I received this interesting card in the Slavic countries RR. I love cards showing something typical for the country, which isn't a typical tourist attraction. According to Lay Hoon, who has sent me this card, Malaysia used to be the No. 1 rubber exporter in the world. I guess that now most of rubber we're using is synthetic, because it must be cheaper and easier to produce it. Working at such plantation is very hard, because the rubber tappers have to remove a thin layer of bark along a downward half spiral on the tree trunk each night or early in the morning, before the temperature rises. If it's done carefully and with skill, this tapping panel will yield latex for up to 5 years.
Rubber tapping is the process by which rubber is gathered. An incision is made in the bark of a rubber tree, which cuts through the latex vessels that flow between the bark and the cambium. The latex then drips into a vessel. This industry is prevalent in areas of tropical rainforest, such as Brazil in the Roraima area or Malaysia and generally grows within a band 10° north or south of the equator, which offers optimum growing conditions. In the rubber tree's native habitats, it is less destructive to the environment and rainforest and provides a renewable source of wood which can be used within the furniture industry. However, in Southeast Asia where it is non-native, it is grown in monoculture plantations created by felling large areas of rainforest.. Large scale plantations operate on a 20 - 25 year planting cycle to optimise the latex yield.
By the way, I've noticed that many Malay cards (from different regions) belong to the same set with white frame and writting "Malaysia" with the country's flag. I wonder, how many cards are there is this set and are they really so popular around the country? Maybe they're some kind of "official" Malay cards? I already have 2 such cards, my mother received other 2, when she was trying postcrossing and I've seen much more of them in other peoples' collections :)