Only 380 out of 5,000 eligible cooperatives have registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) executive chairman Datuk Nik Ali Mat Yunus said.

He said SKM would intensify efforts to raise awareness to ensure that it would meet its target of getting all eligible cooperatives to register before the GST implementation on April 1.

“The cooperatives will lose their competitive edge if they do not register as they won’t be able to claim refund from the government,” he told reporters after opening the GST Seminar – Angkasa Product and Services Programme 2015 here today.

Only 5,000 out of 12,000 cooperatives in the country are eligible to register for the GST.

On the National Cooperative Movement of Malaysia Bhd’s (Angkasa) application for cooperative financial services to be exempted from the GST, Nik Ali said the tax regime would not affect the financial products.

He said expressed his concern over the practice of turning profitable and asset-rich cooperatives into public listed companies as it undermined cooperative strategic business although it was not against the law.

So far only two cooperatives, namely KUB Malaysia Bhd (KUB) and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) have been floated, but it may affect other cooperatives, he added.

Present was Angkasa president Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah.