Ngah Gafur

Batu Gajah, British Malaya

Cause of death Executed
Penalty Sentenced to death
Attack information
Date December 14, 1898
Location(s) Bota, British Malaya
Target(s) Family
Killed 7
Injured 2
Weapon(s) Spear
Melee weapon

Ngah Gafur (also identified as Ghafur) was a Malay who killed seven people and wounded two others in Bota, British Malaya on December 14, 1898 and the following days.[1]

Gafur, who was between 35 and 40 years old, had marital problems with his wife for several years, and she eventually wanted to get a divorce. On the afternoon of December 14 he left his house, where he lived alone, made his way to the home of his mother-in-law, fetched his two sons aged seven and four, and subsequently went with them to the nearby house of his wife.

There a dispute arose between the two about the future custody of the children, during which Gafur first killed the children and then his wife. He also set her house on fire, injured his mother-in-law, who tried to intervene, by hacking her in the shoulder, and killed his wife's grandmother by slashing her twice in the neck when she rushed to the scene. Gafur then proceeded to kill his sister-in-law, who was about nine years old, and attacked a neighbouring woman, whom he fatally stabbed six times with a spear. Afterwards he fled towards Teronoh.

About a mile and a half down the road, not far from the footpath, he came across an old man residing alone in a hut. Gafur killed him by stabbing him in the back, set the dwelling on fire, and then fled into the jungle. He was sought by police, but eluded capture for several days, setting fire to two more houses on his way, and seriously injuring a Dayak constable who tried to arrest him.[2][3]

Gafur was eventually taken into custody and brought to Batu Gajah,[4][5] where he was hanged a few months later.[6]


  • His wife
  • His son, 7
  • His son, 4
  • His grandmother-in-law
  • His sister-in-law, 9
  • A neighbouring woman
  • An old man

Wounded were his mother-in-law and a policeman.


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