1967-74 Hassan Karim

The price of a kati of rubber could not purchase half a kati of sugar or flour. As a result of their hardships, the peasants were forced to voice their sufferings.

They bravely took to the streets to protest and urge the government to raise the price of rubber and lower the price of food and other necessities within 10 days.

When it became clear that the government was not going to act positively on the demands within the given period, 30,000 people demonstrated in Baling on the 1 st of December 1974.

The people were angry indeed. The struggle of the peasants was supported by students from the universities and other institutions of higher learning throughout the country.

A big demonstration by 5,000 students was held on 3rd Decernber 1974. At a rally held on the same day at the Selangor Club padang in Kuala Lumpur, the students made several demands on the governrpent including.

i) the government must solve the problem of inflation immediately.

ii) the price of rubber must be raised to reasonable levels.

iii) all corrupt ministers and chief ministers must be exposed and punished. The government ignored the demands of the students.

The authorities used the police to disperse the demonstration, and students who had gathered peacefully at the Selangor Club field were attacked with tear gas.

The students retreated to the National Mosque, but the FRU even fired tear gas into the mosque and entered it. Altogether, the FRU arrested 1,128 students.

The arrest of the students reignited the students' strug,gle. On the campuses, students continued to demonstrate, and this went on for a few days until the police entered the campuses early in the morning of the 9th of December 1974.

Many of the student leaders were arrested. At the same time, the government also apprehended university lecturers who had supported the struggle of the students and the peasants.

Among those detained were Prof. Syed Husin Ali from the University of Malaya, Anwar Ibrahim, a youth leader; Kamarulzaman Yacob, UMSU President, Ahmad Kamal Selamat, President of PMUSM, Ibrahim Ali, President of KSITM, Rahman Rukhaini, President of PMUKM, and Adi Satria, UMSU's Assistant Secretary-General.