Look What They’ve Done to the Sea (off Straits Quay), Ma


Follow us on our Malay and English WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube channels.

By Lim Chui Choo

Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma
Look what they’ve done to ‘Andaman’, Ma
Aman or peace is a treasure that Penang Lang could enjoy
But the reclamation of a 760-acre man-made island is set to destroy
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

A floating factory’s racket reverberating in close proximity
Dredges excavating sedimentation with CSD sounds in continuity
Barges plying up and down from Lumut and Selangor to spew sand
A ‘Loch Ness Monster’ cranking its cranes to dump rocks without end
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

How will my retirement home be transformed?
By thirty-three million tonnes of ‘sandstorm’
And two million tonnes of heavy rocks to build a Great Wall
Over a five-year period of 3,820 trips in all?
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

Maybe the 4.5-acre Quayside pool will make it all right
Where residents take refuge to frolic from dawn till night
But our little life is rounded with a sleep…
Alas! the sonic violence of powered boats scouring the sea at wee hours dragged me from sleep.
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

Look what they’ve done to my peace, Ma
Look what they’ve done to my cradle of comfort, Ma
They have drilled a hole in my brain
And I think I’m half insane
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

Wish I could find a hill retreat to live in
Or a real good book I could hide in
So I would never have to come out and look
A natural beauty-turned-construction site by hook or crook!
Look what they’ve done to the Sea, Ma

READ MORE:  Nelayan dan NGO alam sekitar memfailkan tindakan mahkamah terhadap projek PSR

– Lim Chui Choo, 16 April 2024

This poem is inspired by Melanie Safka’s song Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
Support Aliran's work with an online donation. Scan this QR code using your mobile phone e-wallet or banking app:
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
25 Apr 2024 1.17am

This is a beautiful poem, so aptly written for Love the Earth Day!