john tiong chunghoo

Gold Star - 4,867 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

What Corruption Means - Poem by john tiong chunghoo

digging at the same spot
first to lay pipes
then to lay wires
leaving mud, gravel
all over the street

spending a week
to process an application
instead of an hour
hoping that some dimes
would roll over to oil his needs

building a public place
- to make sure they
last only months
so that there would
be a redo
more projects more money

spending RM90 million
to renovate a Parliment House
to find later the whole place
as fragile as ever with an old roof
that leaks and that the whole structure
needs a redo

building a RM270million
court complex to find upon
occupancy, it has as many
cracks, leaks as the laws

a project to put up new
road signs (names)
that results in every road
has so many signs
with the same names
one wonders they are
put up for the amnesiac
to make sure they do not
forget where they are going
what else can you say
about two signs that stand
opposite each other
bearing the same name
Jalan Rozario, Jalan Rozario?

wonder anybody ever
notices the real signs
this country needs are those
that can show us the way
to love our country beyond
the dollars and cents
we so dearly love to keep
in our own pockets

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 11, 2007

Poem Edited: Friday, February 25, 2011

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