JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

Malaysiana - Straits Of Malacca

straits of malacca,
the treacherous divider
between Malaysia, Sumatra.
a line between poverty, wealth.
a storm beats into the sea tonight,
lightning outlines a motorboat
negotiating its way
through the crashing undulating waves
furious as if angry at trespassers.
the straits that has deceived,
taken countless treasures over the centuries
from the cruelest of pirates,
to the greediest of colonisers,
tonight seems hungry for human souls
dousing out the light behind the tunnel
for penniless, hunger striken sumatrans.
The human traffickers
in their anxiety to turn away from sea police shove them off like logs
pointing to Malaysian shore
indistinct as their fate
their cries muffled
by the bitter cold waves
and rattling engines.
the motorboat that has promised a dream
tonight decides to chart it all into sea.
yes, arrival at Malaysian shore
albeit in waves few kilometres off.
The sorrow of the sumatrans
could only be seen on their
scowled faces as their corpses
float down the straits, some
lost, some fished up.
Like the waves of the straits of opportunities
that continue pounding the shores,
this illegal trafficking continues
punctuated by such heartstirring drama
that subsides into the backside of the brain
as soon as the next wave crashes onto shore.

by john tiong chunghoo

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