Statue of Ontoros Antanom in Tenom.

Antanum or Antanom (full name Ontoros Antanom) (1885-1915) was a famous and influential Murut warrior from North Borneo (now Sabah), Malaysia who according to local oral history claimed to have supernatural powers. Because of this he was able to receive support from the chiefs and villagers from around the villages of Keningau, Tenom, Pensiangan and Rundum and led the Rundum uprising against the British North Borneo Company but was killed during fighting with the company army in Sungai Selangit near Pensiangan.[1]

Rundum revolt

Under the administration of British Chartered North Borneo Company (BCNBC), besides imposing many taxes which the locals never heard of, the British also forced every Murut couple who had two children to give up one of them as forced labour.

Running out of tolerance, Ontoros Antonom gathered nearly a thousand of Murut warriors from Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan to fight the British empire in 1915. The British officers were totally shocked when hundreds of Murut flooded their administration building and attacked them. Ontoros Antonom built a few strongholds with underground tunnels and houses.

In April 1915, the British sent 400 soldiers equipped with firearms to counterattack. Though the Muruts were only using their primitive weapons such as blowpipes, swords and spears, the British army failed to take them down. Therefore, they set a trap by offering a peace talk at Rundum. When Ontoros Antonom and his followers were on their way to the venue, hundreds of British soldiers surrounded them and arrested them. Later Ontoros Antonom was executed.[2]


  1. Regina Lim; Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (2008), Federal-state relations in Sabah, Malaysia: the Berjaya administration, 1976-85, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, p. 29, ISBN 978-981-230-812-2
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