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Willem Punt (born 1921), a former seaman and an East Indian war veteran, worked on the notorious Sumatra (Pekanbaru) Railway as a prisoner of war (POW) during World War II (WW2). He was also a passenger on the Junyo Maru, the Japanese cargo ship that was torpedoed and sunk by British forces while transporting Allied POWs and Javanese slave labourers to work on the railways. He recalls, 'It was a tragedy. There was hardly a native man who tried to get away. They stayed on board. On the bows. They were all crying, "Nippon, tolong!" ("Japan, help us"). Yes, that's what they cried out. And they also started singing. Really mostly to attract attention.' After the war, Willem became a ship's mate. He comments, 'I think the war has had a purifying effect on me rather than a depressing effect?I began to see the relative value of things. Moreover, it pretty soon dawned on me that the faith I was indoctrinated with is in fact worthless. That is not to say that I don't believe in anything, no, I believe in nature. On that boat, you know, just on that Junyo Maru, people prayed as if their lives depended on it?Didn't help a bit. They all drowned.'