Some background to 'Seed' - featured in Rambutan


I'm delighted that my story Seed is featured in the inaugural issue of Rambutan.

A friend of mine gave me the idea over coffee when he related some of the things his elderly neighbour had told him about growing up in Langkawi (where I live) in the early 20th century, when the island was much more isolated than it is today. 
I tried to imagine the circumstances that would lead to a father having to make this kind of choice for his daughter. Apparently incidences like this were common practice at the time.

Nowadays the gene pool is much bigger and the villages are no longer isolated, y
ou can drive thirty minutes along a highway to complete a journey that would have taken two days trek through jungle a hundred years ago, though arranged marriages, while not that common, still exist, and problems arising from consanguinity are not unknown.

I have spoken to people who still remember turtles nesting on the island's beaches, including popular Pantai Cenang. There are still a few sea turtles left in the surrounding waters, though to the best of my knowledge the turtles no longer nest on the main island. 
Turtle eggs are still considered a delicacy and are routinely sold on local markets elsewhere in Malaysia, but not in Langkawi. All four species of sea-turtles commonly found in Malaysia are listed on the IUCN Red List as either endangered, critically endangered, and threatened with extinction. 




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