When I was spending my holidays, after MCE (1973) in Kampong Senaling, I was helping Abah Rahman who was responsible for the purchase of latex from the small holders as a Cooperative at the Rancangan Tanah Pinggir Rubber Plantation in Sungai Layang (on the Kuala Pilah - Tampin Road). At approximately 10:00 am every morning, we will bring our scales, concentration measurement tool and cash to the collection centre. We are the agent to MARDEC Berhad. MARDEC would by then already got ready the latex container at the centre - to fill-in the latex to be purchased.
One by one the rubber tappers emerge from down the hill. Each would normally have 2 pails or 1 5 gallons container of latex to be sold. Depending on their effort, the amount of latex brought to the centre varies. One by one, we will pour out each tapper's latex into the weighing container. Then a small sample of the latex is taken and poured into a small container where the concentration level ('the chi') is measured by a tool. This is necessary as some may have more water or other liquid or other substances added or mixed into the latex. The concentration level is then aggregated against the weight which will determine the actual latex volume sold. The calculated latex volume figure will then be multiplied with the 'price' of latex for the day. The rubber tappers are then paid cash for their latex sold.
Everyday, we serve and purchase from approximately 30 small holders. It would normally fill up to almost half the MARDEC latex container. By 11:30 am, all rubber tappers would have already sold their latex. The container is then sealed, pending collection by MARDEC. By the end of the day, MARDEC will collect the latex container and transported back to its factory in Kuala Pilah. MARDEC would then determine the concentration level of the total latex in the container, multiplied by the price of the day. Abah Rahman will get paid by MARDEC. As this is run by cooperative method, all gains or losses will then be distributed to the rubber tappers.
Price of rubber was quite high, comparatively to other local village products. The villagers had a comfortable life tapping rubber then. However, now the price of rubber is at an all time high. It has been 35 years anyway!
2 weeks ago