In its heyday, Rubber was king of the Malayan/Malaysian economy, co-ruling with its earthy counterpart, Tin. Plantation owners were bouncing happily with riches, that flowed via the sweat and tears of many a poor rubber tapper.
Each morning while it was still dark, teams of hardy tappers were out in force. Armed with a lamp on the forehead and a tapping knife in hand each, they carefully shaved a sliver of bark from each tree, causing white liquid latex to ooze out and flow down into a collecting cup.
Hours later, a second tour of duty was launched, to empty the brimming cups into a big canister, which would then be brought to the collection centre for processing into rubber sheets. Wages were paid on the net weight of latex delivered.