West Country Estate (1896-1985)
“Initally it started as a coffee plantation, but the crop was replaced by rubber at first, and then by oil palm. In its hey-day it had more than 2000 workers and the estate has contributed significantly to the growth and prosperity of Kajang town.” (Tanarata International Schools, 2013: Kajang and Its Surrounds, m.s.26).
“West Country and Belmont Estates” (Arnold Wright, 1908: "Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources", m.s.465-467).
Latar Pembukaan Ladang
Pada awal tahun 1890-an, perladangan kopi sedang berkembang pesat. Ladang-ladang kopi mula dibuka di segenap pelusuk daerah Ulu Langat: “The promise in coffee planting led Malay and Chinese farmers to venture into Ulu Langat in the 1890s. In 1893, some Sumatran migrants experimented with the planting of Liberian coffee. A year later, a European planter was reported to be clearing 607ha of land (AR Selangor, 1893 and 1894). In 1896, Goh Ah Ngee, who was already active in Broga, embarked on coffee planting on a newly-acquired 130ha concession near Kajang (DOUL, 587/1896).
In December 1895, the Kindersley brothers of Inch Kenneth estate in Kajang put in an application for 130ha of land along Reko Road about 3km from Kajang town. This application was considered “of special importance” as it was reported that this locality was once both “populous and extensively cultivated”. Other European planters submitted six applications for 130ha each in the same locality. The hope placed on coffee was also boosted by the new railway line to Negeri Sembilan (ARUL, 1895). In 1896, several of the leading Chinese miners in the district applied for a total of 294ha of agricultural land (MRUL, June 1896). With the increased demand for land, land revenue more than doubled from $572 in April 1895 to $1,283 a year later.”
(Sumber: Voon Phin Keong @ Malaysian Journal of Chinese Studies, Volume 2, No.2, 2013: |"Transforming the Development Frontier: Chinese Pioneers in the Ulu Langat District of Selangor, Malaysia", m.s.8-9).
1896-03: Pembukaan West Country Estate
ada bulan Februari 1896, pemangku pegawai daerah Ulu Langat telah menerima beberapa permohonan pembukaan ladang kopi di sekitar Jalan Reko. Beliau turut mengesyorkan agar pihak kerajaan mewartakan keseluruhan kawasan hutan terbiar di situ, terutamanya kawasan hutan paya yang dianggap “wasteland” (tiada lombong, maka tiada hasil) di tebing barat Sungai Langat sehingga ke Langat (lihat peta sebelum ini), sebagai tanah rizab perladangan kopi: “The Acting D.O., Ulu Langat, writes: 'Several applications have been sent in for waste land on the right bank of the Langat River off the Rekoh Road. There seems little doubt that the land applied for together with a great extent of waste land south of the proposed Klang-Kajang Road, forms part of an all but continuous alluvial plain which stretches down to join the Klang planting reserve on the side of the Langat Road; and if this should prove to be the case, it is greatly to be hoped that the Government will see its way to reserving the whole plain for coffee planters, as it is at present entirely waste, contains no mining land, and is the only portion of the district which is in the smallest degree suitable for a planting reserve.'” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly), 25 February 1896, Page 14: |"SELANGOR NOTES").
Pada bulan Mac 1896, penama-penama bagi permohonan ladang-ladang tersebut telah disiarkan, iaitu F. Baptist (F.B.) Hicks, E. B. Skinner, Arthur Acland (A.A.) Allen, dan E.J. Allen (West Country Estate), G.F.S. dan Methold Sidney (M. S.) Parry (Belmont Estate), dan Kindersley (Reko Hill dan Sungai Reko Estate, diikuti beberapa lagi ladang lain): “Regarding planting in Ulu Langat, Selangor, Mr. Skeat writes in his report: 'The outlook as regards the development of the district by European planters is, on the other hand, most encouraging, and it is greatly to be hoped that the present year will see coffee planting started in earnest on a large scale. Four applications for 320 acres each were received from Messrs. F.B. Hicks, E.B. Skinner, A.A. Allen, and E.J Allen, and two more applications, also for 320 acres each, from Messrs. G.F.S. and M. Sidney Parry, whilst a previous application from Messrs. Kindersley for 320 acres on the Rekoh Road has been granted. The land embraced by the first six applications is a tract upon the right geographical bank of the Langat River, in the neighbourhood of Merbau Tumbang and Bukit Tempurong. It forms the upper end of the broad alluvial flats which stretch, roughly speaking, from the Langat River at Rekoh to the Langat Road at Klang, and merge into the coffee reserve in Klang District. When it is once thoroughly drained and roaded, it should include an abundance of excellent coffee land from which selections cloud be made by intending planters, and it would therefore prove no small advantage if a continuous coffee reserve, running through the two districts, could be proclaimed by the Government.'” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly), 17 March 1896, Page 13: |"COFFEE PLANTING IN THE LANGAT DISTRICT").
CATATAN: Sebelum ini, pada 24/12/1895, F.B. Hicks bersama rakan-rakan kongsi beliau di sini (Allen, Skinner, Parry) pernah memohon beberapa bidang tanah seluas 500 ekar setiap seorang di Kepong (PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 24/12/1895: |"APPLICATIONS FOR LAND, 7? AND 10TH MILE ULU SELANGOR EXTENSION (MESSR. ALLEN, HICKS SKINNER & PARRY 500 ACRES EACH) 2. SALE OF LAND AT BATU (ON RAILWAYLINE) BY AUCTION"). Namun mereka membatalkannya sebulan kemudian pada 31/01/1896, sebelum memohon tanah-tanah di Rekoh ini (PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 31/01/1896: |"LAND IN KEPONG - WITHDRAWAL OF ALL APPLICATIONS FOR (MESSR. HICKS, ALLEN, PARRY AND SKINNER)").
1896-05-20: Pindaan Pemilikan
Permohonan pindaan pemilikan di antara para pemilik ladang West Country dan Belmont telah diluluskan, ringkasnya:-
Arthur Acland (A.A.) Allen
Mungkin merujuk individu ini: “Arthur Acland Allen by Walter Stoneman: negative, 1917: Given by Walter Stoneman, 1951” (National Portrait Gallery). (11 Ogos 1868 - 20 Mei 1939). Ahli parlimen Christchurch, Hampshire, England mulai 1906 hingga 1918 (The Straits Times, 6 March 1907, Page 7: |"Truck System.", Andrew Behan @ London Remembers: |"A. A. Allen", dan Wikipedia).
Salah seorang tokoh pengusaha ladang yang ternama ketika itu. Baca selanjutnya di sini: E. B. Skinner.
(PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 20/05/1896: |"LAND APPLIED FOR BY MESSRS. HICKS, PARRY AND OTHERS NEAR REKOL - 1. INTER CHARNGE OF BLOCKS - 2. REGISTRATION UNDER TITLE OF COMPANIES - 3. FRONTAGE").
1896-06-30: Iklan Estate Conductor
1896-09-14: Peluasan Ladang
Pada 11 September 1896, salah seorang rakan kongsi West Country Estates, Mr F. Baptist (F.B.) Hicks, telah memohon pembukaan sebidang tanah seluas 320 ekar (sama dengan keluasan setiap blok sebelumnya): “On the enclosed form, I have the honour to request that another block of 320 acres be granted to me, as one of the partners in the West Country Estate. Of the block granted to me less than 6 months ago, 150 acres are now ready for the planting which will take place in a fortnight's time. Within the next year we intend to open up 100 acres in each of the blocks, standing in the names of Messrs Skinner & Allen. In consideration of the amount of work done in so short a time I have the honour to request that the land be granted to me on the same terms as the last, and that the survey be done at the same time as the other blocks of the West Country Estate.”
Petikan borang permohonan:-
“DESCRIPTION OF LAND
District: Ulu Langat
Distance from the town of: Kajang 3 1/2 miles
North, South, East or West of what Road: West of Reko Road.
Probable extent in acres: 320 acres.
- North: Waste land
- South: Block applied for by Hon. E. Feilding.
- East: Block applied for by A. A. Allen
- West: Wasteland
For building, or what cultivation? Coffee & other tropical produce
Name and address of the person who can point out the land on the spot: myself
Any other information by which the land applied for may be better identified: See plan at back”
(Sumber: PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 14/09/1896: |"APPLICATION FOR A FURTHER BLOCK OF 320 ACRES OF LAND NEAR KAJANG FROM MR. F.B. HICKS AND 30 ACRES FROM MR. SKINNER").
Peluasan ladang ini telah mendapat liputan akhbar pada 26 Oktober 1896, yang antara lain melaporkan ladang-ladang West Country dan Belmont sedang giat dikerjakan: “A 320-acre block of forest land, adjoining those already granted to Messrs. Parry and Feilding, was alienated during September in favour of Lord Denbigh, forming, together with those blocks, what is now known as the Belmont Estate. A further area of 320 acres was also applied for by Mr. F. B. Hicks, one of the proprietors of the adjoining West Country Estate. These estates, opened in March last, show good progress, the clearings extending altogether to 250 acres, and in both cases it is intended to open shortly a considerably larger area.” (The Straits Times, 26 October 1896, Page 3: |"PLANTING IN ULU LANGAT").
1896-10-02: Pertambahan Kawasan
Sementara permohonan di atas dipertimbangkan, Mr. F. B. Hicks menyedari bahawa terdapat kesilapan dalam pengukuran beliau terhadap kawasan ladang yang diperolehi setakat ini, di mana sebahagian kecil di sudut barat laut, seluas 60 ekar, yang telah pun diusahakan dengan tanaman kopi, didapati terkeluar dari blok tanah yang sebenar. Lalu pada 2 Oktober 1896, suatu permohonan lain dibuat bagi memperolehi kawasan tersebut: “On the accompanying form I have the honour to apply for 60 acres of land, on which, thinking it was included in the grant made to me of 320 acres, we have already put two coffee nurseries, ready for next year's clearings.”
“District: Ulu Langat
Distance from the town of: Kajang 3 miles
Probable extent in acres: 60
- North: Government Land
- South: Land granted to A. Allen
- East: Land granted to F. B. Hicks
- West: Government land & land applied for by E. B. Skinner”
(Sumber: PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 02/10/1896: |"APPLICATION FROM MR. F.B. HICKS FOR 60 ACRES OF WASTE LAND NEAR KAJANG").
1898: Tersenarai dalam Penerbitan Industri
Pada tahun 1898, West Country Estate (termasuk Belmont Estate) telah tersenarai di dalam senarai ladang-ladang kopi yang dimiliki oleh warga Eropah di Selangor, dalam sebuah terbitan industri ketika itu:-
|District||Name of Estate||Proprietors||Acreage Total||Acreage Under Cultivation||Remarks|
|Ulu Langat||“West Country Estate” is proposed but not settled.||F.B. Hicks, E.B. Skinner, A.C.Allan, J.E.T. Allan, G.F.S. Parry, M.S. Parry||320 acres each||0||Newly granted, clearing commenced.|
(Sumber: “The China Directory” / “The Hongkong Directory and Hong List for the Far East”, 1898: Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands India, Borneo, The Phillippines, &c., m.s.458).
1900-07-13: Lombong Sungei Tankie (Tangkas?)
Mr. Hicks, salah seorang pemilik ladang West Country Estate, memohon untuk melombong di tanah seluas 25 ekar di Sungei Tankie, mukim Kajang: (PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 13/7/1900: |"APPLICATION FROM MR. HICKS TO MINE 25 ACRES OF LAND AT SUNGEI TANKEI IN THE MUKIM OF KAJANG").
Permohonan beliau telah diluluskan oleh Residen Selangor pada 15 September 1900: “I have the honour to ask you to obtain the sanction of the British Resident to issue a mining certificate under section 7 of the mining code to Mr Hicks for 20 acres of land at Sungei Tankie mukim Kajang. The application has been approved by the Resident and the land has been surveyed. … - H. C. Eckhardt, District Officer, Ulu Langat” (PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 15/09/1900: |"ASKS SANCTION TO ISSUE A MINING CERTIFICATE TO MR. HICKS FOR 25 ACRES OF LAND AT SUNGEI TANKIE MUKIM, KAJANG").
CATATAN: Mungkinkah “Sungei Tankie” ini merujuk kepada Sungai Tangkas?
1900-09-28: F. B. Hicks Meninggal Dunia
Pada 28 September 1900, salah seorang pemilik ladang-ladang West Country Estate, F. B. Hicks, telah meninggal dunia akibat menghidap penyakit malaria di Kuala Lumpur: “The Selangor Planters Association suffer a great loss in the death of Mr. F. B. Hicks, which occured at Kuala Lumpor on Sept. 28th, of pneumonia following on malarial fever.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1 October 1900, Page 3: "Untitled"
1901-10-21: The Kajang Coffee and Rubber Co.
Setahun setelah kematian F.B. Hicks, West Country, Belmont, dan Weld's Hill Estates telah diambil alih oleh sebuah syarikat baru, The Kajang Coffee and Rubber Co. Ltd. yang dimiliki bersama oleh saudara beliau F.R. Hicks, bersama rakan-rakan kongsi F.B. Hicks sebelum ini, juga beberapa individu lain. Secara rasminya, kegiatan mereka juga turut dipelbagaikan. Selain kopi, teh, getah, buah-buahan, serta perlombongan turut diusahakan: “The Kajang Coffee and Rubber Company (Limited) has been registered with a capital of £23,000 in £1 shares. The object is to acquire (1) the West Country Estate in Selangor, on which the business of growing and dealing coffee, tea, rubber, and fruit, and prospecting for minerals is now carried on by A. A. Allen, F.R. Hicks, Frances M. Morten, Florence C.G. Morten and E.B. Skinner, as Allen and Co; (2) the Belmont Estate, also in Selangor, in which a similar business is carried on by the Hon. E. Field, M.S. Parry, and C.W.Prosser; and (3) the Weld's Hill Estate in Selangor, on parts of which a similar business is carried on, and other parts of which are being developed for building purposes by the same persons, and to carry on the above-mentioned businesses. These will be no public initial issue. The first directors are C.W. Prosse, A.A. Allen, E. Fielding, and F.R.Hicks.” (The Straits Times, 21 October 1901, Page 5: |"A NEW COMPANY", The Straits Times, 18 March 1902, Page 4: |"NEW SELANGOR COMPANY").
1902-09-13: Harimau Kumbang
Seekor harimau kumbang dilaporkan masuk ke West Country Estate dan membawa lari patung dewa berbentuk monyet (mungkin patung Sang Hanuman): “On Saturday night, about 8 o'clock, a panther visited the West Country Estate Bungalow at Kajang and carried off one of the penates in the shape of a monkey.” (Straits Budget, 18 September 1902, Page 7: |"SELANGOR NEWS").
1903-09-24: Serangan Harimau
“On Thursday last one of the West Country Estate coolies was attacked by a tiger in the middle of a clearing, says the Malay Mail. Two other coolies were close by and their yells frightened the tiger, but not before the brute had lacerated the man's chest and back. The man is now in the Kajang hospital.” (Straits Budget, 1 October 1903, Page 9: |"UNITED PLANTERS’ ASSOCIATION").
Kebetulan pada hari yang sama, Residen Selangor membuat lawatan ke West Country Estate. Di dalam lawatan tersebut, jurutera negeri yang mengiringi beliau telah meninggalkan sejumlah wang di rumah rehat Kajang, dan didapati hilang akibat dicuri: “The Malay Mail reports that the Resident and State Engineer stayed at the Kajang Rest house on Thursday, and whilst they were away in the evening at West Country Estate, a thief got into the State Engineer's room and walked off with his despatch box, containing money and papers. No trace of the missing property has been found.” (The Straits Times, 28 September 1903, Page 5: |"Untitled").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Harimau Malaya.
Peta West Country Estate, 1904
Kiri: Peta West Country Estate tahun 1904 (Edinburgh Geographical Institute, 1904 @ Yale University Library - Digital Collections: |"Selangor, Federated Malay States, 1904 / John Bartholomew & Co ; W.T. Wood, chief draftman"). Kanan: Sempadan yang sama kini, secara kasar (Mapcarta).
Petak hijau: sempadan keseluruhan West Country Estate setakat tahun 1904. Petak ungu: Blok-blok terawal (Mac 1896).
Petak merah: Blok tambahan seluas 320 ekar (14/9/1896). Petak kuning: Blok-blok tambahan seluas 30 ekar (14/9/1896) dan 60 ekar (2/10/1896).
1905: Federated Malay States Rubber Company
Mulai tahun 1900-an, hasil kopi mulai terjejas disebabkan saingan kopi Brazil ketika itu: “At the turn of the twentieth century, competition from Brazilian producers and diseases threatened to cripple the local coffee planting industry. Although it had yet to be replaced by rubber, coffee was vanishing from the scene. By the 1900s, only 13ha were alienated for its cultivation in the district.” (Voon Phin Keong @ Malaysian Journal of Chinese Studies, Volume 2, No.2, 2013: |"Transforming the Development Frontier: Chinese Pioneers in the Ulu Langat District of Selangor, Malaysia", m.s.8-9).
Berikutan kejayaan tanaman getah di Ladang Kindersley sekitar tahun 1900, pengusaha lain mula membuka ladang-ladang getah mereka di kawasan sepanjang landasan keretapi Kajang-Rekoh-Bangi: “The example of the Kindersleys led to the creation of a group of estates, mostly within a mile or two of the railhead (1897) at Kajang. The Kindersleys owned Balgownie, Inch Kenneth, and Bangi estates. In 1898 Lau Boon Tit opened Semenyih estate, which was later acquired by the Asiatic Rubber Produce Company. Lau 'went for broke' in planting 54 acres of rubber in 1898. A few years later, the FMS Rubber Co. owned West Country, Belmont, and Ayer Hitam estates, and E. V. Carey, chair- man of the Selangor Planters' Association, opened Paradise estate. Thus, for the first time, Ulu Langat became a flourishing 'planting district'. It was a turning point.” (J.M. Gullick, 2007: |"A Short History of Ulu Langat to 1900"), m.s. 15-16).
Kawasan perladangan sekitar Kajang-Rekoh-Bangi-Semenyih, 1904 (Sebahagian daripada peta negeri Selangor, tahun 1900-an (Edinburgh Geographical Institute, 1904 @ Yale University Library - Digital Collections: |"Selangor, Federated Malay States, 1904 / John Bartholomew & Co ; W.T. Wood, chief draftman").
Dalam latar suasana ini, West Country Estate diletakkan di bawah pengurusan Federated Malay States Rubber Company, Ltd., dan memfokus pada tanaman getah sahaja: “About 600 coolies are employed by the Federated Malay States Rubber Company, Ltd., owners of the West Country, Belmont, and Ayer Hitam estates, situated about one and a half miles from Kajang railway station. The property comprises 6,247 acres, 2,000 of which are planted with rubber-trees varying in age from ten years to those newly planted. There are altogether 14,000 trees ready for tapping, and next year the number will be increased by a further 70,000. The yield of rubber for the season 1905—6 was 13,322 lbs. and for 1906—7, 31,500. The product was sold - in Antwerp, where the price was 2d. or 3d. above that ruling in the English market. There are four bungalows and some large stores on the estate, and two more bungalows are in course of erection. Mr. E. B. Skinner, the general manager, is a son of Colonel Russell Skinner, and was born in 1873 at Muzzaffapur, India. He commenced planting in the Federated Malay States in 1891'and six years later took charge of the West Country estate. He is also the general manager and visiting agent of several other estates, and has interests in many properties.”
(Sumber: Arnold Wright, 1908: |"Twentieth century impressions of British Malaya: its history, people, commerce, industries, and resources", m.s.465-467).
Sekitar Mac 1906, akhbar Malay Mail meramalkan bahawa ladang getah di West Country Estate bakal meliputi 5,000 ekar, sehingga ke Jalan Ayer Hitam: “The Malay Mail believes that within two years from now, there will probably be 5,000 acres planted up with rubber in the district stretching from West Country, Kajang, to the Ayer Hitam road.' (Eastern Daily Mail and Straits Morning Advertiser, 30 March 1906, Page 3: |"Untitled").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Getah di Malaya
1906-06-02: Lawatan Mr. A.O. Devitt
“Mr A.O. Devitt returned to Colombo by the ss. Kintuck, on Saturday morning, after having spent nearly a month in the Malay States. Talking to a representative of this paper, he said he started at Singapore and went right through the peninsula. … Mr Devitt next went to Kuala Lumpur. Then he went to Batu Caves and passed through Ke? estate. “The former is coming on well,” he said. He also went to West Country estate (Kajang) where Mr Skinner is turning out very good crepe rubber.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly), 7 June 1906, Page 22: |"MR DEVITT'S MALAYAN TOUR").
1906-11-10: Pegawai Mati Tertembak
Seorang pegawai estet West Country, Mr. K.C. Ryan, ditemui mati di rumah banglonya, tampaknya akibat tertembak dirinya sendiri: “We regret to record a distressing occurence which took place at West Country Estate, Kajang, the other morning of the 10th instant Mr. K. C. Ryan was found dead in his bungalow, having apparently shot himself accidentally. The body was conveyed by special train to Kuala Lumpur, arriving at 5 o'clock, and the funeral took place immediately.” (Eastern Daily Mail and Straits Morning Advertiser, 15 November 1906, Page 4: |"Untitled").
1908-10-13: Kelahiran Anak Kembar E.B. Skinner
Isteri E.B. Skinner melahirkan anak kembar, lelaki dan perempuan, di West Country Estate: “On the 13th inst. at West Country, Kajang, the wife of E.B.SKINNER of twin son and daughter.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly), 22 October 1908, Page 1: |"Births").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Edmund Becher (E. B.) Skinner (1873-1959).
1911-03-30: Lawatan H. Lemaire
“Mons. H. Lemaire, a representative of the Belgian Government now in Kuala Lumpur, informed us that two other gentlemen will follow him to the F.M.S. M. Lemaire is, to give him his full style and title, Ingenieur Agricole, Chef de culture de 2 classe au Congo Belge. For some days he has been engaged in visiting the experiment stations of the Government in the F.M.S. and a number of estates - West Country, Kent, Tanjong Malim, Colwall and others, and his reports, and those of his colleagues, will result in Para rubber plantation on an extensive scale in a country where wild rubber has long been the country's product. Naturally such a scheme involves a great deal of preliminary enquiry, and not only cultivation, but diseases of trees, systems of labour, and other subsidiary questions connected with the planting and output of rubber have to be gone into, and comparisons made with the object of arriving at the inauguration of methods best suited to a country like the Congo.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (Weekly), 30 March 1911, Page 7: |"BELGIAN RUBBER EXPERT IN F.M.S.").
1911-04-18: Lesen Lori
Pada 14 April 1911, E.B. Skinner telah memohon lesen sementara untuk lori kepunyaan syarikat Federated Malay States Rubber Company untuk kegunaan West Country Estate. Permohonan in telah diajukan kepada pihak Residen pada 18 April 1911 untuk kelulusan: “I have the honour to request that you will grant a temporary license for one motor lorry belonging to the Federated Malay States Rubber Co. Ltd. The measurements of this lorry were given you in my letter of February 6th, 1911. 2. The lorry referred to has now been fitted with a body, and is complete for running on the roads. Should you desire us to sent it in to be inspected, we can do so, but it would probably be better if you could appoint someone in Kajang to see if it is quite in order. 3. I have saked(asked) for a temporary license, as I understand that the alterations to the rules under Enactment No. 7 of 1903 have not yet been made, and that you are therefore unable to issue an ordinary license. 4. The lorry is said by the makers to have a carrying capacity of up to 4000 Kilograms, which is 3.94 tons, therefore the maximum load should not exceed 7 to 7 1/4 tons, the weight of the chassis being 2.76 tons. We have fitted a plain platform body on the lorry, made of merbau, which should not amount to hald(f) a ton.” (PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 18/04/1911: |"APPLICATION BY MR. E.B. SKINNER FOR A TEMPORARY LICENSE FOR MOTOR LORRY BELONGING TO THE FEDERATED MALAY STATES RUBBER COMPANY LIMITED").
1911-11-21: Lawatan Prince Alexander of Teck
Lawatan Prince Alexander of Teck, seorang pemimpin tentera British, kemudiannya menjadi Governor-General Union of South Africa, dan Governor General of Canada: “This is the official Programme of the Tour of H.S.H. Prince Alexander of Teck and H.R.H. Princess Alexander of Teck and Suite. The Suite is as follows:- Lieutenant-General Sir J.M. Grierson, K.C.B., C.V.O., C.M.G., Vice-Admiral the Honourable Stanley Colville, C.V.O., C.B., Lady Adelaide Colville, Mr. Beilby Alston. … Tuesday, 21st November. Visit the West Country Rubber Estate at Kajang.” (Straits Echo, 13 November 1911, Page 7: |"The Tecks").
“Major General Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone (Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George; born Prince Alexander of Teck; 14 April 1874 – 16 January 1957” (28 June 1910 @ Wikipedia).
1912-09-23: Pameran Getah Antarabangsa
Pada 23 September hingga 4 Oktober 1912, Pameran Getah Antarabangsa ke-3 telah berlangsung di New York (Pan American Union, July-December 1912: Bulletin of the Pan American Union, Volume 35, m.s.664. Galerinya telah dikunjungi oleh 205,503 orang (Colonial Reports - Annual: Issues 754-779: Report for 1912, m.s.12).
Di dalam pameran ini, Rubber Growers' Association of London telah menganjurkan pertandingan sampel getah ladang: “The India Rubber Journal of February 17 states that “at a special meeting of the Rubber Growers' Association held at the London Chamber of Commerce this week, it was resolved to present to the New York Rubber Exposition, which opens in September next, a series of gold, silver and bronze medals for free competition open at all the rubber plantation countries in the world exhibiting at the exposition. … The condition of the competition is that at least one hundred-weight of rubber - to be a commercial, not an exhibition, sample - mustbe shown for each entry made, and planters are to have the privilege of making more than one entry if they wish.” (R. Derry @ Vol. 01 (3) The Gardens' Bulletin, Straits Settlements, March 1912: |"THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL RUBBER EXHIBITION").
Pertandingan ini telah disertai oleh 134 peserta dari pelbagai syarikat perladangan getah dari seluruh dunia, majoritinya dari Malaya dan Ceylon. Ladang West Country telah berjaya memenangi pingat gangsa (tempat ketiga):-
“The competition was open to anyone engaged in any part of the world in the growth of rubber on plantations, and the awards were made, without scientific or chemical tests and merely on the basis of commercial value, by a jury consisting of not fewer than seven members selected from the raw rubber experts of New York. The majority of the entrants came from the Federated Malay States and Ceylon, but there were competitors from Lower Burma, German East Africa, Johore, Amazonas and Brazil (the original home of Hevea braziliensis). Out of ten awards made by the jury, no less than eight, including the gold and bronze medals, went to companies whose plantations are in the Federated Malay States. The prize list is as follows:-
1. Highlands an Lowlands Estate, Selangor, Malaya - Smoked Sheet (Gold Medal).
2. Rosehaugh Estate, Ceylon - Thick Crepe (Silver Medal).
3. The West Country Estate, Selangor, Malaya - Pale Crepe (Bronze Medal).
4. Klanang Estate, Selangor, Malaya - Smoked Sheet (Highly Commended).
5. Bukit Rajah Estate, Selangor, Malaya - P.R, Crepe (Highly Commended).
6. Maddagedera Estate, Ceylon - Crepe (Commended).
7. Cicely Estate, Perak Malaya - Pale thin Crepe (Commended).
8. Highlands an Lowlands Estate, Selangor, Malaya - Unsmoked Sheet (Commended).
9. Batu Caves Estate, Selangor, Malaya, Smoked Sheet (Commended).
10. The West Country Estate, Selangor Malaya (Commended).”
(Sumber: The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 6 November 1912, Page 5: |"SUCCESSES FOR MALAYA RUBBER", Straits Echo, 11 November 1912, Page 11: |"Success for British Malaya Rubber Growers").
1915-06-08: Lawatan Persatuan Peladang Jepun
“A delegation of the Japanese Planters' Association of Malaya, who are guests of the P.A.M., paid a visit to Kajang yesterday, says Monday's Malay Mail. They were met by representatives of the Kajang District Planters' Association and, after breakfasting at the Rest House, visited Balgownie Estate, the Kajang Central Rubber Factory, Reko Hill Estate, West Country Estate and the F.M.S. Rubber Co.'s factory. They were afterwards entertained to tiffin at the Rest House. The Japanese delegates were:- Mr. M. Inouye, Vice-President, and Mr. T. Okonogi, Secretary, of the Japanese Planters' Association, and Messrs. O. Watanabe, Y. Gotoh, S. Hayami, D. Takita, T. Yoshida, T. Suzukios, and A. Tawara. After tiffin, Mr. Okonogi proposed the health of the King-Emperor, which was responded to by the District Officer, Mr. F. E. Taylor, who proposed the health of the King-Emperor of Japan. Mr. Okonogi proposed the toast of the Kajang planters and thanked the members of the Association for their hospitality. Mr. R.C.M. Kindersley, in replying, said that they were very glad to welcome them to the District and hoped that they had enjoyed their visit and that the remainder of the trip in the F.M.S. would be a pleasant one. The Kajang District was represented by Mr. F.E. Taylor, District Officer, Messrs. R.C.M. Kindersley, E.G. Leyne, H.R. Moullin, J. Baxter, and R.K. Mactaggart.” (Straits Echo, 9 June 1915, Page 3: |"Japanese Planters").
1916-09-18: Lori Getah Terbalik
“A motor lorry laden with rubber from West Country Estate turned turtle at the bridge crossing the river near Kajang Station on Monday. Three coolies were on the lorry. Two were killed outright and one was badly injured.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 22 September 1916, Page 10: |"Untitled").
1917-02-02: Perkahwinan K. Velupillai
“The wedding took place on Friday, Feb.2, at Kampong Atap, Kuala Lumpur, …. The marriage of Mr. K. Velupillai, of the West Country Estate Kajang, with Miss Sivapakia Ammal, second daughter of Mr. Sabapathy Pillai, took place at the same time. - M.M.” (Malaya Tribune., 9 February 1917, Page 10: |"Tamil Weddings").
1917-05-16: Sukarelawan Perang Dunia
“Sir - I am directed to forward herewith for publication a preliminary list of all Europeans in the Federated Malay States whose names have been registered as having volunteered for Military Service under the present Man-Power Scheme since January 1, 1917. The total recorded to date is 323. With the exception of 14, all are members of the M.S.V.R. (Malay State Volunteer Rifles). … The following have been recommended by the General Officer Commanding for military service, and in most cases have already left the country to join the Imperial Forces:- … Durell, R.A.V., West Country Estate, Kajang.” (Straits Echo, 16 May 1917, Page 8: |"Man-Power in the F.M.S.").
1918-10-24: Wabak Influenza
“Recent deaths from influenza include Mr W L Stork of Sungei Tanggi estate, Berjuntai, Mr Cyril Kinder of West Country estate, Kajang, Mr E R Scully overseer of roads Penang, besides many Asiatics. Mr Miles of Deebook and Renong states that influenza is raging there and most of the staff and coolies are laid up. In Penang active measures are bring taken to disinfect including a house to house inspection. All schools, theatres and cinemas have been closed till further notice. Postal and telegraph business has been suspended in the States between Mantakab. Mangkarak, Jerantut, Tembeling, and telegraph business has been suspended at Rompin, Jempol, Juasseh, Planger, Ayer Hitam, Kamayan, Belengo, Kerlau, Tekal, Jeransong, Mela, Krambat, Assam Java, Sasaran, Dang and Vallombroas railway station. The railway services are also considerably disorganised.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 24 October 1918, Page 260: |"THE INFLUENZA").
“Family picture of my grandfather when he was Kajang West Country Estate Kangany. Picture taken in 1921.” (Victor Singaravellu @ History of Indian Labourers in Malaya (HILMA), 25 Oktober 2020: |"Family picture". Kanan: Diwarnakan oleh Pream Nair).
1921-11-03: Mr. C. Burn-Murdoch Kembali Bertugas
1926-02-27: Hospital Ladang West Country
Di dalam laporan tahunan mengenai buruh di kawasan pedalaman Selangor untuk tahun 1925, West Country Estate adalah antara ladang-ladang di daerah ini yang dilengkapi hospital. Kawasan perkhidmatannya meliputi beberapa ladang-ladang di sekitarnya:-
“There were 23 estates hospitals serving 48 estates, the number of dressers being 31. Almost every estate having an Indian labour force of 100 and more is periodically visited by a Visiting Medical practitioner. Details of hospitals and the estates served by them are given here under:-”
Senarai Hospital serta Kawasan Perkhidmatannya (petikan daerah Ulu Langat sahaja):-
|District||Estates Served by|
|1. Ampar Tenang||Ampar Tenang|
|4. West Country||West Country, Belmont, Sungei Lui, Ayer Hitam, Eastnor, Colwall, Sungei Chua and Sedgely.|
(Sumber: PEJABAT SETIAUSAHA KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR, 27/02/1926: |"ANNUAL REPORT, 1925 - LABOUR DEPARTMENT, INLAND DISTRICTS, SELANGOR").
1927-03-23: Mr. Catesby Burn Murdoch Meninggal Dunia
“News has been received by cable of the death from pneumonia, at Brighton on March 23rd., of Major Catesby Burn Murdoch, late of West Country estate, Kajang, and formerly manager of the F.M.S. Rubber Company, who retired from Malaya about five years ago. He was the brother of the late Mr. A.M. Burn Murdoch, formerly Conservator of Forests, Straits Settlements and F.M.S. ” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1 April 1927, Page 16: |"Untitled"; The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1 April 1927, Page 8: |"DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES. DEATH").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Catesby Burn Murdoch.
Peta sekitar West Country, 1929
1937-02-28: Mr. E.H. Beauchamp Nobbs Bercuti
“Mr. E.H. Beauchamp Nobbs, manager of West Country Estate, Kajang, will be proceeding home with Mrs Beauchamp Nobbs via South Africa on Feb. 28, on eight months' leave.” (The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 26 February 1937, Page 1: |"Untitled"; Malaya Tribune, 1 March 1937, Page 9: |"Untitled").
1946-08-28: Mahkamah Kesatuan Sekerja
Pertubuhan kesatuan sekerja kian berkembang di perladangan tempatan bagi membela serta melindungi hak serta kebajikan para pekerja ladang, dan kian mendapat pengaruh yang besar di kalangan para pekerja. Namun terdapat juga kes di mana tindakan kesatuan ini telah melampaui batas undang-undang. Contohnya, pada 28 Ogos 1946, beberapa pimpinan kesatuan sekerja West Country Estate telah bertindak menjalankan proses pengadilan mereka sendiri, ke atas kes rogol mandur terhadap seorang pekerja di situ: “In the course of a trial before Mr. Justice Spencer Wilkinson, in which the head Mandor of West Country Estate, Kajang, was convicted of rape, it appeared that the Chairman, Secretary and some Committee members of the Labour Union on the estate, instead of reporting the incident to the person in charge of the estate or to the police, proceeded to hold an “Unofficial Court” at which they apparently convicted the accused and fined him $25. … Trade Unions are being established throughout the country, and it is important that this improper practice should not be allowed to creep in.” (Malaya Tribune, 10 September 1946, Page 3: |"Labour Union 'Court' 'Tries' Man For Rape"; Indian Daily Mail, 10 September 1946, Page 4: |"Labour Union Members Hold "Unofficial Court""; The Straits Times, 11 September 1946, Page 7: |"Trade Union Cannot Be Law Guardian").
1948-01-24: West Country Estate Eastern Division
Sumber: JABATAN KEBAJIKAN MASYARAKAT (JKM), 24/01/1948: |"WEST COUNTRY ESTATE EASTERN DIVISION KAJANG, SELANGOR".
Peta Sekitar West Country, 1950
Peta sekitar ladang West Country, 1950 (Surveyor General, Malaya, 1950 @ Australian National University: |"Malaysia, Malaya, Selangor 1950, Land Use, South Sheet, 1950, 1:126 720").
1950-07-17: Pekerja Dicederakan Rakannya
“Ramasamy, a labourer employed on West Country Estate, Kajang, was fined $100 for causing grievous hurt to another labourer. He was further ordered to pay $50 compensation.” (The Straits Times, 18 July 1950, Page 4: |"FINED $100 FOR CAUSING HURT").
1950-08-20: Getah Sekerap Haram
“Lim Tai Moy, who was arrested on West Country Estate, Kajang, for unlawful possession of 3 1/2 kattis of scrap rubber worth $1.75 was sentenced to a week's imprisonment by the Kajang Circuit Magistrate, Inche Anuar.” (The Straits Times, 21 August 1950, Page 7: |"HAD SCRAP").
“A woman rubber tapper, Wan Kien aged 26, was sentenced to one year's imprisonment at Kajang Sessions for being in unlawful posession of three katis of scrap rubber valued at $3. Wan Kien admitted having rubber on West Country estate, Kajang.” (The Straits Times, 16 November 1950, Page 4: |"WOMAN GAOLED").
1950-12-15: Pemilihan Pimpinan Kesatuan Sekerja
“The following were elected office bearers of the workers union of west country - eastern division Kajang: - Chariman, Mr. Singaram; Secretary, Mr. Rajamanikam; Treasurer, Mr. Sinnan Kangany; Committee, Mr. Sethuraman: Mr. Govindasamy, Mr Rengan and Mrs. Thayar.” (Singapore Standard, 16 December 1950, Page 4: |"ESTATE UNION OFFICIALS").
1951-01-24: Mogok Pekerja Kontrak
“More than 200 women contractor tappers from Sungei Chua village, near Kajang, and Serdang village, Selangor, have refused to go to work during the past few days. Fear is believed to be the reason. Five or six estates in the Kajang area are affected, but their resident labour is working as usual. The trouble began on Jan 24 when women, who are taken each day from Sungei Chua by lorry to the West Country Estate, did not turn up at the assembly place. But the next day they reported for work. On Jan. 26, there was a stoppage of about two hours. Then on Jan. 30 the tappers again refused to go to work. This time two divisions of the estate were affected. From West Country Estate the stoppage spread to surrounding estates and from Sungei Chua to Serdang. The stoppage has not been reported by the managers to the Commissioner of Labour. They consider it is not an industrial strike. Posters have appeared many times in Sungei Chua warning contract tappers that they should not work on estates unless they were paid $7 a day. An estate spokesman said: “It is strange that all these people should lay off work just before Chinese New Year. The only explanation possible is that they have been threatened”.” (The Straits Times, 3 February 1951, Page 1: |"200 Women Fear To Go To Work").
1951-02-09: Todi Tanpa Lesen
“The Kajang Circuit Magistrate Inche Harun, fined a 35-year-old Indian labourer, Sinniah, $75 for being in possession of a jar of toddy on West Country Estate, Kajang, without a licence.” (The Straits Times, 10 February 1951, Page 7: |"TODDY FINE").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Todi di Malaya.
1951-02-11: Perintah Berkurung
Pada 13 Februari 1951, kawasan sepanjang Sungai Langat di antara jambatan ladang Inch Kenneth dan West Country telah dikenakan perintah berkurung, kecuali awal pagi, tengahari, dan lewat petang:-
“In Kajang, from Tuesday, Feb. 13, the bridge over Sungei Langat leading to Inche Kenneth Estate, south along Sungei Langat to West Country Estate Bridge, north-west along the electric power line to where the power line changes direction and north-east to Inche Kenneth Estate Bridge, will be under curfew at all times except from 1 to 2 p.m., 6.30 to 7 p.m. and 6.30 to 7 a.m.”
Kemungkinan perintah berkurung ini ada kaitan dengan siri mogok pekerja kontrak beberapa minggu sebelumnya. Sejak darurat diisytiharkan pada 18 Jun 1948, dari semasa ke semasa beberapa kawasan di sekitar daerah Ulu Langat dikenakan perintah berkurung, bagi membendung ancaman komunis.
Antara catatan suasana di zaman darurat: “At this time, the Manager of West Country Estate was Mr Botham while his Assistant Manager was Mr Foxe. My earliest memories of them were one of awe and respect as they were the 'white bosses' in a largely 'Indian' environment on the estate. I can distinctly remember the two 'bosses' appearing, sometimes in the evening, often 'armed' with a shot gun. This was the period of the Emergency and all British and European estate managers were under orders to arm themselves with a gun against the communist threat. The communists, who depended on the outlying villages and estate communities for their supplies of medicines and food, would often target white estate managers because they were uncooperative and represented a symbol of the British raj and the colonial government. At about this time too, I can distinctly remember some Chinese families being shifted from West Country Estate to a new settlement in Sungai Chua. Later, I found out that they were suspected of being communist sympathisers. On the estate, security was tightened and the Estate organised a kind of a 'home-guard' patrol. Every evening, some estate workers, in bluish-grey uniforms, would form a patrol and patrol the estate grounds. They had the authority to stop visitors and to question them. They were armed with long staves, more commonly known as 'chotas' in the Malay and Indian dialects.” (Munaianty s/o Ponnusamy @ Tanarata International Schools, 2013: Kajang and Its Surrounds, m.s.26-27).
LATAR PERISTIWA: Darurat (1948-1960)
1951-09-25: Pemenang Pertandingan Bayi
Janet Stooks, anak perempuan seorang pegawai West Country Estate, Mr(s). G.F. Stooks, memenangi anugerah pertandingan bayi: “Janet Stooks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G.F. Stooks, of West Country Estate, Kajang, Selangor, who was six and half months old when this picture was taken, wins this week's bonniest baby competition.”
Janet Stooks telah dilahirkan di Hospital Bungsar/Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur pada 14 Jun 1951: “STOOKS: At Bungsar Hospital, K.L., on 14.6.51, to Meg, wife of G.F. Stooks of West Country Estate, Kajang, a daughter.” (The Singapore Free Press, 16 June 1951, Page 8: |"BIRTHS").
1951-11-14: Lawatan Pakar Industri Timah US
Lawatan Rasmi The American Tin Mission ke West Country Estate, dengan diiringi oleh Mr. H.H. Facer (pengerusi Rubber Producers' Council), Mr. H.K. Dimoline (setiausahanya), Inche Mohamed Aris bin Ahmed Fathil (presiden Persatuan Pekebun Kecil Johor), dan disambut oleh pengurus estet ketika itu, Mr. D.C. Green. Mereka menyaksikan keseluruhan pemprosesan getah, dari penorehan susu getah, sehingga menjadi kepingan getah krep. Setiap ahli delegasi kemudiannya dihadiahkan dengan sekeping getah krep sebagai cenderamata. Selepas minum petang di situ, mereka bertolak ke Singapura: “The American tin mission which has been touring the Federation tin producing areas left for Singapore today, having completed their work. Yesterday, after lunch with the Rubber Producers' Council, they visited the West Country Estate at Kajang, accompanied by Mr. H.H. Facer, Mr. H.K. Dimoline and Inche Mohamed Aris bin Ahmed Fathil, President of the Johore Smallholders' Association. They were shown how rubber is tapped and saw latex being converted into crepe rubber sheets, cured, trimmed and packed. Each member of the mission was presented with a crepe rubber sheet by the manager, Mr. D. C. Green, who entertained them to tea before they left the estate.” (Singapore Standard, 16 November 1951, Page 9: |"US Tin Mission Pays Visit To Rubber Estate").
CATATAN: Lawatan ini adalah salah satu daripada beberapa siri lawatan American Tin Mission (wakil pakar-pakar industri bijih timah kerajaan Amerika Syarikat) ke kawasan-kawasan perlombongan di sekitar Malaya selama dua minggu. Mereka telah dijemput oleh Kerajaan British Malaya atas cadangan Chamber of Mines of the Federation, bagi memaklumkan mereka mengenai isu-isu berkaitan pengeluaran dan pemasaran bijih timah di Malaya: “An American tin mission invited to Singapore and Malaya by the British and Malayan Governments plans to leave next week. It will arrive in Singapore about a week later for a two-week tour of tin-producing areas. The invitation was extended to U.S. Government tin experts at the suggestion of the Chamber of Mines of the Federation. The idea is to give Americans “a better understanding of Malayan tin production and marketing problems.” (The Singapore Free Press, 27 October 1951, Page 1: |"American tin mission leaves U.S. next week").
LATAR PERISTIWA: Lawatan American Tin Mission (1951)
1952-01-15: Kelahiran Anak Perempuan Mr(s). Mowat
1952-11-25: Mr. F.N. Westwater Kembali Bekerja
1957-09-25: Mr. E.V. Nair Bersara
“Mr. E.V. Nair, 49, chief clerk of West Country Estate (Eastern Division) here, has retired and left for his home in Kerala South India.” (The Straits Times, 26 September 1957, Page 7: |"Off to India").
1958-04-22: Stor Dipecah Masuk
“Six hundred pounds of sodium arsenite worth $200, was stolen from the store of the West Country estate in Sungei Chua, Kajang, on Tuesday.” (The Straits Times, 25 April 1958, Page 5: |"Store theft").
1960-an: Suasana Kehidupan
“I was born in West Country Rubber Estate, Hulu Langat, Kajang in 1949 where I spent my early life until the age of ten. … I stopped schooling after completing Standard 6 and started working on West Country Estate. At about this time, my eldest brother had passed away and my parents needed the extra income that I was bringing in. My most unforgettable memory of my early working days was when I was a member of the West Country Barat football team. We would participate in the local league and play against the teams from Bangi Estate, Perang Besar Estate, Galloway Estate, JKR, Kajang Old Boys and Empat Tenang Estate at the old Kajang Stadium. The Estate management keenly supported the football team and on match days, we would get a half-day off. We would deck out in our football finery to meet the opposing team at the Kajang Stadium. At that time, it was just a large open field right next to the Police Station. The commercial centre of Kajang town lay on the other side of the field. There was a bus service operating from Kajang town to Perang Besar Estate, passing by West Country Estate. The Sum Bus Service was our link to Kajang town with the assorted attractions that a town had to offer a rural resident.” (Munaianty s/o Ponnusamy @ Tanarata International Schools, 2013: Kajang and Its Surrounds, m.s.26-27).
“Kathan (grdfther) Ldg west country (timur) Kajang” (Kannan Ramasamy @ History of Indian Labourers in Malaya (HILMA): |"Kathan (grdfther) Ldg west country (timur) Kajang". “MY guess1965” - Veera VK).
1961-05-07: Kemalangan Keretapi
“A factory worker, T. Gopal, 20, was killed by the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur mail train near here last night. Gopal was cycling near the track when he fell off. His body was recovered this morning. He worked on West Country Estate, six miles from here.” (The Straits Times, 8 May 1961, Page 5: |"CYCLIST IS RUN OVER BY TRAIN").
1965-10-09: Banglo Pengurus Dirompak
“Kajang, Sat. - Six men, one armed with a pistol, raided an estate manager's bungalow, about six miles from here, last night and stole cash, jewellery and other articles worth more than $8,000. The manager of West Country Estate (Western Division), Mr Mark E. Froidevaux, his wife and his 70-year old father, Mr. Edward Froidevaux, were watching television at about 8.20p.m. when a gunman appeared at the front door. Three other men armed with daggers stood behind him. Then, another thug with a dagger walked in through a side-door - behind the T.V. set. Meanwhile, the manager's cook and his family of four were also held up by another thug in the kitchen. Mr. Froidevaux said today that the gunman came up to him and said: “No tricks. We want money. Give us $2,000 and we will leave. We don't want your valuables.” “He then showed me a bullet which I saw him taking out from the pistol and threatened to kill us if we did not meet his demand. I had a hard time convincing him that I do not keep money in the house.” The robbers stripped Mr. Froidevaux of his $560-gold watch and ring. They also took away his father's watch, cigarette lighter and $60. The thugs then tied their victims and locked them in two rooms. They ransacked the entire house and managed to lay their hands on a jewel box containing about $5,000 worth of jewellery, a camera worth $1,600 and a pair of binoculors. “After the men left I drove to the Kajang police station in my jeep and made a report at about 10 p.m.” Mr. Froidevaux added. No one has been arrested.”
1968-05-28: Anak Sekolah Mati Lemas
“Sa-orang kanak2 sekolah K. Vijayan berumor 9 tahun di-perchayai telah mati lemas dalam sungai hari ini sa-telah hujan lebat petang semalam. Polis telah menjumpai bag dan buku2 sekolah-nya dalam sa-buah parit dekat West Country Estate. Hujan lebat selama 2 jam itu telah membanjiri beberapa tempat di-sini, dan beberapa jalan raya telah di-tenggelami ayer sa-tinggi dua kaki.” (Berita Harian, 29 May 1968, Page 5: |"Kanak2 sekolah mati lemas").
1973-03-28: Penubuhan West Country Sdn Bhd (14134-U)
Ketika itu West Country Estate meliputi 6,774 ekar ladang getah dan kelapa sawit, serta 2 buah lombong seluas 346 dan 232 ekar: “West Country was set up in March 1973 to hold 6,774 acres of rubber and oil palm and two mining leases of 346 acres and 232 acres, with a life of 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 years remaining respectively. The estimated profit for 1974 from rubber, oil palm and tin tribute is $2.765 million. The land owned by the company was formerly the West Country Estate, near Kajang, Selangor.” (The Straits Times, 1 January 1974, Page 12: |"Gammon stakes a claim in West Country").
1974-01-01: Perolehan Saham oleh Gammon dan United Asbestos Cement
Gammon dan United Asbestos Cement (UAC) membeli 25 peratus saham West Country Sdn. Bhd. Antara spekulasi ketika itu ialah 4,600 ekar daripada 7,352 ekar jumlah keluasan tanah West Country Estate akan diperolehi oleh kerajaan negeri Selangor (mungkin untuk pembangunan Bandar Baru Bangi):-
“Following its joint venture projects with Empat Nombor Ekor and Permas Jaya announced earlier on, Gammon South East Asia has taken another step to cut down its dependence on its loss-making civil engineering activities. The latest joint venture involves another publicly listed company, United Asbestos Cement, which together with Gammon, will purchase for cash a 25 per cent interest in West Country, a company owning plantations and mining leases. Gammon's share in West Country will be 20 per cent of the total paid-up capital. It will pay for its 7.8 million $1 shares, purchased at par by using $3 million from the proceeds of options in Gammon exercised by Bovis. The balance of $4.8 million is to be provided by bank loans.
UAC will pay for its 1.95 million $1 shares, also bought at par, out of funds obtained wholly from internal reserves.
According to both Gammon and UAC, a valuation report in December, 1973 by Lee and Azmi, chartered surveyors, places a value of $56.16 million on West Country, after taking into consideration the possible acquisition of 4,600 acres of its land by the Selangor Government.
This they say is the basis on which the price of West Country's shares has been arrived at, implying that Gammon and UAC have bought them below asset value.
Gammon and UAC point out that due to its favourable location, West Country's land has long term development potential. In this connection preliminary submissions have been made to get planning approval for the property. UAC adds that it foresees additional benefits could result from its association with West Country through the sale of its products.”
1975: Perolehan oleh PKNS
Perolehan oleh Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor (PKNS): “About 1975 the Government (through PKNS) took over the land from the then owners of West Country Estate - Sipef NV (a Belgian company) to develop the South KL Educational Hub.” (Tanarata International Schools, 2013: |"The Chronicle 2012-2013", m.s.157).
“In 1978, I married and started a family of my own. Meanwhile, there were vast changes taking place in West Country Estate. The landscape was being changed entirely! West Country Estate had been sold to Magnum Corporation, then to Sipef, which then sold it to the Selangor government's arm P.K.N.S. The region occupied by West Country Estate had been earmarked for development. A new township and an educational hub were built on the land occupied by the estate starting in the early 80s. … When the land was acquired by the Government for development, most of the workers of West Country Estate were allocated houses in Section 5, Bandar Baru Bangi.” (Munaianty s/o Ponnusamy @ Tanarata International Schools, 2013: Kajang and Its Surrounds, m.s.26-27).
LATAR PERISTIWA: Pembangunan Bandar Baru Bangi.
1979-07-10: Pemilikan Saham Magnum
“Magnum Corporation said it owns 24.23 per cent of West Country Sdn Bhd and not 38.5 per cent as reported earlier. In 1976, the share capital of West Country was $39 million. In 1977, West Country made a capital repayment of 42 cents per share. Subsequently, there was a reduction in the nominal amount of each share from $1 to 58 cents. Magnum said that after the repayment, the shared were consolidated into shares of $1 each again. Thus Magnum now holds directly 2.61 million shares while its subsidiaries hold 1.13 million shares in West Country. As the subsidiaries are not 100 per cent owned, its effective ownership through it subsidiaries amounted to only 608,796 shares. Subsequently, Magnum acquired 2.62 million shared in West Country. This gives a total holding of 5.48 million shares, giving Magnum group only a 24.23 per cent stake in West Country.” (BUSINESS TIMES, 10 July 1979, Page 11: |"Magnum stake in West Country").
1979-07-19: Penjualan Saham Bovis South East Asia
“Bovis South East Asia said it sold 4.52 million shares in West Country Sdn Bhd to Magnum Corporation at 69 cents per share. The net realisation of $2.97 million shows a loss on book value at end-1978 amounting to $662,000 on the original investment of $7.8 million. Bovis said.” (BUSINESS TIMES, 20 July 1979, Page 11: |"BOVIS SOUTH EAST ASIA").
“Bovis South-East Asia has disagreed with a Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange request that it convene an extraordinary general meeting to approve its sale of 4.524 million shares or 20 per cent interest in plantation company West Country Sdn Bhd to Magnum Corporation. … Bovis' latest disposal of West Country shares to Magnum has been agreed at 69 cents per share, four cents higher than the price reached in Magnum's two earlier deals (for 10 per cent of West Country) with two separate parties.” (BUSINESS TIMES, 3 August 1979, Page 11: |"Bovis SEA in disagreement with KLSE over meeting").
1982-11-29: Diambilalih oleh Malaysian Plantations Berhad
Pada 29 dan 30 November 1982, West Country Estate telah diambilalih oleh Malaysian Plantations Berhad. Kira-kira 3 tahun selepas itu, iaitu pada 19 Disember 1985, ianya diserahkan kepada syarikat induknya, Dunlop Estates Berhad: “Malaysian Plantations Bhd has transferred a piece of land in Kajang, near Kuala Lumpur to its holding company, Dunlop Estates Bhd, for M$9.8 million cash. MPB, a 53.7 per cent subsidiary of DEB, said that it had entered into a deed of assignment to assign to DEB the principal and supplementary sale and purchase agreements of Nov 29 and Nov 30, 1982, respectively, which it made with West Country Sdn. Bhd. The assignment is subject to approvals of the Foreign Investment Committee, the shareholders of MPB and the Estate Land Board under the National Land Code, 1965. DEB will pay MPB 10 per cent of the price on signing the deed of assignment and 80 percent of the amount to West Country, within 14 days of receiving all the relevant approvals. The remaining 10 per cent will be paid to West Country on issue of a separate document of title to the land. … Directors deemed to be interested in the assigment are Datuk Onn Seng Lee, Mr Tan Koon Swan and Mr Chee Kee Leong. None of the other directors has any direct or indirect interest in the assignment.” (BUSINESS TIMES, 19 December 1985, Page 14: |"MPB transfers land to Dunlop Estates"; The Straits Times, 20 December 1985, Page 28: |"Firm transfers land to Dunlop Estates").
1985-03-07: Lagi Ladang untuk Dimajukan
“Magnum Corporation Bhd, the lottery operator and finance group, has been given approval to convert one of its plantation estates into development land, informed sources said. The plantation estate, said to be West Country Estate, is estimated at 6.88 sq km. Development land has a higher market value than plantation land. However it is not known what the company intends to do with the piece of land.” (Singapore Monitor, 7 March 1985, Page 13: |"Magnum land to be converted for development", Singapore Monitor - 2nd Edition, 7 March 1985, Page 13: |"Magnum land to be converted for development").
“Datuk Choo (Magnum's executive chairman Datuk Choo Ching Hwa) said Magnum has applied for conversion of its remaining estate land consisting of the 809.4 ha West Country Estate at Bangi, in which Peremba holds a 40 per cent stake. “We intend to develop this into a housing estate jointly with Peremba.” (BUSINESS TIMES, 28 May 1985, Page 14: |"Magnum maps out plans for motel chain").
“I was born in West Country Rubber Estate, Hulu Langat, Kajang in 1949 where I spent my early life until the age of ten. I grew up within a large household of 6 sibling brothers and sisters, and I was the second youngest in the family of eight.
West Country Rubber Estate stretched all the way from Serdang New Village on one side and was bordered by Jalan Reko and the Kuala Lumpur - Seremban railway line on the other side.
My father lived in the estate in the quarters provided by the management and I attended the Kajang Primary School. I travelled by school bus daily to school in Kajang. School days were memorable. However, I was unable to attend many of the activities that were organized after school-hours because of the expenses and the distance involved in getting to school.
Very soon, Bangi township sprouted where the estate once stood, with numerous universities and factories dotting the landscape and commercial banks erecting their sports and training complexes. The SILK highway and North-South highway transverse what was once West Country Estate. At one end of the West Country Estate is an enclave of palm oil trees that provide an agricultural-cum-tranquil surrounding to Tanarata International Schools. It lies just next to the Kajang-interchange and borders Country Heights Resort.
I am currently still working and I am now employed at Tanarata International Schools. I am 64 years old now and I hope to continue working for many more years.”
(Sumber: Munaianty s/o Ponnusamy @ Tanarata International Schools, 2013: Kajang and Its Surrounds, m.s.26-27).
|Siri Cebisan Sejarah:||Bangi||Kajang||Kuala Lumpur||Kuantan||Gambang||Ipoh||Hutan||Hubungi Kami|