CHUKAI: Jabor at the Terengganu-Pahang border is another nondescript estate, mostly populated by Indians since World War II.
With about 200 Indian families during the 60s, it was then home to the largest Indian population in Terengganu.
The exodus to Kuantan, 18km away, in the 70s led to the closure of the Tamil school – the first in the country.
Finally now, a silver lining awaits the remaining 30-odd families after years of indifference by the state government and political parties.
The government has expressed willingness to construct low-cost houses for those who had to vacate their Guthrie-owned quarters upon retirement.
The news was conveyed to them at the inaugural Deepavali cultural night held at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in the estate on Sunday. Kemaman MP Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Air Putih assemblyman Wan Ahmad Nizam Wan Abdul Hamid said they would pursue the matter with the state government.
“In the 1999 general election, Indian voters in Jabor stood solidly with the Barisan Nasional.
“We don’t want them to lari (run away) to other places,” said Ahmad Shabery in his speech.
Wan Ahmad Nizam said the state government would consider constructing low-cost houses but reminded them to be patient, as it would take time.
Of the 600 voters in Jabor Valley Estate, he said 212 were Indians, many who had moved to other places but were still registered as voters there.
In his speech, Perasing Jaya-Jabor MIC Youth chief S. Sivakumar called for the setting up of the Indian settlement since there was already a Malay village and a Chinese village.
Saying it was the only way to stem the exodus of Indians, he stressed that there would not be a single Indian family in Jabor by 2010.