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Chang Yi and Edward Sia welcome you to browse their website on Rubber Tapping in Sarawak in the olden days.  

 Map of Malaysia showing location of Sarawak

Tapping of Rubber Trees

Rubber Tapping closeup


             Rubber was the most important agricultural export for Sarawak in the 1950's to 1980's. It contributed significantly to the economy of Sarawak at that time. More importantly, it formed the predominant livelihood for many Sarawakians then.

             In West Malaysia, Rubber was mainly grown in large plantations owned by big companies. In Sarawak, it was mostly grown on small plots of lands known as smallholdings. The owners of these smallholdings were also the rubber tappers themselves. Very often the whole family were involved in the process of tapping the rubber trees, collecting the latex, making them into rubber sheets which were then smoked or dried before these rubber sheets were sold to the middlemen. Life as a rubber tapper was hard work and the income from it was meagre due to the low price of rubber then.

              However, rubber tapping especially in the traditional way is now a dying trade as other agricultural commodities such as oil palm takes centre stage. Therefore, the aim of this website is to keep the bitter and sweet memories of rubber tapping in the yesteryears in Sarawak alive.

             We would like you to visit the other parts of this website by clicking on the links below. There are links to the history of Rubber in Malaysia and Sarawak, the process of tapping the rubber trees and transforming them into rubber sheets for sale as well as the special memories and moments as recounted by the rubber tappers of Sarawak.  We welcome your comments and feedback. Any former rubber tappers of Sarawak who wish to share their memories on this website are most welcome to contact the authors.

Chang Yi and Edward Sia


                                                                  Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August 2004 01:19 AM