National Geographic : 1953 Feb
Malaya Meets Its Emergency percent below K. L.'s. In deference to Mos lem Malays, it sold pork in a separate build ing. A workers' committee manages the store and represents the community in relations with the company. Houses, water, light, and medical services are free. Mines Dot Kuala Lumpur Suburbs "Not dizzy, are you?" asked young Douglas Lee. We stood high atop a fragile-looking bamboo structure that resembled an Oriental roller coaster. Before us stretched a yawning abyss, an open gravel-pump tin mine. Near K. L.'s busy airport, the mine belonged to Lee's father. Workers on the bottom of the huge hole, 110 feet below us, hosed the © British Information Services - Britain's Malaya Commander Tackles a Tough Problem: Getting Information Intelligence is the security forces' crying need. The Government must know what the Communists plan, but fear of Red reprisals silences many potential in formers. To get tips, troops enter terrorized villages and distribute questionnaires. They collect the answers, sealed but unsigned, in locked boxes. Here the High Commissioner, General Sir Gerald Templer (in mufti), helps staff officers empty secret lockers after last April's Operation Question (page 190). 4 A Malay patrol closing in on a terrorist camp wades waist-deep in a mountain stream. Opposite: A British paratrooper drops into jungle, the Reds' favorite cover. mine's earthen sides with powerful jets of water. Dotting the bottom, colossal natural limestone columns, like stalagmites, dwarfed the men and gave the gaping man-made pit a weird aspect. "It's quite simple," Lee said. "The jets of water excavate the dirt-they reach be tween the stone pinnacles, where dredge buck ets can't go. Often the richest ore is there. The muddy water, containing the ore, is pumped up here. Then it flows along this sluice at a gentle grade. Low boards are laid across the sluice every few feet; being heavier than the mud, the ore settles and collects behind these 'steps.' "You'll see dozens of these sluices-on-stilts around K. L. Their grade has to be just right. A bit too steep, and the water rushes along without dropping its ore. Too gentle a slope, and mud as well as ore collects behind the steps. Chinese build these structures; their know-how is passed down from father to son. They can't tell you how they do it, but they build the sluices perfectly." Later I stood on the brink of Hong Fatt Mine. It seemed as if all Egypt's pyramids could be stored in one corner. Steam shovels that looked like toys took flea bites from its earthen sides. Trucks carted the dirt to cable cars that lifted it to ground level. "One of earth's biggest opencast tin mines,"