Malaysia to build rubberized roads to boost the industry


In an attempt to boost rubber consumption in the country, Malaysia is preparing to construct rubberized roads across the country this year, a local media reported.

Industries and commodities minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the decision to go with rubber will help shore up the commodity, which has been battered by falling prices. He said that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razakministry is concerned over the livelihoods of smallholders, and has directed the ministry to build rubberized roads within the next few months.

The minister said that there are over 1.2 million smallholders in the country (550,00 smallholders in the palm oil industry, 440,000 in the rubber industry and 60,000 in the pepper industry), who needs support, otherwise they would shift away from natural rubber due to weak prices.

Rubberized roads have several benefits, including durability and reduced road noises. The west has been building rubberized roads with recycled tyres made into crumbs, and then mixed with asphalt concrete. Malaysia however, will use naturally-coagulated latex, which will be processed into bituminous cup lumps and then mixed into asphalt. This process is expected to boost domestic demand for the material by 10% annually. Malaysia produces 700,000 metric tonnes of rubber every year.

The minister explained that the prime minister wants the rubberized roads to be constructed in small towns and certain parts of major highways.


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