Captain of the channel


Every Penang kid grows up seeing homely yellow ferries ply between the island and the mainland. It is like clockwork. One docks, one leaves, one docks, one leaves. Seldom do we think of the people whose daily routines make us take this service for granted. PEM reviews the ferry’s journey from the control room.

The metal ladder in the ferry beckoned, and for a moment I was a young boy again, wondering what treasures were hidden up there. I felt a childlike giddiness as I took the first few steps up the ladder, knowing that, 20 years later, I was finally about to find out.

As I eased myself out of the narrow confinements of the ladder shaft , I was met by the sparsely furnished interior of the control room. It spoke of years of use and a lot of wear and tear, and I was taken aback by how spare and outdated it was.

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