Into the Haunted Forest: Reading Anti-Extractivism in Aammton Alias’s <i>The Last Bastion of Ingei</i>

Main Article Content

Rinni Amran


This article posits gothic depictions of the haunted forest as important counter-narratives to extractivist representations of nature in public narratives in Brunei, including government policy and advertising for environmental tourism.The critical discussion will focus on a contemporary Bruneian text, Aammton Alias’sThe Last Bastion of Ingei(2016). Using a localized EcoGothiccritical framework, I argue that the novelreflectsIndigenous ecological beliefs and practices, wherein nature and the supernatural destabilize and undermine anthropocentric ways of knowing and relating to the nonhuman. EcoGothicnarratives can thus be seen as crucial representational models of anti-extractivism that reimagine human-nonhuman relations beyond anthropocentric epistemologies. To this end, I examine the ways in which nature and the supernatural are portrayed and how nonhuman agencies disrupt anthropocentric narration and reading. This article also makes a case for the diversification of local literary and cultural production to effectively reorient public narratives of the environment.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



Alias, Aammton. The Last Bastion of Ingei: Imminent. CreateSpace Publishers, 2016.

---. Killing Dreams: The Bunian Conspiracy Series Book 2. M Content Creations, 2019.

Ak Md Khairuddin Pg Harun. “Forest Dweller.” Legendary: Horror and Mystique. Blueprint Publishing Services, 2019, pp. 82-102.

Andi Purwanto. “Analisis Isi dan Fungsi Cerita Prosa Rakyat di Kanagarian Koto Besar, Kab Dharmasraya.” Wacana Etnik: Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Humaniora, vol. 1, no. 2, Okt 2010, pp. 155-164.

Bantong Bin Antaran. “Omen Birds: Their Influence on the Life of the Dusuns with Special Reference to the Merimbun Dusuns.” Brunei Museum Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, 1985, pp. 105-112.

Blueprint Publishing Services. Call for Submissions for Ghost Writing Competition. Facebook, 22 April 2019, Accessed 1 March 2022.

---. Legendary: Horror and Mystique. Blueprint Publishing Services, 2019.

Burnham, Michelle. “Is There an Indigenous Gothic?” A Companion to American Gothic edited by Charles L. Crow, Wiley Blackwell, 2014, pp. 225-237.

Byrne, Eleanor. “Ecogothic Dislocations in Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees.” Interventions, vol. 19, no. 7, 2017, pp. 962-975.

Del Principe, David. “Introduction: The EcoGothic in the Long Nineteenth Century.” Gothic Studies, vol. 16 no. 1, May 2014, pp.1-8.

Demaria, Frederico. “Why Economic Growth is Not Compatible with Environmental Sustainability.” Ecologist: Informed by Nature, 22 Feb 2018,

Deterding, David. “Indigenous Languages and English in the Globalized Modern Era in Brunei Darussalam.” KEMANUSIAAN, vol. 27, no. 2, 2020, pp. 165-178.

Elbert, Monika. “Haunting Transcendentalist Landscapes: EcoGothic Politics in Margeret Fuller’s Summer on the Lakes.” Text Matters, vol. 6, no. 6, 2016, pp. 53-73.

Ellen, Roy. “Thinking Through Nostalgia in Anthropologies of the Environment and Ethnographies of Landscape.” Ecological Nostalgias: Memory, Affect and Creativity in Times of Ecological Upheavals, edited by Olivia Angé and David Berliner, Bergahn Books, 2021, pp. 17-38.

“Forest area (% of land area) – Brunei Darussalam.” The World Bank, 2020,

“Global Outlook Highlights Resource Extraction as Main Cause of Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss.” IISD SDG Knowledge Hub, 19 March 2019,

Hafizzul Fadlillah Haji Johari. “Kerusi Malas [Rocking Chair].” Legendary: Horror and Mystique. Blueprint Publishing Services, 2019, pp. 1-29.

Heise, Ursula K. Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species. The University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Hickel, Jason, Paul Brockway, Giorgos Kallis, Lorenz Keyßer, Manfred Lenzen, Aljoša Slameršak, Julia Steinberger and Diana Ürge-Vorsatz. “Urgent Need for Post-Growth Climate Mitigation Scenarios.” Nature Energy.

Ho, Hannah. “The Violence of Othering and (Non-)Indigenous Revival: Aammton Alias’ The Last Bastion of Ingei: Imminent as Postcolonial Speculative Fiction of Brunei Darussalam’, Southeast Asian Review of English, vol. 57, issue 1, 2020, pp. 55-79.

IPCC, 2022: Summary for Policymakers [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, M. Tignor, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, M. Tignor, E.S. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Craig, S. Langsdorf, S. Löschke, V. Möller, A. Okem, B. Rama (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.

Ivakhiv, Adrian. “Stirring the Geopolitical Unconscious: Towards a Jamesonian Ecocriticism.” New Formations, no. 64, 2008, pp. 98-109.

Kathrina Mohd. Daud. “The Ghosts of Islam and the Unseen World in Bruneian Horror Stories.” World Englishes, vol. 35, issue 4, 2016, pp. 602-611.

Kathrina Mohd Daud, Grace V. S. Chin and Maslin Jukim. “Contemporary English and Malay Literature in Brunei: A Comparison.”

The Use and Status of Language in Brunei Darussalam: A Kingdom of Unexpected Linguistic Diversity, Springer, 2016, pp. 241-251.

Kershaw, Eva Maria, and Roger Kershaw. “The Mundane and the Mystic: Constructions of Human Relations with the Animal World in Brunei-Dusun and other Bornean Folktales.” Indonesia and the Malay World, vol. 34, no. 99, July 2006, pp. 151-195.

Lian Kwen Fee, Yabit Alas, Tong Chee Kiong and Faizul Ibrahim. “Who are the Dusun in Brunei? Representation and Deconstruction of an Ethnic Identity.” Working Paper No. 67, Institute of Asian Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, 2022.

Lim Hin Fui, Norya Abas and Norshakila Yusof. “Interacting with the Forests: The General Values of the Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia.” Traditional Knowledge for Ecosystem Services in ASEAN Countries – Folk Culture, Proverbs, Old Sayings and Community Rules, 2-4 March 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Publication Unit Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 2016.

Maslin Jukim. Legenda: “Di Mana Tu ah?” Siri 1. Maslin Haji Jukim/Jukin, 2021.

“Misi dan Visi.” Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Accessed 15 January 2022.

Morton, Timothy. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

Must-Visit Parks & Forests. Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam. Accessed 29 January 2022.

“National Forestry Policy.” Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei, Accessed 15 January 2022.

“New Species Discovered in Brunei’s Heart of Borneo Region.” World Wildlife Fund, 10 April 2013, Accessed 15 January 2022.

Ng, Andrew. “Malaysian Gothic: The Motif of Haunting in K.S. Maniam’s ‘Haunting the Tiger’ and Shirley Lim’s ‘Haunting’.” Mosaic, vol. 39, no.2, June 2006, pp. 75-87.

Noor Azam Haji-Othman and Siti Ajeerah Najib. TThe State of Indigenous Languages in Brunei.” The Use and Status of Language in Brunei Darussalam: A Kingdom of Unexpected Linguistic Diversity edited by Noor Azam Haji-Othman, James McLellan and David Deterding, Springer, 2016, pp. 17-28.

Nur Ahmad Salman Herbowo. “Kajian Ekologi Sastra Berbasis Nilai Kearifan Lokal dalam Cerpen ‘Orang Bunian’ Karya Gus TF Sakai.” Dialektika: Jurnal Bahasa, Sastra, dan Pendidikan Bahasa dan Sastra Indonesia, vol. 7, no. 1, 2020, pp. 63-75.

NurSyakhirah Haji Rani. “The Other Side.” Legendary: Horror and Mystique. Blueprint Publishing Services, 2019, pp. 60-81.

Parker, Elizabeth, and Michelle Poland. “Introduction.” Gothic Nature, issue 1, September 2019, pp. 1-20.

Parker, Elizabeth. The Forest and the EcoGothic: The Deep Dark Woods in the Popular Imagination. Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Parks, Justin. “The Poetics of Extractivism and the Politics of Visibility.” Textual Practice, vol. 35, no. 3, 2021, pp. 353-362.

Punter, David. “Introduction: The Ghost of a History” A New Companion to the Gothic edited by David Punter, Wiley Blackwell, 2012, pp. 1- 10.

Roseberg, Virginie. Brunei Malay Traditional Medicine: Persistence in the Face of Western Medicine and Islamic Orthodoxy. 2017. The University of Western Australia, PhD dissertation.

Rozan Yunos. Brunei: The Origins. Qasrun Nafis Publishing House, 2019.

“Securing the Threatened Tree Giants in Borneo.” IBER: Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, 6 May 2020,

Sukri, Rahayu Sukmaria and Dennis Wah. “Climate change Adaptation in Brunei Darussalam.” Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia edited by Joy Jacqueline Pereira, Mohd Khairul Zain, Rajib Shaw, Springer, 2022, pp. 25-41.

Szeman, Imre, and Jennifer Wenzel. “What Do We Talk about When We Talk about Extractivism?” Textual Practice, vol. 35, no. 3, 2021, pp. 505-523.

Walker, Anthony R. “A Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures: Contributions to a National Ethnography of Brunei by UBD Sociology-Anthropology Students.” South East Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, vol. 10, 2010, pp. 11-38.

Wawasan Brunei 2035. Pejabat Wawasan Brunei, Prime Minister’s Office, Brunei Darussalam, 2016, Accessed 15 January 2022.