Goodbye to T. Ramalingam (24/9/1955-25/11/2023)

Ramalingam epitomizes leadership at Ladang Sg Rinching with his exceptional capability. He was the driving force behind a victorious struggle and remained steadfast until its culmination in Ladang Sg Rinching—a story chronicled in the book ‘Akar Umbi’ in Chapter 14 titled ‘Tiada Kemenangan tanpa pengorbanan dan perjuangan’ (No Victory Without Sacrifice and Struggle). Unlike many who become inactive after achieving economic goals, Ramalingam’s legacy extended far beyond.

He was among the three workers’ activists chosen to join the Community Development Centre (CDC) due to his outstanding leadership, unwavering dedication, and commitment that transcended his estate, community, and ethnic group. Alongside him were Koyilvani from the Guppy factory struggle and Ganesan from Ladang Braemar.

Ramalingam was a true gem—exceptionally hardworking, involving his entire family in the struggle. He set the gold standard for activists, living a modest life yet contributing significantly to the working class’s cause.

As a national leader of JSML (Plantation Workers Support Committee), Ramalingam spearheaded numerous successful campaigns, including those for monthly wages and housing for plantation workers. He was our spokesperson in plantation struggles, organized Veerasenan football tournaments, and played a pivotal role in other estate workers’ battles.

In 1994, plantation workers and urban settlers staged a massive protest on May Day. The 1995 general election saw both communities presenting election demands and displaying billboards in estates and villages, requiring politicians to pledge their commitment for votes. Despite resistance, this grassroots movement was a crucial education in voter empowerment.

During a post-election meeting in 1995, Ramalingam advocated for our own political party, asserting that existing parties couldn’t adequately fight for workers’ rights. His viewpoint resonated with many and significantly contributed to the formation of PSM (Parti Sosialis Malaysia).

Ramalingam was instrumental in establishing and nurturing the PSM Semenyih branch, holding various positions including Branch Chairperson. He actively supported candidates, braving all weather to display party flags, and faced arrests alongside us as a core PSM member.

Despite illness, Ramalingam persisted, working on his farm until his last day when he passed away after his routine chores. He lived and died with the belief that principles matter most in life, refusing to compromise despite temptations.

His wife, Susila, stood as a strong ally in this struggle, along with their children Loga, Kumarvel, Subramani, and Yamuna, all actively involved in our cause.

Reflecting on a conversation with his son at Damai Hospital, Semenyih, it’s clear that Ramalingam’s unwavering principles will be his enduring legacy. His selflessness, loyalty, and sacrifices for the party and the cause will never be forgotten by those of us in CDC, JSML, PSM. The enduring image of him hoisting party flags in the rain will forever remain etched in my memory.

He was, and will always be, a top-tier workers’ leader.

May he rest in power.

S. Arutchelvan
Deputy Chairperson
Parti Sosialis Malaysia


Note – The funeral will be on Sunday (26-11-2023) at his house V-G-13 PANGSAPURI BAIDURI, PRSN TASIK KESUMA, BDR TASIK KESUMA, 43700 BERANANG SELANGOR. between 10am-11am. After that he will be cremated at the crematorium in Templer, Seremban

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