Category Archives: rubber

Pokok Punya Susu, Getah Dapat Nama, Towkay Jadi Kaya

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.

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R.S.S. Rubber

Your favorite Bak Kwa ?   Or perhaps the name of Singapore Navy’s latest high-tech naval vessel with bounce-around capability ?

Nah, RSS stands for Ribbed Smoke Sheet.  This was the most common form of rubber that was exported from Malaysia.    After the latex collected from rubber trees had coagulated,  it was passed through multiple rollers to squeeze out the excess water, and then the sheets were dried and finally “cured” by smoking them in a giant kiln.

The finished sheets were usually formed into bales for export.  Those were the heydays of the rubber industry.

Our youngsters may not know them.  But I used to see lots of these in the past.