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A city of dreams

The Reclaim dance performance - Photograph courtesy of Aida Redza

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A short poem by Khoo Salma Nasution reflecting on two competing visions of ‘development’.

I dream of life
of the trees which rise from the ground
and the creatures that move between the trees
and the birds which soar to the sky
and the crabs that crawl in the mud
and the fish that live in the sea

You dream of concrete
of buildings that rise from the ground
and the cars that move between the buildings
and the highrises which soar to the sky
and the money which turns over
and over in your hands

You may be the king of kings
on the pedestal you have raised
in the world of sand and concrete
which snuffs out the trees and creatures
and extinguishes life below water
… yet my dream does not die

Khoo Salma Nasution is vice-president of the Penang Heritage Trust and steering committee member of Penang Forum.

A modified version of this poem was used in the dance performance by Aida Redza and WindRiver Production.

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