Timothy Tye
Makam Dol Said's Grave, Malacca

The grave of the Dol Said (GPS: 2.45258, 102.18097), or Dato' Abdul Said, the 9th Penghulu, or headman, of Naning. Dol Said was the central figure in the Naning War of 1830-33. The troubles brewed up when the British Superintendent of Lands in Malacca (I only know his name as Lewis), together with Robert Fullerton who was the Governor of Penang (at that time, the British settlements of Malacca and Singapore were all reporting to Penang), together decided that Naning farmers should pay a tax to the Malacca administrators, amounting to a 10% of what they produced. They wanted the headman Dol Said to be the tax collector. At the same time, they wanted to pay him off with a pension as compensation for loss of revenue.

360° View of Dol Said's Grave on Google Maps Street View

Dol Said's Grave

Dol Said's Grave is on the map of Malacca

Dol Said was not too pleased with the deal. Until then, he enjoyed collecting a tax from the farmers that was above the 10% the British wanted to collect. On top of that, he could conscript free labour from the farmers whenever he pleased. To be a tax collector for the British means that he would lose his more lucrative revenue in return for a meagre pension. Also, it means that the British had effectively annexed Naning, which until then was part of Negri Sembilan, to become part of Malacca.

When Dol Said rejected the offer, the British were fearful that it would set a precedent for the residents of Malacca to also reject paying taxes. They sent a small army of soldiers to Taboh, near Simpang Ampat, to force Dol Said to summit. Dol Said fought back, and the resulting 11-month warfare became known as the Naning War. Initially, the British soldiers from Malacca suffered a defeat due to their lack of local knowledge. Also, there wasn't any roads there at that time, so it was hard to move the troops. In addition, Dol Said received support from the neighbouring state of Rembau. Other states such as Seri Menanti, Johol, Sungai Ujong and Muar also lent their support.

The British East India Company has to send more troops, totalling 1400 soldiers, to win the Naning War. They also made deals with the neighbouring districts, particularly Rembau, to isolate Dol Said. When the British attacked again, this time Dol Said received no support from the neighbouring states. He retreated to Sri Menanti Palace, where he surrendered. The British gave him a house in Malacca, and a pension. In his place, the British appointed a Superintendent and a new headman to be in charged of Naning. It cost the British £100,000 to administer Naning, more than the revenue generated by it.

The grave of Dol Said can still be seen today in the village of Taboh.

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