The Borneo Case is a new film that documents the destruction of more than 90% of Sarawak’s forests and investigates where the profits from the destruction went. As the Bruno Manser Fund notes, “Vast illicit assets have been acquired by the former Chief Minister and current Governor of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, and his closest family members.”
The film is directed by Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams, two Stockholm-based filmmakers. It features indigenous activist Mutang Urud, Radio Free Sarawak DJ Peter John Jaban, Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown, and Lukas Straumann of the Bruno Manser Fund, author of the book “Money Logging“.
In the early 1990s, Mutang Urud was arrested for opposing the logging of his people’s forests. He has lived for many years in exile in Montreal. He is filmed returning to Sarawak, to visit the Bakun dam, that resulting in the flooding the valley in which he used to live:
Down there in our longhouses in the trees my people live in the most wonderful homeland anyone could have. The forest provides shelter, food, and medicine and holds the history of our people-our myths, our legends, and stories. If we walked the forest trails together, I would be able to show you at every turn what had happened here, who had been hunting over there, everything. That grove of trees might be where I was almost bitten by a wild pig. I could take you to a tree marked by my uncle, who is now dead. The lives of our people are written in the landscape. And we know every tree and turn of the creeks. In cities I get lost easily, but out there in the forest I always know where I am. We have names for thousands of streams and creeks, even the smallest trickles.
The film includes footage of logging operations in Sarawak. It features interviews with the late Along Sega, a headman of the nomadic Penan in the Long Adang area in the north of Sarawak: