The economic scenario of the post-independence era in the 60's created a situation where unemployment occurred when European-owned rubber estates were sold to local entrepreneurs who in turn fragmented and sold them for profit thus resulted in loss of employment for the Estate Workers.
In an effort to rectify the problem, the Malaysian Indian Congress, spearheaded by the late Tun Dr. V. T. Sambanthan, and some concerned citizens, established the National Land Finance Co-Operative Society (NLFCS) to purchase estates that were being sold for fragmentation and to safeguard the employment of the estate workers.
Plantation workers were persuaded to buy shares in the co-operative at RM 100/= per share, payable in monthly installment of RM 10/=.
With this, the society managed to purchase its first rubber estate covering a total of 2900 acres or 1174 ha (Bukit Sidim Estate) in Kedah. The late YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia officially declared open this property. From this humble beginning, today NLFCS owns, oil palm and coconut plantations all over the country and has diversified to a multipurpose co-op.
To-date, the society has 49682 members who range from estate workers, students to professionals with a share capital of RM 109 million in shares as at 31.12.2009.
The society has implemented numerous benefit schemes for its members with the objectives to:
- Improve the education level of its members' children
- Increase ownership of house for members
- Promote small scale entrepreneurs
- Provide financial aid to members.
The operation of the National Land Finance Co-operative Society is supervised by a Board of Directors headed by the Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Dato' Dr. K.R. Somasundram and Secretary Datuk B. Sahadevan. The ultimate authority is the Annual General Meeting of the delegates, which elects the Board of Directors, empowering it to draw up long term strategic plan to keep up with the rapid economic changes and development in line with the Society's objective.
Realizing the fact that it cannot solely depend on plantation sector (owning and operating plantations) which is subject to fluctuating commodity prices, the Society moved on to strengthen its base by diversifying into:
- Property development
- Trading and retail business for both domestic and export markets
- Health and medical services.
As a result of its investment in risk-averse ventures, the society has been able to build a large asset base while at the same time, ensuring that its members gained from its investment schemes.
To date, the society has:
- Paid out dividends regularly to its members over the past 75 years
- Allowed members to withdraw their bonus share capital, amounting to RM 50 million, to buy houses, support their children's education and to set up enterprises
- For improving the socio-economic of the members, the followings awards and promoting various schemes:-
- Quality Award for best Co-operative in the Federal Territory in 1999
- Quality Award for best Housing Co-operative at National Level in 2001
- Prime Minister's Quality Award Certificate for Socio Economic Sector in 2001
- Prime Minister's Quality Award for Socio Economic Sector in 2002
- The Register General of Co-operatives Quality Award for Best Co-operatives at National Level in 2003
- Special Award for Plantation Activities at National Level in 2004
- Best Co-operative Award at State Level in 2005
- Special Award for Plantation Activities at State Level in 2005
- National Premium Award in 2007.
Now, the Society is gearing itself for greater challenges in the coming years, namely opportunity available in the information technology and developing niche markets in the growing borderless world.