When it comes to legendary Sabahans, whose very name has entered the local vocabulary, it must be Gintak Gabui.
In 1990, perhaps even earlier, Gintak, then 70, was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl.
That gained him instant infamy. Everybody talked about him, and his name came to mean the act of raping / worse, usually said with a snigger, often followed by maniacal laughter.
When he was on trial, many people reportedly congregrated in courtrooms to catch a glimpe of the infamous man, to which he once allegedly said the immortal words:
Meaning: please, my fans, be patient.
When I climbed mount Kinabalu in 1990, I even saw his name spraypainted on a rock face near the summit.
I remember seeing a grainy picture of him in one of the newspapers then. I am not sure if he’s still alive; if he is, he’d be about 90 years old now.
The only person whose time in the limelight is remotely comparable to him is Tausang @ Tingal Sagunting, a rubber tapper, who was on trial in 2007 for allegedly raping an 18-year old girl in August 2004, at a rubber plantation in Kampung Laputong, Tamparuli (hence, “the mattress” was not exhibited in court I suppose). As a result she got pregnant and gave birth to a boy. He was then 77. The late Tausang caused a stir when he refused lawyers and instead conducted his own defence, in Dusun language no less.
When the trial got underway he was about 80 years old, probably the oldest ever person in Malaysia ever to be charged with rape.
He uttered two immortal sentences, reported in the newspapers:
Saya tidak akun rogol, sebab saya suka sama suka, sama dia, saya tidak dapat kacau sama dia, kalau bukan kerana sinta.
Meaning: I do not admit raping her, because the act was consensual. I would not be able to “disturb” her if we didn’t love each other.
Nokuro tu au dau pinoruput tontok do korogol, soira pod minontian om man nogi dau poruputo?
Meaning: Why didn’t the woman make a police report when she was raped? Why did she make the report only when she found out she was pregnant?
He was eventually found not guilty, and died about a month after that in his sleep.
Even now, there are more google search results on “gintak gabui” as compared to “tausang sagunting.”