In 1953, the Rural and Industrial Development Authority (RIDA) was established with the objective of developing and improving the lives of the rural communities.
It existed as a manifestation on the part of the Colonial Government to improve the quality of life of the people in the villages through social, economic and infrastructural development. Through various activities which encroached into the life of these people, the rural communities which were so backward in many ways, slowly began to change.
The First Bumiputera Economic Congress held in Kuala Lumpur in 1965 passed a resolution for the reorganisation of RIDA. So on 1st March 1966, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), the Council of Trust for the Indigenuous People was incorporated with the mandate to promote, stimulate, facilitate and undertake economic and social development towards the setting up to a stable and self-reliant Bumiputera business community.
Within the scope of its objective, MARA´s programmes encompass various activities which are related to the social and economic development of the people. They are aimed towards the development of every strata of the Bumiputera society; from school going children who will be the future leaders to the enterprising youths and adults who could be trained to become the backbone of the nations economic development. On the basis of that platform there exits four major programmes: educational, entrepreneurial development, rural transport services and investment. After a quater of a century many programmes have been undertaken and achieved with success and excellence. However, much more has to be done in the duty of transforming the society towards the attainment of a harmonious and stable society.