Judge hears Tambunan case fully armed
Published on: Saturday, October 09, 2021
By: British North Borneo Herald
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JUNE 1ST, 1938 

The Acting District Officer, Interior, visited Tambunan early in the month to hear a case of alleged murder as Sessions Judge. 

Our visitor came armed with some No. 8 cartridges purchased specially for the benefit of the Tambunan snipe. Two guns produced a bag of three, in a hectic evening’s sport. Hectic at any rate from the spectator’s point of view. 

Talking about views there is certainly a wonderful one from the ranges on the Sensuron Penampang trace over which we did a trip in April. 

The sea and coast line appear like an aerial photo. Having climbed on a stump to view this sight we felt rather like a depressed Columbus since Jesselton looked at least a week’s journey away. 

Tambunan held a Main Januari on Easter Saturday, April 16th. Our publicity department had been hard at work a month previous to the day so it was a well-attended show. 

The morning was devoted to the more serious events, running, jumping, etc. The high jump was won by a dark horse named Tanjim from the plain. 

He cleared 5 feet with ease and a loud shout, but discovering that he had Won, immediately became modest and refused to show us exactly how high he could jump. 

Pillow fighting drew a crowd of competitors after the ice was broken and modesty forgotten. 

The sacks produced for the battle looked fine but the bamboo handle of one could be easily felt mixed up with the straw of the hitting end. 

One could almost imagine the competitors saying “Your bird, I think, Sir”, as they politely proffered the soft sack to their opponents. 

After lunch the air on the padang could be described as slightly “meady” and there was no doubt that the Tambunan spirit of joie de vivre was manifesting itself. 

Musical “stalls” on buffaloes became pretty violent and the meaning and origin of ‘gate-crashing” and “horning-in” became very evident. It was about this time that the rain came on, but rain was no valid excuse for the market rush to the sulaps where the tapai was stored. After the rain stopped a buffalo race was held. 

Entries had been limited to ten only, because of our narrow racecourse. However, about fifty turned up and as starter we offered up thanks that at least the buffaloes were sober. 

The jockeys being agreeable all competitors were lined up in rows at the post. 

Off they went and no big game photographer could beat the sight of those fifty sterns going down the course. 

The finish was, to say the least, dangerous, and was viewed by the judges from a distance. The winning jockey, however, made such a noise that there was no difficulty in recognising him! 

The pony races were held over a course said to be seven furlongs. 

All finishes were close and exciting especially the 1st race where only a nose separated the first two ponies. 

As judge cum starter we sorrowed to heart an implication as to whereabouts we had put our money in this race, especially as our own pony had been left at the post. 

After the prizes had been distributed in the evening a dindang was officially declared open, notwithstanding the fact that some of our brighter spirits had already been dancing since mid-day! We left them all still dindanging at about 11 p.m. and since there were no police reports the next day it must have been a good show. 


It will be of interest to record that Soya beans grow in Keningau District. With the assistance and advice of the Officers of the Department of Agriculture, a special attempt is being made to get the natives to plant this “rich-in-vitamins” bean, the present crops, of course, are planted by the Chinese small-holders. As a start, all the Vernacular schools, in the district have planted Soya beans. 

The Badminton vogue has now reached Keningau and a court having been laid out, everybody who can, indulges in main burong whenever the stormy wind does not blow. 

On the principle of keeping the tit-bit till the end, we would also record that at a long last the leading Chinese tauki of Keningau has actually started painting his shop buildings. Let us hope it will not be long before the remaining shopkeepers follow suit. 


Mr S G Hill left on the 2nd May, proceeding on a well-earned furlough. In his honour a Chinese dinner and dindang were given, and innumerable crackers let off. 

Mr Hill has been in charge of the district for over two years, and perhaps the new incumbent, having himself been stationed here in 1933 to 1934, may be permitted to say what immense improvements in many directions have been effected in Mr Hill’s regime. In particular, the township is a most pleasing sight and when improvements are finally completed, should combine the advantages of a garden city with a health trading centre. The local shopkeepers aided and abetted by Mr Hill, have set a standard far beyond anything that we have seen in any other station. 

The District Agricultural Officer and a Veterinary Surgeon lent from the Philippine Islands arrived here on the 30th April, and are conducting active investigation into the Surra epidemic. The office compound is temporarily a horse hospital. They have been able to recommend some alleviation of the restrictions on inter-kampong movements of animals within the infected areas, which will help local trade and transport. 

The rainfall has been abnormally heavy for the time of the year and once more the seasons appear to be certain to be upset. Apart from agriculture, the efforts to solve the Gorong Gorong and Tempasuk river water problem have had to be suspended. 

An extremely severe thunderstorm burst over the Krah plain recently and both the attaped bridges were struck by lightning one being virtually destroyed.

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