100 Years of Modern Land Administration

Today will be held a special symposium to mark 100 years of modern land administration in Brunei. It will be held at the Kiulap Plaza Hotel.

Land Department itself is not 100 years old. It was formed in the early 1960s. Prior to that, it was the District Offices with special District Land Officers working in the district offices that determined whether or not you could have your land application approved. So the symposium is not celebrating 100 years of Land Department but 100 years of modern land administration - or rather the Land Code which was enforced in 1909. Before the land code of 1909, all land was either Crown Land (Kerajaan) or appanage land (held by high ranking nobles who were awarded "sacred" titles by the sultan) (Tulin), or private-heirloom land (held primarily by high-ranking nobles) (Kuripan). Today any land not under private title is state land. Only citizens are allowed to own land.

Rather than invent the wheel, here is what the Commissioner of Land said about the symposium.

"Globally, land remains an important asset to any nation. The demand for land between competing users for economic growth calls for better land management and administration.

Land requires better management and administration. The types of development, number and varieties of players involved in land are strongly linked to the socio-economic and political considerations. Proper land planning, land management and administration are required and must be supported by an evolving and dynamic national land policy and strong political will.

In addition, the land has to be administered to secure the ownerships for prosperous economic growth and national political stability. With the advancement of new technologies, information and data management in land administration and management are now less tedious. ICT evolution has paved the way for a dynamic and progressive land management and administration.

The Symposium will be organized into Sub-themes, namely;

•Issues in Land Ownership - Deals with issues on ownerships, securing the land rights, rights of landowners to develop, multi-ownerships.
•Spatial planning and Development - Role and contributions of land administrators, land use management with planning, land values and land policies, optimization of land use through land regeneration, land realignment/ readjustment, land consolidation and housing issues and sustainable development issues.
•Regulating the Land Market - Public and private partnership for economic growth, land market in support of economic growth, importance of land values in decision-making and land policy formulations.
•Land Taxation - Impact and contribution of land and property taxation for national socio-economic growth, IT development in land administration, management and revenue collections.
•ICT,E-government, GIS in land administration and land management.
•Education and Training for Land Administrators (Human Resource Development HRD)."

The International Symposium entitled "Towards A Progressive Land Administration and Management" will be held over two days on 11th and 12th November and will be officially launched by the Minister of Development. A number of speakers will be giving their papers including Professor Ian Williamson who is an Australian expert on land issues, Assoc Professor Dr Haji Awang Asbol of UBD who will be talking about the history of land develoment, Lim Hooi Siang, the current consultant for Municipal Board and Puan Adibah Awang, a Geoinformation Science and Engineering Lecturer from UTM. Other Brunei speakers from TCP, Forestry etc will be there as well. I was invited to speak but the time was not there to prepare a thoroughly researched paper, so I had to decline at the last minute. Though I will join a forum panel on the second day.

I will try to get a gist of the papers and post them here.


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