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Selected Project keyboard_arrow_right The Last Sea Nomads
Kok Rui Lau
Director
Hing Weng Eric Tsang
Producer
Production Status
Development/Research
Date of Completion
2022
Length
90
Participating Lab
Storytelling Lab
Logline
Family members of a stateless sea nomads family are separated in order to struggle for survival and identity.
Production Company
Thousand Sails Pictures Limited
The Last Sea Nomads
Just beside the luxurious resorts on Mabul Island, there is a sordid and filthy village which accommodates hundreds of Bajau Lauts, the Sea Gypsies. They used to live on the boat and travel between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, but now they are restricted from living on the sea. Living in the territory of Malaysian government does not make them considered as citizens.

Edi is the father of a Bajau Laut family. He has five children to feed but his health condition is getting worse now. Given his stateless identity he can only use the traditional spear to catch fish secretly every day.

Pria is his eldest daughter. Edi is worried about her future and insists she should get married as soon as possible. In search of independence, she decided to leave the family and work in Semporna, a developing town in order to improve the quality of living. Being the only hope of the family, she is yet still too young to face challenges living in a city.

Momjobi is the younger brother of Pria, who is meant to be a fisherman. However, he starts working in the resort on Pulau Mabul as a helper. He spends his money on bicycles and cellphones which make him want to leave Pulau Mabul.

This family in Pulau Mabul sketch an image of the stateless people in Malaysia, who are forced to abandon the traditional lifestyle or even their home on the sea.