Bukit Ibam in History
Berita Harian, 18 November 1970
ROMPIN town will not dim with the closing of Bukit Ibam mine. Instead the government plans to make the town as centre of a large land development schemes in southeast Pahang which will accommodate lives of unemployed workers due to the closure of the mine.
Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, who held a one-day trip to Rompin on last Monday, announced that the government will soon take over the administration of Bukit Ibam and develop it as a town centre for a new land development scheme covering 2.5 million acres.
The opening log and veneer factories, construction of 4 miles road from Bukit Ibam to merge with Gambang-Segambat road and another that road that will connects Bukit Ibam to Lanjut, a port on the coast of Pahang, opening Lanjut as a tourist centre and the establishment of a cooperation between the Government of Pahang with a private company to run the remnants of the mine iron supplies – all of which are intended to maintains the town and the life of its inhabitants as in the past.
The workers – about 1,200 people – will be met by the projects. The problems faced by workers are to get a new job as soon as possible.
It is hoped that the projects can be implemented as soon as possible so that workers are not unemployed for long periods. There might be better if the position of the workers be scrutinised further to find anyone among them that really need a job fast, because of their commitment; also need to know of theirs know-how and skills, so they could be given jobs according to skill and knowledge respectively.
It is advisable to provide venue to provide advice to employees while they seek for their new employment.
Advice is important for them to understand what is and will be developed for them by the government.
Detailed plans are necessary to realign the lives of thousands who lost their jobs as it is complex and difficult.
Especially to those are habituated in their place of work.
The closure of the Bukit Ibam mine is not only directly affects the lives of workers but also residents of the town such as shopkeepers and traders who rely directly or indirectly to the employees of the mine.
Visit by Prime Minister Tun Razak to Rompin last Monday showed concern of the federal government.
Rehabilitation program are planned to restore the life of the town and its residents. This commitment would calm their minds as their live have been threatened of the result of the mine closure.
The new jobs may not be matched on income, but this should be faced head on. Meanwhile, as advised by the Prime Minister, consolation money given by their employer to the retrenched workers, should be utilised wisely.
While the government is ready to provide help, but effort made by themselves is more effective.