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Monday, October 3, 2011

ODE TO RUBBER TAPPERS

Henry Wickham (L), residing in Manaos by the Amazon River was commissioned by the Colonial Office to collect rubber seeds. 70,000 seeds were collected and sent to Kew Gardens, England of which 2,800 seedlings managed to be raised.

In 1877 some plants were sent to Botanic Gardens, Singapore and from there 9 plants were sent to Kuala Kangsar to be planted in the Resident's garden of Hugh Low.

Production of rubber in Malaya:
1923-25     182,000 tons
1935-37     414,000 tons
1947-49     672,000 tons
1952-54     573,000 tons


Conventionally, rubber tappers must reach their lots by 6am that's when the latex begin to ooze and gets slower as the day gets hotter. When it's dark they use headlamps.

As for the mosquitoes, leeches and other crawly creatures are part and parcel of work companions. Tigers and ild boars are known to attack them

By 10am a tapper finishes tapping about 350 trees ie. 1 lot. After a break of an hour starts collecting latex in the cups which are now full and pour them into a pail.

The pails of latex are poured into a bigger container to be transported by bicycle or motorcycle to the collection centre some miles away. It used to they processed the latex into rubber sheets by themselves. Nowadays, MARDEC (agents) takes care of the collection centres.

Rubber tapping is not gender biased. Many cases of female rubber tappers being molested have not been reported for fear of loosing their meagre income.

When the lower bark has been utilised they have to improvise ladders to  tap higher up.

Modern techniques such as puncture tapping and mechanised tapping commonly used in plantations.

My 'Gemok' Indian tapper still uses tapping knives for there are hardly 150 trees in the 4 acre holding. If fully planted it should be 600 trees. Thanks but no thanks to RISDA for overseeing the establishment! Gemok gets 50% of the take which amounts to RM300 per month..

Lest we forget the rubber tappers help to make the wheels turn and the latter make the world go round.

The government says everybody will be in the high income bracket. Talk is cheap. The rubber tappers, the sons of the soil, and their sons and daughters now and coming just wonder how? The non-FELDA settlers are worse off because they don't get durian runtuh every now and then. Why the cronyism?

Taking the DEB and 30% off from the bumiputras is denying the fact that poverty doesn't exist among the rubber tappers. What is Najib talking about hiding? They have nothing to hide for they have nothing.

He is not caring for a sustainable future for the lot of rubber tappers and the sons and daughters of rubber tappers. If he is incapable to resuscitate but bastardize us instead then he should relinquish his post now.



Another variant of a bastardized Malay ditelanjang-bulatkan oleh pemimpin dan kaumnya sendiri.


ODE TO RUBBER TAPPERS!

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