Borneo no Land of Savages, says Atthowe


Atthowe (third left) shaking hands with Liew upon the Nomadic Lion’s arrival at Le’ Park at the Kuching Civic Centre yesterday.

KUCHING: The Nomadic Lion trio who completed the 2,250km walk from Tawau to Kuching yesterday are eager to dispel myths and false image of Borneo.

Group member David Atthowe, from England, said they planned to produce a documentary on what they had encountered during their journey that started last August.

Speaking to reporters covering their triumph at Le’ Park here, Atthowe said he was shocked to hear that some people still think of Borneo as a land of savages and had no development.

“It is sad that some ignorant people still think that Borneo is all about half-naked people living on trees. I can say Borneo is a very developed area, and there is nothing backward about this part of the world.”

Atthowe added that modernisation need not be in the form of infrastructure. It could be in how one behaves or live their lives.

For him, the simple art of how you meet, behave, and talk to people can clearly show how modern the person is.

“Borneo is very modern in the sense that its people are friendly, and they can have conversation with you easily.

“The people here are aware of things happening around the world, and it is very easy to have nice conversations with people here everywhere.”

Apart from that, he observed that the people here cherished the value of friendship, tolerance, and humanity — simple things that are sadly not found in most so-called ‘modern’ places around the world.

Their ‘Walking Borneo’ project began in August last year, and it was intended to raise awareness about positive environmental and humanitarian projects.

Throughout their six-month journey, the Nomadic Lion members walked all the way from Sabah and past through Brunei before entering Sarawak.

They officially completed their journey yesterday and was welcomed by many well-wishers at Le’ Park.

Leading the entourage to welcome them was Dato Patrick Liew, director of, the organiser for the event.