1. Okinawa is a long thin island 100 km from north to south. In the old days the people in the south found difficulty in getting supplies from the north.
2. The people in the villages decided to have a shop stocked with their needs. They collected money from their village and built a shop. They employed a man from the village to manage the shop. Money was provided by the villagers to stock the shop with their needs brought in from the north.
3. The villagers bought their needs but did not pay immediately. Instead they themselves wrote on a piece of paper their name and the goods they had taken. Each time they needed goods or foodstuff they wrote on the piece of paper with their name and stuck it to a board kept in the shop.
4. At the end of the month they would total up all their purchase written on their paper and pay the amount due. The money was kept in a safe.
5. Later when business was not so good they put up a table and a few chairs and started selling drinks and coffee.
6. Every village would have this commonly owned village shop. It was a kind of cooperative, owned and operated by the villagers.
7. Today most of them have disappeared as access to their needs became easier due to better road, motorcycles and cars. The one I visited is one of the few left.
8. It worked well in Okinawa. Wonder if it will work well in Malaysia.