. Strengthening our domestic position is important and at the same time we need to look to international markets and international partner co-operatives to strengthen our revenue base.
Trade visitors to MACCOPS can expect to meet decision makers from local and international co-operatives at the exhibition, engage in business matching and participate in seminars and other events that will ensure access to industry experts. Co-operatives will have dedicated Coop-2-Coop networking sessions. So, if your country’s co-operative or your members might have something to showcase, MACCOPS is the place to be.
- Why did ANGKASA want to host the Global Conference?
Mr Abdullah: Many co-operatives have been comfortable operating within Malaysia but the future is bigger than that. We need to see ASEAN as our domestic market especially as the ASEAN Economic Community is becoming more important. Malaysian co-operatives need to find strategic partners globally who want to leverage the eight million co-operative members in Malaysia and vice versa.
We feel that hosting the Global Conference together with the Alliance will allow this to happen, as the global sharing of experience and expertise of co-operators from around the world can only benefit the co-operative movement.
So, once again, I take this opportunity to welcome all fellow co-operators to come to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this November for the ICA Global Conference and General Assembly while experiencing ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’. “Terima kasih”.