Over 7,400 land ownership transfer processed since 2017, says minister

Aziz Idris

Over 7,400 submissions for land ownership transfer have been processed since 2017, with over 2,200 of which were processed last year.

From January to March this year, some 510 submissions were processed.

These figures were revealed by Minister of Development Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar in responding to a query by Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh on the delays and rejections of several applications from the Land Department regarding the transfer of land ownership process.

Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh earlier said the development of land and infrastructure plays a pivotal role in enriching the people’s quality of life and providing investments made by locals to benefit the country’s economic growth.

“However, there are still concerns from applicants on the long processing time for the transfer of land ownership or rejection from the Land Department without explanation.

“This has caused public grievances, especially among those who have applied for bank loans and elderly applicants,” the LegCo member said.

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Ong Tiong Oh at the session. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Putera Maharaja Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Ghani bin Pehin Datu Pekerma Dewa Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahim suggested improving the ‘wait time’ for  the processing of land ownership applications and updating the policies according to current needs.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi acknowledged the issue, saying “As a lead agency in this area, the Ministry of Development has set a strong record in executing land applications  with due diligence in particular to support the goals and aspirations of Brunei Vision 2035”.

“The ministry has reviewed and improved policies to demonstrate their resilience to socio-economic changes and seize new development opportunities,” he said.

The minister added that the processing time for transfer of land ownership has been shortened from 167 days (in 2020) to only 66 this year.

The Land Department will notify applicants immediately via SMS once the application has been approved, and every land ownership transfer will be processed by the Valuation Section of the Land Department according to set criteria which include geographical features of the land, scale and other information on earthworks.

Rejected applicants can also appeal directly to the Land Department.