Some Iban Customs and Fines 1909-1915
I . ABORTION (BEBUAI)
1. It is feared that abortion is not uncommonly practised by girls who finding themselves in a certain condition are unable to cover their disgrace by marriage; and it is curious fact that there is no penalty for an unmarried woman procuring abortion if she is unable to persuade her seducer to give her marriage. The offence, however, committed by a married woman would entail severe punishment. (See also XXI, 3-4).
2. As understood in the Courts, anyone procuring abortion, or maiming of any person by accident, should it not cause death of one picul (RM28.80).
II. ABUSE (NGELANGGAR PENTI PEMALI)
1. Abuse is generally settled by the chiefs who impose a small fine or order the payment of a pemali to the complainants.
2. Occasionally complaints are made to the Court of a person who has died soon after being cursed, with the object of obtaining a fine or pati nyawa (blood money) from the curser. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, and the offence is of a very gross nature, it is probably better for the matter to be settled by the chiefs, who by ancient custom can exact a penalty on the offender of one to seven jabir.
III. ACCIDENTS (SARU / ENDA SENGAJA)
1. Accidentai wounding. The shooting, spearing, wounding or maining of any person by accident, should it not cause death or permanent disablement, is punishable by fine not less than ten katis (RM7.20) or more than one picul (RM28.80); or in cases of gross carelessness, by imprisonment for a short period; and the court must decided what compensation should be paid the injured party (see also XXV, 4-5).
2. Death by Misadventure. Should a person accidentally cause anothers permanent disablement or death, the fine imposed should not exceed three picul (RM86.40), of which half is paid to the person permanently disabled, or in the case of death to the nearest relative of the deceased.
3. The penalties under this head depend entirely upon circumstances, and it is not unusual in cases of death caused through gross carelessness for the offender to receive imprisonment for manslaughter.
IV. ADOPTION (ADAT NGIRU ANAK)
1. Adoptions of children who are childless hold great prominence. It is regarded as an unnatural circumstance to have no children on whom to depend in old age, or to inherit any property that may have accrued. To obliterate this reproach, adoption is resorted to and a legally adopted child holds by law and sentiment the same position, privileges and right of inheritance as a natural child would.
2. The initial ceremony of adoption was in former days public, and when, as was often the case, a child of lowly birth was adopted by people of means, a feast known as gawai betembang was held during which a jar (alas) was paid to the parents, balas ai tusu, and a spear handed as a mark of good faith to the head of the house.
3. To effect a legal adoption now-a-days it is necessary for all parties concerned to appear before a Magistrate, and a Certificate of Adoption is granted signed by the natural parents together with those effecting the adoption; and this instrument is all that is required.
4. In the event of trouble arising between the adopting parents and the child, more often than not the latter wifl leave the room of his adoption and the assistance of the Court will be solicited to persuade his return. This failing, the parents wilI usually destroy the bond between them, and it is customary (provided there are no extraneous circumstances) to allow the person so cast off to receive a share in any property obtained by his part labour, but he cannot claim any share whatever of the adopting parents old property (pesaka; cf. XXII, 2).
5. It should be noted that an adopted child loses legal claim on the property of his real parents, or of the family he has left.
V. ADULTERY (BUTANG)
1. Adultery is first disclosed by the injured party kiliing a fowl and after this is done no reprisals can be taken on the adulterers, beyond the penalties ordained by custom (cf. VII, 3).
2. The fine according to old law was at the Iowest one panding, but fines varied according to the offenders. But in all cases the injured party received a portion of the fine as a salve to his shame. It is a curious trait in old Dayak adat that in the case of married persons misconducting themselves with unmarried people, the latter (male or female) would alone incur penalties. If the offending parties were both married, the womans punish- ment was Iess than that of the man.
3. The fine for adultery imposed by a Magistrate is 20 katis (RM14.40) on the respondent and correspondent, but it is customary also for the headmen of the houe inhabited by the guilty persons to require a pemali which varies in different districts from a pig or two fowls, to one panding or even one alas accord- ing to the length of the house; and from the time the fowl is killed until the pemali is given no one may pass through the paddy fields of the houses concerned.
4. Divorce following adultery is optional at the discretion of the offended party, and if claimed, the property is divided as in the case of an ordinary divorce; the children (unless very small) following which parent they prefer.
5. As opposed to Mohammedan custom there is no bar to the marriage of the respondent and corespondent.
6. Remarriage following on divorce after an exposure of adultery is not unusual, and should infidelity be repeated the same fine is imposed as before. After three separate cases of misconduct the Court would probably prohibit parties to re-marry.
7. An old custom is that of prarang, a prohibition exercised on alleged adulterers when the proof of guilt is insufficient; by this means a divorced petitioner can apply to restrain the alleged respondent and co-respondent from marrying and if they do so (gayap) merely demanding, when a young man and girl have reached a certain stage of intimacy, that marriage should follow as a matter of course (cf. also XX, 1).
2. It is however a recognised forinality, before marrying, for the suitor to ask the consent of the girls parents, who had they any objections would have naturally stopped the courtship at an early stage of the proceedings.
3. There are however certain districts where courtship is made more binding by the exchange of gifts between the lovers and should the man commit a Breackh of Promise he is liable to a fine imposed by the Penghulu of about a jabir or in the Court 10 katis (RM7.20): but such cases are infrequent.
4. No instance of a woman being sued by a suitor for a breach of promise of marriage can be traced.
VI. MARRIAGE ect. (this part will be publish latter)
IX. BIGAMY (BEBINI DUA)
1. The idea of bigamy differs from that of berangkat in that the Iatter offence designates the alienation of a husbands sole affections to another woman, whereas to constitute bigamy (bini dua) proof is required that the offender is constantly co-habitating and favouring both his wife and another woman. This is a very unusual offence, but the recognised fine in the Court is one picul (RM28.80) on both man and woman.
2. The prior union only is valid and before the offenders can live together, the first marriage must be dissolved and the divorce fine paid.
X. BOATS (PERAU)
1. War boats are usually built in common by a party of warriors under one tuai (elder), and in former days the first head obtained was the perquisite of the chief, while subsequent trophies were the property of whoever obtained them. No claims are nowadays allowed in the Courts for monetary shares on a cummunal war boat built for Government expeditions, as the labour expended on building it may be considered Government work.
2. In the event of a boat getting loose from its moorings owners must give a reasonable reward, according to the value of the boat, to the finder.
XI. BURIAL GROUNDS (TANAH PENDAM)
1. Any burial ground (pendam) is a hallowed spot to all Dayaks and desecration of a grave is keenly left by the relatives. Hence a person felling a tree so that it falls on to or disturbs a grave, would be asked to pay a pemali, besides any fine for carelessness or malicious intent, that the Court may deem fit to impose.
2. In burning off a clearing without taking due precautions to prevent fire spreading to an adjacent burial ground, the offender would also be liable for any damage done, besides incurring any other penalties demanded according to circum- stances.
3. It is customary to put aside various implements, jars or brassware (baiya) on the owners decease and to place them on the grave. Usually the goods are first rendered useless, but occasionally brass boxes, cash, or weapons are left intact. Theft of any of this property is a serious offence and punishable according to criminal law (see also XIX, 8).
XII. DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER (PETENAH / NYANGKA SEBARANG)
1. Under this heading may be grouped the three most important forms of slander:
(ii) Sangka or ngumbai ulun.
(iii) Sangka tau tepang.
2. Ninding—literally to be jealous, generally takes the form of sharp words or accusations by a married woman against someone whom she imagines to be alienating the affections of her husband. The fine for this offence should not exceed 10 katis (RM7.20), but more often the case is settled by the Penghulu or headman,
3. Sangka or ngumbai ulun is to call or claim a person as a slave, and the Court fine does not exceed 2() katis (RM14.40). According to old Dayak custom the penalty would be one alas.
4. Sangka tau tepang—accusing a person of possessing the power to bewitch and thereby to cause harm to persons, animals or property. This is considered a serious offence especially when the accused is addressed directly or by name. Defamation of this nature is uncommon and the fine usually exacted is 20 katis (RM 14.40).
5. Other cases of defamation would be punished according to their own merits.
XIII. DIVORCE (SARAK)
l. Dissolution of marriage can be obtained :
(i) By mutual consent of husband and wife.
(ii) By payment of a fine by either party.
(iii) By the desertion or infidelity of either party.
2. Divorce by mutual consent implies the offering by one party and the acceptance by the other of a petunggu (usually a ring or a bracelet)—but in order that there should be no mistakes, it is necessary for the head of the house, or at Ieast two other tuai to be present when the token is given.
3. Occasionally the petunggu is sent in charge of some headman by the husband to his wife living apart from him, and if she publicly accepts the pledge, the divorce is recognised.
4. Amongst the less civilized Dayaks a divorce is valid if the petunggu is accepted by the parents or even relations of the husband or wife.
5. Immediately on divorce the head of the house and other men of influence proceed to divide the property obtained during co-habitation of the divorced parties, and the settlement of this represents the final dissolution of the marriage tie.
6. A husband can divorce his wife at any time and for any reason on application to the Court or to his Penghulu by payment of 10 katis (RM7.20) to the Government, 10 katis (RM7.20) to the wife and 10 katis (RM7.20) for each child of the marriage incapable of fending for itself.
7. In the same way a wife can obtain a divorce from her husband by payment of a fine of 10 katis (RM7.20) to Government, and a wife is not called upon to make any further payment to her husband or children. The property is divided in each case as mentioned above.
8. There is no rule as to the custody of the children. If very young it is customary for the mother to assume custody, but when the children have reached years of discretion they are free to live with whichever parent they prefer.
9. In the Krian and some parts of the Saribas a father can disinherit a child from participating in any of his property by the payment to the child at the time of divorce of 10 katis (RM7.20) as mentioned above. But if he does not wish to disinherit he is not called upon to make any payment.
10. In other parts the payment of 10 katis for each child is recognised as maintenance money, and if the children later on assist their father or live with him they inherit his property.
1 1. An application for divorce can be made to the Court on the plea of desertion and can be granted at the option of the Court, but it is usual to require proof of entire desertion without payment of alimony for at least one year.
12. Sarak belega is a temporary divorce agreed upon by a newly married couple to avert the evil consequences of bad omens. A certain period of separation is fixed at the end of which the parties again co-habit, but if omens are still inauspicious, they usually prefer a mutal divorce.
13. In the event of a person refusing to co-habit after the belega has expired, he or she would incur the usual divorce fine.
XIV. DIVING (KE DALAM AI / KE LAM AI)
1. Diving (beselam) has from time immemorial represented trial by ordeal and the settlement of cases by this means has a religious significance indicating the intervention of the gods in the cause of justice. To this day a trial by diving is not unusual to settle small disputes, but its efficiency as a final court of justice is evidently warning, as the litigants often bring their case to the Court again.
2. It is not permitted for Penghulus to order diving to settle a case, and it is prohibited in criminal cases, such actions as adultery or paternity and in big land disputes.
3. If death of a diver should result from prolonged immer- soin, the litigants would be chargecl with manslaughter.
4. It is usual when cases have been settled by diving at some remote period, not to allow them to be reopened in Court.
XV. FISHING (NGINTI / BERIKAN)
1. No native is allowed to claim ownership of any stream or waterway, and there is no prohibition to anyone fishing any- where in any of the usual recognised modes.
2. Tuba fishing is usually confined to the streams in the neighbourhood of the participants but there is no objection to tuba fishing being practised anywhere provided previous applica- tion is made to those living on the stream to be poisoned.
3. Formerly stretches of water were reserved to certain houses (puntang az) and a fine was exacted on any trespasser, but this restriction is not recognised now.
4. Previous to tuba fishing warning must be given to all houses using the affected water, and any accidents arising from failure to carry out this rule are the responsibility of the fishers, who would have to compensate the sufferers and also incur a fine according to circumstances of not more than 20 katis (RM14.40).
5. In some streams it is customary to make fishing weirs (tampun); if these interfere with traffic or are dangerous to traders they can be ordered to be removed, and if accidents, or loss occur, the owner of the weir may be held responsible.
6. In some districts it is no offence for a passerby to take a fish off a set Iine, provided the owner is not near at hand, and he undertakes to re-bait the hook.
XVI. FRUIT TREES (BUAH)
1. The ownership of fruit trees approximates to our own estimation of landed proprietorship. It is known that land itself confers no rights on a Dayak (see XIX), therefore the only tangible mark of a long ancestry is the ownership of old fruit trees particularly durian, sibau or lensat trees. Fruit trees may be defined as of three kinds :
(a) Those planted by design.
(b) Those accidentally grown.
(c) Those reclaimed from jungle by clearing.
2. Properly planted fruit gardens are not common, but in any case would be the sole property of the originator.
3. Around every house a fruit grove soon appears, and the trees which spring up in the plot of land adjacent to each room (tapak bilek) are the property of the owners of the room and their heirs and successors long after the house has disappeared.
4. Occasionally fruit trees grow up round a farming hut, on land that has been borrowed. It is customary for these trees to become the property of the original occupier of the hut, unless the proprietor of the land makes a claim before the trees have reached any size; in the latter case Dayaks usually consider the farmer and the land owner to have equal rights to the trees.
5. By a regulation of His Highness the Rajah the Court does not recognize claims to jungle fruit trees or even to bee- bearing trees (tapang), though formerly the act of clearing round such a tree would constitute ownership. Disputes about such trees are settled by the elders.
6. In the opinion of many headmen, engkabang (illipe nut) trees that were planted ages ago should also come under the above restriction, and it is further commonly arranged amongst natives that the fruit from engkabang trees sha1l not be picked but that the fallen fruit can be gathered from the ground by anyone who pleases, and wherever possible this is upheld by the Court.
7. Prosecution for theft of fruit can only be taken when the fruit has been stolen from the tree. It is well-known custom amongst Dayaks that all fallen fruit is communal property, and even Malays and Chinese take much advantage of this custom in the fruit season.
8. It is an understood rule that no fruit trees are allowed to be planted by those farming on Government or communal land. And if anyone plants fruit trees on what is recognised as farming land, no responsibility attaches if the trees are accidentally burnt by anyone farming near at hand.
9. The fruit trees belonging those who have moved out of the district, revert to Government and are usually regarded as communal, unless the owners obtain permission to sell or bestow their groves on some kinsman (see Order 1. dated Aug. lOth 1899).
XVVI. HOUSES (ADAT BERUMAH)
1. The only point under this head which may be considered here, is the penalty required before removing from one house to another. As the people live in long communal houses the removal of one family, taking with them the structural material of their room, naturally causes an ugly break in the house. As far as can be ascertained only the Balau and Banting Dayaks refuse to allow the roof ridge or thatch of the house to be disturbed. The person removing may take the walls and flooring alone, and the head of the house provides the fowl for the genselan or propitiatory offering.
2. Amongst all other tribes there seems to be no law prohibiting a person to carry away everything and break the house into two provided a penti rumah is given of one pig (or two fowls), a beliung axe and a parang.
3. This ancient customis much complained of by all head- rnen, and is undoubtedly a bar to any progress in the manner of building.
4. Tt is the duty and responsibility of the family removing to take care that no damage is occasioned the rooms on either side by the removal of any part of their structure.
XVIII. INCEST (JADI MELAKI BINI/ BELEMAN SALAH SERAK)
1. Incest has a much wider significance amongst Dayaks Iban amongst others, and they include persons in no way connected by ties of blood. The principal degrees of prohibited relationship are :
A grandparent with a grandchild.
A parent with a son or daughter.
A step-parent with a stepson or daughter.
A parent-in-law with a son or daughter-in-law.
A brother with a sister.
Half-brother with a half-sister.
An uncle with his niece.
A nephew with his niece.
A nephew with his aunt.
A father or mother with adopted children.
A brother with a sister by adoption.
A step-brother with a step-sister (only if they were nursed at the same breast.)
2. The punishment for the above offences in former days would appear to have been a horrible death, and the pemali or plasi menoa, the propitiatory sacrifice to the gods always demanded by the neighbours, ranged from nine pigs to seven pigs for each offender with other articles such as parang, bliong, blanket etc. in accordance with the custom of the particular tribe concerned.
3. The punishment now imposed upon the male criminal for any of these offences is imprisonment not exceeding five years.
4. The females penalty is usually a fine or imprisonment on a scale equivalent to one half the penalty imposed on the male.
5. First cousins apparently are in no way barred from marriage or intercourse, though some tribes dispute this; but in the event of a man or woman marrying the daughter or son of his first cousin, there would be required from them the penalty of a plasi menoa in order to remove the stigma of relationship. This custom applies to cousins of four generations.
6. Illicit intercourse between a brother and sister-in-law is punishable by a fine of one picul (RM28.80) on each offender, but there is no bar to marriage if a pemali is paid to those Iiving in their neighbourhood.
7. There is no objection to the marriage of a deceased wifes sister.
XIX. LAND (ADAT TANAH)
1. Paddy being the staple means of livelihood, it is natural that Ianded property should represent a good deal of his wealth, and that the matter of a few fathoms more or less should be the cause of much litigation. The system of land tenure still upholds the traditional law of former days, with modifications and restrictions necessitated by an enlightened rule.
2. Theoretically, afl land, whether jungle or cleared for paddy farming, is the property of the State.
3. Practically, the mere act of clearing a portion of virgin jungle confers on the labourer a restricted right of proprietorship over the land thus reclaimed: and once this land has been farmed and so become temuda it is recognised and reserved for the use of the original worker and his heirs and descendants. The Rights of the State are recognised in the fact that land reserved for paddy farming cannot be sold by anyone, and that it is necessary to obtain permission of a Magistrate before any transfer of land can take place.
4. Consequently as frequently happens when a Dayak family removes to another district, the land farmed by them reverts to the State, and is usually set aside for the benefit of the general community or to help those who are otherwise lacking in land. It is also a rule in the Second Division that farming land can only be lent to others, as any leasing or demanding rent (without permission) would be an infringement of the State Rights.
5. There are no restrictions to anyone felling jungle, pro- vided he does not destroy valuable trees such as gutta, and vege- table tallow (engkabang or katio), but it is a generally understood right that the owner of temuda has first claim to jungle land bordering on his clearing, and no one would felI such jungle with- out permission.
6. In certain cases where clearing has continued until a piece of jungle is left with temuda all round it, this so called pulau is usually divided or held as common land amongst the owners of the clearings near by, and it is rarely felled, but planted with fruit trees, gutta, or rattans.
7. It is a general regulation that a house may be built on any suitable land and nobody can prohibit this, but to prevent disputes as regards fowls straying into adjacent farming land, and to restrict the planting of fruit groves, it is usual to fix a certain area round the house beyond which the inmates have no rights or claims. This enclosure, known as payong rumah, is at least 20 fathoms all round, measured from the outside posts of the house, and often more by mutual arrangement.
8. In former days when a chief died, a taboo was placed on certain land (as well as water), and his followers were forbidden to farm it except by payment of a heavy tax until a trophy of a head had been obtained in warfare with which to remove the mouming (ulit). As this custom entailed considerable hard- ships on some people and was also an excuse for head-hunting. His Highness the Rajah on May l7th 1868 decided that the system of tanah ulit was to cease (see also V, 12).
9. Occasionally stretches of land known as tanah antu are to be met with, which from some cause or other have obtained an evil reputation, and until the antu have been appeased by a propitiatory feast and the witch doctors (manang) have decided that the land is free, no one would dare to farm it. It is usual for aIl who have participated in the expenses of such a feast to have rights over the land.
10. Nowadays certain progressives have planted portions of their clearings with sago, rubber or coconuts, etc., and there would be no objection to the sale or transfer of these gardens provided the sa1es do not infringe any of the Orders in force (see also XVJ, 8).
the proper and more respectable ceremony is that of melah pinang (cf. also vIII, 1-4).
2. No dowry is expected from either bride or bridegroom, and parents have little control over the desires of their children. Furthermore if any interference is proved with intent to cause trouble between husband and wife, the naeddlesome individual is fined a sum not exceeding 10 katis (RM7.20).
3. If a man goes to live with his bride at her home directly after marriage, he is not supposed to leave against his wifes wishes, and if he should do so and further refuses to return to her home at her supplication, she is entitled to sue him for desertion. The same rule applies to a wife if her husband brings her to his home in the first instance (see also V, 12).
XXI. PATERNITY (NUNTUNGKA KANDUNG)
1. An unmarried woman on becoming pregnant is requested to give the name of her seducer to the head of the house. The man named is then asked to marry her, and if he knowledges paternity but refuses marriage he is fined 30 katis (RM21.60); 10 katis of which is paid to the woman; 10 katis for the child, and 1 0 katis to the Court.
2. The child has no legal claim to any of his fathers pro- perty but there may be exceptions (see XXII, 8).
3. If a woman postpones naming her seducer until three months or more after the first symptoms of pregnancy, and her nominee rejects her accusation, she lays herself open to the suspi- cion of naming anyone as a scapegoat, and her claim would probably be discredited.
4. In the event of a woman being unable or unwilling to name the author of her condition, she incurs no penalty, but is obliged to kll a pig as penwli to those in her house.
XXII. PROPERTY (PESAKA / RETA TENGKIRA)
1. Movable property may be obtained either.
(a) by Inheritance;
(b) by Individuai efforts.
2. Wills are unknown, but inheritance follows certain weIl- defined lines, the fundamental rule of which is that heirloorns (pesaka) always descend to the next of kin both male and female (cf. also 1V, 4).
3. It should be noted also that the property inherited by a woman is her own personai property, and a husband has no right of disposal over it.
4. The property of a husband and wife reverts on their deaths to their children, who is theory should receive equal shares. It is not however unusual, where a valuable jar forms the bulk of the inheritance, for the jar to be placed intact in the charge of the eldest child male or female, an undertaking being naade to refund the others shares when he is able to. On his death, the heirlooms would be placed in the custody of his heir, with the proviso that it is not to be sold or disposed of.
5. It often happens that the family is broken up owing to marriage or other causes; the property is then usually divided and those leaving the ancestral room take their shares with them. Occasionally the whole family is split up and all the heritage is divided out, but in this case the father and mother retain a certain portion of their property (an old jar, or some brassware, according to arrangement) which is known as lanting; and this share is kept as a reserve fund, to support their old age, and is considered as compensation to anyone who has tended their old old age, and watched over their death bed. Others are supposed to have no claim on the lanting.
6. Legally adopted children have the same rights of inheri- tance as real children (see also IV, 1.4).
7. In the event of a person dying childless (punas) the pro- perty would be inherited by the nearest heirs. Thus in the case of deceaseds nearest being his brothers and sisters, they would inherit the property in equal shares.
8. According to old custom, illegitimate children would have a certain claim on the fathers property, if he has acknowledged the paternity (although the mother was refused marriage) and if the child has lived with hiin, and assisted in the upkeep of his room. But the estate would have to be shared with the issue of any subsequent legal union. Nowadays such cases are rare as the recognition of illegitimate offspring is practically settled by the paternity case brought forward by the mother (cf. also XXI, 2-3).
9. It is the custom to hand over all his inherited property and a share of the property obtained by himself, to the children of his first marriage, before marrying again; retaining, if a man of means, an old jar or an equivalent as lanting for himself. In some districts however a custom has crept in by which the pay- ment of a pemali of 10 katis at the time of divorce may disinherit the children (see XIII, 9): but even then if the children return to the father and live with him, he would almost invariably regard them as his heirs.
10. It is not unusual for wealthy people to destroy valuable jars over the grave of a member of the family. This is known as baiya and is done with the mutual consent of the kinsmen.
11. Mohammedan law debars a convert from inheriting the property of one of another faith, and by a local order of His Highness the Rajah dated 23rd July 191 3: any Dayak woman marrying (or living with) Chinese will forfeit the right of claiming the hereditary property belonging to her family. This order presumably would not affect Dayak women who return to their families and a Dayak life, after marriage with a Chinaman.
1 2. The so-called new property (pesaka baru) is anything obtained by the common efforts of a husband and wife or of those living in the same room. It is presumed for general purposes that all capable of work, living and feeding together, are entitled to equal shares in any profit. On death or divorce this property is divided by the headmen.
1 3. It often happens that a man goes away to make money leaving a wife, and on returning decides to divorce her (cf. V, 1 1). If the latter claims a share of his earnings it is usually decided in consideration of her offices in tending the room or keeping the family during his absence, to grant her 1 / 3 of the property or cash he brings back with him.
XXIII. SPOILS OF WAR (ANTU PALA, PERPASAN / TANGKAP)
1. Cases relating to the ownership or division of head trophies (antu pala) or loot (pepasan) taken in warfare are rarely, if ever, received in the Residents Court, but are usually referred to the arbitration of a committee of headmen.
XXIV. SUICIDE (MUNUH DIRI)
1. Suicide is not uncommon and especially amongst woman, who for some reason or other are deserted by their lovers. The alrnost invariable form of suicide is by drinking tuba water, and though felo-de-se does not appear to bear the same stigma that it does amongst Europeans, if a person cause another to commit suicide, he or she is held guilty of this death and is usually fined two piculs (RM57.60). half of which goes to the nearest relatives of the deceased person, and half to the Court.
2. It should be mentioned, however, that in the Court Book for July 1 867 there is a statement made to the effect that three jars is considered correct compensation when anyone eats tuba on account of the offences of another person; but it is added this is not a fixed law, as many extenuating circumstances may be in favour of the delinquent.
XXV. TRAPS (PANGKA PETI / SINTAK PANJUK ORANG)
1. Pig traps (peti) were in common use from very early times, their primary use being to protect paddy fields and gardens against the ravages of wild pigs and deer.
2. It was always customary to let the public know where such traps were set and to place pelepa or sigus near the spot. In the event of anyone being killed or wounded by a trap the owner was liable for compensation.
3. By Order dated October 27th 1884, the setting of pigs traps was made illegal, offenders being liable to a fine of RM20; and this is understood to include the planting of sharp pieces of wood in the ground (suda or tukak), or the fixing of any snares calculated to cause bodily harm.
4. The fine for setting a pig trap in the Second Division is usually 20 katis (RM14.40), but in cases where a person receives injury or temporary disablement for any period exceeding one calendar month, the fine imposed is one picul (RM28.80) and the Court fixes reasonable compensation for the injured party.
5. On July l4th 1867 His Highness the Rajah upheld the decision of the Skrang and Batang Lupar Dayak chiefs that three jars was the penalty for a person killed by peti or jerungkang.
6. On December 2nd 1887 at Saratok, a prisoner was convicted of causing the death of another by a pig trap and fined 3 piculs (RM100.80); of this 2 piculs were paid to the relatives as blood money (pati nyawa) and 1 piculs to the Court. (N.B. An extra half picul was imposed, as no warning had been given that the trap was set in this instance).