This Sabah ethnic majority has two language dialects and a variety of cultures as well as customs. They live on Sabah west coast in the districts of Penampang, Papar, Tuaran, Kota Belud and Ranau, as well as in the districts of Tambunan and Keningau in the interior. Most of them are traditional farmers that cultivate field paddy and hill paddy. Some are hunters and catch river fish.
Sogit is akin to law, acts as summon with compensation paid by the guilty. The compensation is normally in the form of anaimals like pig, caribou, cow, goat or chicken. As an example, sogit is imposed on a man that disturbs a virgin girl or a married woman.
Among the offences that can be fined for sogit are:
1. Stealing crops or livestock animal
2. Damaging crops
3. Killing livestock animal
5. Running away a girl secretly
If a girl is disturbed by a man and gets pregnant before marriage then the responsible man must get his family and the village head to discuss about agreement if the man wants to marry the said girl. If the man refuses to marry then he has to pay compensation according to the girl family request. If the girl wants the man to marry her, then the man must abide by the girl request. The amount of sogit must be above RM1,000 with traditional items. Marriage equipments and items need to be prepared too even if both parties do not wish to get married.
THE SOGIT FINES
a) The Fine For A Divorce
If a husband were to divorce his wife then he has to support and prepare all his ex-wife expenses including that of their children.
b) The Fine of Grandparents
If a grandchild was embarrassed then the grandparents need to be compensated. A girl family is prioritized over a man family.
c) The Previous Fine
This fine is strict as death penalty is imposed if there is an out-of-marriage relation without taking into account the guilty. The couple is placed in a basket and dumped into the river. This kind of fine is no longer imposed.
Kompleks JKKN Sabah,
KM 4, Jalan Penampang,
88200 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Tel : 088 237052
Faks : 088 242 052