Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. Pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

PUTRAJAYA: An estimated 385,350 people from the B40 group will benefit from the setting up of Rukun Tetangga Co-operatives (RT Co-op) throughout the country, said the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup today.

"Most of our RT members are in the B40 group," he told reporters during a special press briefing in his office.

"I believe the RT Co-op, which will be more focused on economic activities, will give a big boost to their household income."

B40 refers to the bottom 40 per cent of Malaysian households with monthly income of below RM3,900.

There are currently 7,707 RT sectors in Malaysia - with Sabah having the most number of RT at 1,002. The minimum membership for each RT Co-op is 50.

Quoting the KRT Telaga Batin Terengganu and KRT Kampung Bukit Kuda Labuan as the success story of RT Co-op, where they have successfully ventured into homestay, agriculture and aquaculture businesses, Kurup said the government would continue to assist RT Co-op in increasing their revenue, not only to its members, but also the economic development of the country.

"With high commitment and interest shown by all RT members, we are quite confident that they will benefit from the RT Co-op. We will train them, help them with product development, packaging and marketing. We will give them motivational talks as well."

He has set a target of 20 new RT Co-op to be established this year, on top of the existing 30.

"Where there is RT, there is an RT Co-op," he assured. "It's an important set-up for us because it improves the livelihood of our grass roots."

The RT Co-op will be under the supervision of the National Unity and Integration Department (JPIN).

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