as the Standard Malaysian Rubber (SMR) or Hevea-crumb rubber. In this form, therubber can be conveniently compressed and packed for export.
Skim Rubber. In the process of coagulation, some ten percent rubber is left behind inthe liquid of coagulation tank. That residual rubber is recovered by skimming; it isknown as Skim Rubber. Skim rubber contains a much higher proportion of impurities,and so it is less desirable.
Vulcanized Rubber. It is to be noted that the rubber is graded according toInternational Standard published by the Rubber Manufacturers Association of New York.The starting of rubber plantations in Malaysia has resulted in the rapid economicdevelopment of the area. Roads, railway lines and ports have been developed, and new areas, with all modern amenities, have been settled by the people. The population has increased,and the people now maintain a high standard of living.
Problems of the Rubber Industry
At present, the policies of the Malaysian Government are not as favourable to foreigninvestors as previously. The Government regulations, regarding benefits and wages to native workers, are more strict, and the taxes are higher. The rubber planters also face the problemof surplus production (it is because the huge areas are available for the rubber plantation), which results in lowered prices and profits. The abundant production of synthetic rubber inthe U.S.A. and other countries has also given a great set back to marketing. The syntheticrubber, which is made from petroleum, coal, alcohol or other materials, is obtained at a very low cost of production. Another problem is the need to replace a large proportion of the trees, which are very old, with new ones of very high yield. The Government has laid a special taxon exported rubber, and the money, thus, raised is utilized for the cost of replanting trees.Because of all these hazards, the rubber planters are now converting the rubber estates tothat of palm. But it does not mean that the rubber plantation system will discontinue. Thesynthetic rubber is excellent for certain purposes, but it is not yet as satisfactory as naturalrubber for general purposes, such as tyres. As such, with an expanded role of the Governmentin the management of the rubber plantation, the production of rubber in Malaysia willundoubtedly continue, and, perhaps even increase in importance.
Malaysia produces about 1-5 million tons of natural rubber annually. A major part of it issent to Singapore or Penang, from where it is exported all over the world.
The chief rubber-importing countries are:(i) Singapore (for re-export),(ii) Russia and European countries,(iii) the U.S.A.,