Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang, Tourism, Travel

$100 mil. vote of confidence at Rompin

1962 Aug 26
The Sunday Mail – 26 August 1962

An example of the important role which private enterprise is playing in the development of independent Malaya is the official opening last month of the $100 million Rompin Iron Mine at Bukit Ibam in South Pahang.

It represents the biggest single capital investment in this country since Merdeka.

It is also the largest industrial development project in the history of Pahang.

At a time when rural and industrial development is essential for the future of Malaya, the opening of a mine of such proportions as Rompin is a major contribution to national progress.

1962 Aug 26-2

JOBS OFFERED

For the Mine offers steady employment for hundreds of fishermen who formerly depended on the sea for a hand- to- mouth livelihood.

Also, the significance of the 50 mile railroad built by this company – it cost $20 Million- to connect the Mine with the coastal town of Kuala Rompin cannot be underestimated,

It has opened up an isolated part of Pahang, bringing a better life to hundreds of people hitherto living in wilderness.

Now they can get the products of civilisation without inconvenience.

Like the railway from the mining town of Sungei Lembing to the jetty at Pasir Kemudi, on the Kuantan river, the new line will attract settlers and encourage rural development.

SAND TRACK

To get to from Kuantan to the Mine, one has to go to Pekan by car, then take the 40 mile sand track by Land Rover to Kuala Rompin, thence by the railway to Bukit Ibam.

As the Rompin Mining Companys’ train chugged along at less than 20 miles an hour, it is difficult to imagine the tremendous amount of hard work that has been put in to build the line.

The railway was laid in just under 20 months – over soft coastal sands, through swamps, hills and thick jungles.

It crosses no less than 400 bridges and culverts. A thousand men and nine engineers under Mr G.M.Wheat, a former General Manager of Malayan railway carried out the construction project, explained Mr J.N.McHugh, General Manager of the company.

“The railway was a vital link. Without it, heavy plant and equipment could not have been brought and assembled in time “.

The completion of the line in 20 months was an engineering feat.

ROWS OF HOUSES

There was only one fatality during the whole operation. This occurred when a man was crushed by a tree he was felling.

Two hours and a half after leaving Kuala Rompin, the visitor is greeted by a panorama which in the morning mist appears like a mirage.

As he gets nearer he can see rows of neatly built houses, a giant iron ore procesing plant, a sawmill, and scores of other buildings.

The sound of shunting wagons can be heard distinctly.

And all around this scene of activity is the thick lush jungle.

The story of Bukit Ibam is one of guts and determination.

Prospecting started in 1952 at the height of the Emergency.

Attacks by wild animals,jungle illness and terrorist bullets were the dangers the prospectors faced.

From this pioneering work, Bukit Ibam developed into a thriving centre. Perhaps in ten years it will grow to the size of Dungun in Trengganu, which owes it’s progress to the Bukit Besi Iron mine.

1,400 WORKERS

Kuala Rompin has benefitted immensely from the opening of the Bukit Ibam mine. From a cluster of huts, it has grown into a busy township.

The Rompin mine has 1,400 workers on it’s payroll, — 60 per cent of them Malays.

It has an administration staff of 200 plus 50 Senior Officers, including Australians and Americans.

Several dozen families have already moved to Bukit Ibam. More will join the menlolk as more houses are completed.

Very soon this former jungle wilderness will be home for 6,000 people — a splendid example of progress in modern Malaya.

The Mine’s 58 acres are estimated to contain 20 million tons of high grade iron ore. There is another 20 million tons in the surrounding areas.

Only25 miles from Bukit Ibam is the site of the Bera “find” made by members of the Geological Survey Department. Bera is estimated to have 10 million tons of iron ore.

If the Rompin Mining Company gets the rights to this new iron ore fileld, all it has to do is to push it’s railway further on and then start mining operations.

The company has already spent $100 million on it’s present project, including construction of coastal installations at Kuala Rompin and purchase of tugs and lighters to take the ore to ships.

The present iron ore deposits are expected to keep the mine going for about 15 years. Mr McHugh said it was the company’s aim to develop to the fullest possible capacity all iron ore in the region.

Owing to the Japanese restriction on imports of Malayan iron ore, the Rompin Mining Company can export only one million tons this year.

“We must — and this is equally in the interests of the State of Pahang, increase our export to at least four million tons a year as soon as Japan’s recovery from her temporary economic setback permits increased sales of iron ore” said Mr McHugh.

BIG SHOCK

The decision of Japanese steel mills to impose a drastic reduction in the tonnage of ore to be imported from Malaya this year came as a severe shock to the company.

This unexpected situation had caused a severe reduction of the finance available this year and limited very severely the programme of work it had planned.

Mr McHugh added that with an investment of this size and with a railway capable of handling about six million tons a year, it would be evident that to haul only a million  or a million and a half tons a year was uneconomic.

Mr McHugh even envisaged the possibility of the company’s railway being used one day to link the new port of Kuala Rompin with the Malayan Railway system.

The two lines are of the same gauge.

He acknowledged the help wich the Federation and Pahang governments gave to the company in the Rompin project. He said the Malayan police and security forces at the height of the Emergency provided the company’s jungle teams with armed guards.

AIR DROPS

They also assisted by arranging for supplies of food and other essentials by means of air drops. The Mines and Telecommunications departments also co-operated.

The installation of a VHF link at Bukit Ibam some years ago facilitated the geological investigation of the ore body

Mr McHugh mentioned the vision and drive of those responsible for the project.

They were determined to see this big venture realised in the face of extreme difficulties.

The technical and financial help given by Rompins’ parent company, the Eastern Mining and Metals Co. Ltd was most valuable.

It was EMMCO geologists and surveyors who pioneered the work in the early years. It was from EMMCO the company drew many of it’s Engineers’ and skilled workers.

ADVICE SOUGHT

Emmco’s experience in developing the Dungun mine and training of Malayans for the work had been the foundation of Rompin’s development.

Referring to the construction of the railway, Mr McHugh said the company sought advice in many countries.

It was found that there were few major contractors building railways today.

The best advice the company got was that it would take three years to build it’s meter gauge railway through the coastal swamps and jungle hills.

The company finally decided to do the work itself and brought modern equipment from America for the job.

Work was still continuing now to improve the cuttings and embankments.

mamadou

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Posted in Economy, History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang

Pahang take over the mine complex

Bukit Ibam Mine in History

Berita Harian  4FEB, 1971Berita Harian, 4 February 1971

Kuantan, Wednesday

Government of Pahang today formally took over the Bukit Ibam complex from Rompin Mining Company Limited, which was closed late last year.

This morning, acting Chief Minister of Pahang, Dato ‘Haji Abdul Aziz bin Ahmad, has presented a check worth $ 680,000 to the mine goods dealer, Mr Philip Robinson, at the State Operations Room.

Mr. Philip from the George Cohen, who sells mining equipment company said and clarifying that the company was giving out free of the officials and employees residential houses as well as shops and hospital to Government of Pahang.

Employee

Dato Aziz expressed gratitude for the contribution and expects such cooperation to be followed by other private companies.

He further explained that the money of $ 680,000 is to buy electric facilities, water supply and a workshop in Bukit Ibam.

The Government also took the 45 former employees of the mining company to serve the complex.

According to Dato Aziz, these workers are mainly employed in the workshop acquired and turned into a workshop of Syarikat Perkayuan Bukit Ibam owned by MARA.

Acting Chief Minister of Pahang, advised the employees to serve well and do not be too choosy

The complex is now turned to ​​200,000 acres of timber complex.

mamadou

Posted in Johor, Life, MALAYSIA, Today's Photograph, Travel

Today’s Photograph : Johor Bahru City

Johor Bahru City at nightJohor Bahru City at night.  Singapore is at the far background

Johor Bahru is the capital city of Johor in southern Malaysia, located north of Singapore. Johor Bahru is the southernmost city on the Asia mainland. The Johor Bahru City has a population of 1,334,188 people with area of 185 kilometres square.

It is situated on the Straits of Johor (also known as the Straits of Tebrau), which separate Malaysia and Singapore but linked by the 1.05 km causeway built in 1923. The Johor-Singapore Causeway links the city to Singapore with a six-lane road and a railway line. The Malaysia-Singapore Second Link bridge, located west of the metropolitan area, was constructed in 1997 to alleviate congestion on the Causeway.

mamadou

Posted in History, Life, MALAYSIA, Pahang

Problem arise as the mine closed

Bukit Ibam Mine in History

Berita Harian 22NOV 1970 Masalah Tutup Lombong

Berita Harian 22 November 1970

Since some time ago, the news of the closure of two mines in the country have been regularly published in the newspapers.

The news is generally sad because its makes thousands of people who suddenly face a bleak future due to the closure of the mines.

It is true that the government intends to help overcome their difficulties. Iron mine workers in Dungun will be helped by the government to participate in the new land development and oil palm plantation projects.

Workers at Bukit Ibam, Rompin recently visited by the Prime Minister himself who guarantee will launch several programs to help them.

However we are sad. Sad about the fate that befalls us if we are too much dependent on the investors – either overseas or local investors.

The dark fate that not only fall on the workers. But tens of thousands of others to follow is affected by the decision to close the mines is

Dungun dependent on revenue Bukit Besi. Even the state of Terengganu depending on the mine.

Can revenue from Bukit Besi replaced by other sources?

So far only those employees of the mine who would be lost their jobs.

What is the case with Dungun town itself? What is the case with the farmers who are dependent on selling their agricultural products to the mine workers?

What is the case with the fishermen who catch products purchased by the mine workers?

What is the case with business in the town of Dungun?

We think the committee formed to look at the problem of the closure of the mine should be reinforced and to look into the importance and severity of the problems faced by the closure of the mine in Bukit Besi.

mamadou

Posted in History, Life, Pahang

Bukit Ibam mine workers threatened

Bukit Ibam Mine in HistoryBerita Harian 13 Oktober 1970

Berita Harian, 13 October 1970

Rompin (Pahang), Monday – Some 1,000 workers at Bukit Ibam mine, here will face a bleak future when the mines closed in the middle of this month.

The mine will be closed after facing losses since last year, a few workers told Berita Harian recently.

An employee of the mine, Mr. Sulaiman bin Abdul Manaf, said his employer will begin to retrench the workers in the middle of this month.

Mr. Sulaiman, 37 years have five children, explained that in the past the mine workers were paid satisfactory.

Expensive

“Every employee is paid rather good salary compared to the estate and warehouse workers.

“But now we have to be stop worked. And I do not know what should I do after this, ” his added

Several other workers were told that mine employer have yet to give them further details of the quantum of the compensation.

“But if given the money, it cannot supports our lives forever,” said Mr. Kamal bin Abdullah, representing the workers.

Relocate

Some of the employees propose to open new land for cultivation or start a business when they receive compensation monies.

The others make their recommendation that the Government to enroll them into FELDA land schemes or other land projects.

At present about 200 workers have been moved back to their village to start a new life.

There are several shops in the area also started to migrate for business in other areas.

mamadou