Keeping the Spirit of Bruno Manser Alive

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Journalist Ruedi Suter sheds light on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the strange disappearance of Bruno Manser, who highlighted the plight of Sarawak’s Penan people.

In 2004, Swiss indigenous-rights activist Bruno Manser hiked to his favourite peak, Batu Lawi. Despite having completed the climb several times during his years with the nomadic Penan, he disappeared into thin air. He had been championing the Penan’s fight against the deforestation of their ancestral land.

Bruno’s uncanny story is told in great detail by Ruedi Suter in Rainforest Hero: The Life and Death of Bruno Manser, a German bestseller that has finally been translated into English through the joint effort of publishers SIRD (Malaysia) and Bergli (Switzerland). I meet the author and Johanna Michel, a representative of the Bruno Manser Foundation, during the Nusantara Forum, jointly organised by Gerakbudaya and Penang Institute, in November last year.


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