Naning in Melaka

Monograph 16
Naning in Melaka
By Jonathan Cave
767pp. Size: 180x260mm. Hardcover

Naning refers to a territory that occupies twenty-five mukims or parishes across the northern part of the State of Melaka and brushes on its northern boundary with Rembau and Tampin, which are constituent states of the Negri Sembilan. Southwards downriver are the mukims such as Beringin, Durian Tunggal and Kesang. Naning has an area of some 220 square miles and is the most southerly of the Districts or Luak where the Adat Perpatih obtains. However it was politically disjointed from its cousins in Negri Sembilan by four and a half centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British presence in Malacca.

"The history of Naning is up-dated until Merdeka. A survey of the social, economic and political conditions after the War and Merdeka provides invaluable information on contemporary events, as seen from the Naning angle. This is perhaps the most significant aspect of the work as a whole; it is partly a Malaysian history as seen by the Naning man, and Jonathan Cave certainly qualifies to be that person. The capacity of the rural folk of Naning to remain independent and survive over four hundred years of real colonialism is a tribute to their Adat system, and in Naning in Melaka, we are provided with some real insight into this dynamic structure."

Prof. Dato' Zainal Kling

About the Author:

J.E.M. Cave was born in July 1913. He studied Modern History at Brasenose College, Ocford and took an Honours degree in 1934. After four years as a Senior History Master, he volunteered to serve in the Royal Armoured Corps and took part in the famous 'Normandy Landing' on 'D-Day'. He continued to serve in Northwest Europe and was awarded the Military Cross. Cave joined the Malayan Civil Service in March 1946. In 1949, when he was holding the post of Collector of Land Revenue Malacca, he was sent to Oxford to attend a 'Devonshire Course' arranged by the Colonial Office. He had proposed as his subject of study 'Adat Naning' - the 'Customs and Traditions of Naning'. After the course, Cave went back to Malaya as Collector of Land Revenue Malacca from 1950 to 1953. Cave awarded the O.B.E. shortly before leaving the MCS in 1959. After 1959, Cave qualified as a solicitor and joined a country practice whose staple was convenyancing with land use, management and legislation probate and inheritance and family law. Eventual retirement afforded him leisure to pursue further research at the India Office Library and elsewhere and to travel to Malaysia again on two separate occasions, revisiting Alor Gajah and Naning each time after a prolonged absence.

Contents: List of Dato’ Penghulu Naning Sri Raja Merah

Book One: The History

  1. Early Times and the Malacca Sultanate
  2. The Portuguese Era
  3. The Dutch East India Company
  4. The Establishment of British Rule
  5. Land and Revenue Questions
  6. The Question of Jurisdiction
  7. The War
  8. The Post-War Settlement
  9. The English East India Company’s Administration
  10. The India Office
  11. The Early Year under the Colonial Office
  12. The Winds of Change
  13. The Reforming Legislation
  14. The District Administration
  15. ‘Prosperity and Peace in this Fertile Corner’
  16. Depression, Restriction, War, Emergency and Independence

Book Two: The Custom

  1. The Literary Approach
  2. Village Authority: the Family, Clan and its Inheritance
  3. Marriage and Marital Possessions
  4. Dissolution of Marriage
  5. Clan Membership and Adoption
  6. The Hierarchy, its Jurisdiction and the Gap between Customary and Statute Law
  7. The Naning Community

Book Three: The New Independence

  1. Political Currents
  2. The Custome and Change
Sources and Authorities

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