RRI Indian workers for generations!

November 29th, 2011 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Just imagine this, generation after generation working away, and now left with nothing. All this while, quarters provided, got salary, and enjoyed at relaxing environment, but their future is very bleak without ownership of house nor any suitable skills for uplifting their economic status. Can you imagine what is the fate of their kids?  Did the previous generations ever thought of getting out of the vicious cycle or were they ever given a chance to do so?

Can imagine similar scenario happening for estate workers.

Hopefully in this case, the government is able to provide the families a piece of land or other award for their hard work and loyalty.

 

THE 86-year-old Rubber Research Institute of Malaya (RRIM) in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, will soon make way for a new integrated development in the Klang Valley and the 300 workers out of the 660 are worried that they would be forced to relocate to other research stations in various states.

The 1,348ha site, owned by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) since 1925, is expected to be become a commercial, residential and transport hub under a joint venture between the Federal Government and the Employees Provident Fund.

The workers will have to be relocated to other research stations in Sungai Sari in Kedah, Bukit Kuantan in Pahang and Kota Tinggi in Johor.

Solid foundation: One of the oldest houses still standing within the grounds of RRIM. The 70-year-old house is now abandoned after the family moved out.

Some 243ha would be retained for RRIM facilities, which will include the headquarters, Centre for Excellence that houses latest research and development amenities, a business cluster to encourage foreign investments, the Royal Commodity College trains workers for the industry and a museum.

The site is one of the federal assets to be redeveloped under the Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project, an initiative under the 10th Malaysia Plan to revitalise the city.

A. Vellaiamah, 70, worked as a rubber tapper at RRIM for 41 years.

The mother of four is suffering from an enlarged thyroid and doctors had advised her not to go ahead with the surgery as there might be complications.

Three of her children have died of cancer.

Her father Ayamuthu was the only chief security guard at RRIM in the 1940s. Vellaiamah’s husband, Kandhasamy, was a chief driver here who died 26 years ago.

Her son, Gunasegaran, who represents the family’s fourth generation, now works at RRIM.

“My paternal grandmother worked as a rubber tapper, too. I have spent most of my life in this estate. I am sad with the impending development as that would mean we would be displaced to other states and my grandchildren won’t have the opportunity to work at RRIM.

“This place holds sentimental values for me because the Indian community are the ones who made RRIM what it is today. I consider my family to be one of the pioneers of RRIM,” she said.

For Vellaiamah, she will mostly miss working in the serene environment as well as the freedom for her three grandchildren to play at the football field and spend time with other kids at the RRIM quarters.

Rubber estate takes up 939ha while the remaining area houses nurseries, laboratories, midstream and downstream pilot plant factories and staff quarters, two schools (a Tamil and Islamic religious school), a mosque, a Hindu temple and recreational facilities.

All in the family: Janaky (back row, left) and her grandchildren S.Sangeetha (from left) S. Thanabalan, S. Tines, S. Thineswary and S. Arnin who are living at the RRIM quarters.

R. Janaky, 58, who works as a general worker, will be retiring next year but wants to extend her employment until the age of 60.

“I don’t know where they will post us to next. I have worked at RRIM for 31 years. My husband. a supervisor, has also just retired. My son works as a general worker at RRIM, so you can see the tradition we maintain in the family because we love working here.

“It is close to impossible to find a beautiful green lung like this in Klang Valley in this day and age. We would like to remain here and I hope the management will listen to our plight,” said the mother of five and grandmother to nine.

P. Chinna has a year before he retires from RRIM as a field recorder.

The 58-year-old is a third generation from his family working at the estate.

“My grandfather and father both worked at the RRIM experiment station in Sungai Buloh.

“I was born within the grounds of RRIM,” he said.

The father of three brought up his children on the estate.

“There are a lot of good memories and we have built precious relationships with the people here.

“I am just worried that couples who both work at RRIM will be relocated to different states which could disrupt their family union.

“The management should at least consider retaining about 80ha to house the workers. The relocation move could prove stressful to a lot of us,” said Ramasamy.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/11/26/central/9964591&sec=central

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1 comment

  1. kana dass Marimthu says:

    Its a pleasure to read about our home town or estate (Institution) where we grow up my grandfather father worked here and we have fond memories of this great place. My dad used to sell textiles here and we moved to Sg Buloh New village and my mum continued till retired at 55. Surely we will miss and we pray and hope that the new developer will continue the identity of this great estate (Institution) hope to hear from you. bye

    kana dass