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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 19. 2nd August 1973

Monthly Incomes: $400 versus $40

Monthly Incomes: $400 versus $40

The land development schemes under the advice of foreign experts have been much publicised to make the peasants entertain illusions and pin empty hopes on the "charity" of the Alliance government. Peasants have been promised an income of $(M)300 to $(M)400 ($(NZ)68 to $(NZ)115) per month. But what is the real income of the rural population after years of Alliance rule? Even according to the admission of the ministers themselves, the average income of a labouring person in the countryside does not exceed $(M)40 ($(NZ)11.50) per month. And the income of the fishermen is far below this level.

Experience has proved that the rural development schemes are nothing but schemes to serve the interests of foreign capital, local big landlords and developers. Even the pet scheme, the Sungei Muda Project, makes the big landlords and developers as well as foreign investors richer and the peasants poorer. The polarisation between the rich and the poor is the process which lays ground for peasant rebellion in the past, present and future.