Business associations are established under various registration with the government.
Although many are registered under Registrar of Societies Malaysia or R.O.S, there are quite a number which are registered as companies under the Registrar of Companies (R.O.C.)
The ROC is now Companies Commission of Malaysia or more widely known as SSM (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia).
There are currently 114,000 bodies registered under the R.O.S. Not all of them are business associations, of course. Many are non-profit, non-business related oragnisations - now more popularly called NGO's.
I wonder how many are business associations and trade guilds - of the 114,000 registered under R.O.S.
And how many of the business associations and guilds are established by the Muslims, for the Muslims? Not many, I'm pretty sure.
I have come to the conclusion that a measure (or an indicator) of the level of development of a community has attained is by the numbers of associations and guilds it has formed. The more associations it has formed, the more highly-developed, structured and sophisticated the community tend to be.
Otherwise, it would be a big amorphous and sluggish lump of people - most likely solely organised by a dominant political party.
Everything then is expected of the party to do for the community - be it its social, economic, educational, religious or political issues; and thus power and control become very centred with leadership of that political party.
And if the leadership of that party is compromised for its own self-interest - the whole community suffers and deprived of proper representation (pembelaan) and leadership.