Law Society wants to participate in resolving Land Code issues

National 1 minute, 46 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Brunei Law Society is looking to work with the Ministry of Development to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the Land Code.

In an open message to the ministry yesterday at the opening of the Legal Year 2016 held at the Supreme Court building in the capital, the president of the Brunei Law Society, requested the authorities to include the Law Society in any discussions related to the amendment of the Land Code.

“Since March 2012 till today, issues pertaining to ownership and transfer of land has remained ambiguous which will turn away potential investors looking at our beloved country,” Rozaiman DSLJ Abd Rahman said.

“Today, with the recent change of the minister of development, I am sending an open message to the relevant authorities to humbly reiterate that the Law Society is requesting to be invited to any discussions governing the amendments to the Land Code,” he said.

Previously at a seminar in Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Mohd Rozaiman had reiterated that the ambiguity of the law would only turn away potential investors as Brunei opens up its market to foreign direct investors.

“The rule of law provides that the Land Code is the law that governs all land matters in Brunei and thus, the authorities dealing with it must fully adhere to the law that is in place,” he said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Mohd Rozaiman said that since 2012, the authorities have been adamant that they would only recognise ownership between Bruneian nationals and not beneficial ownership in land from non-locals while the courts recognise legal and beneficial ownership of land.

Prior to 2012, foreign nationals had purchased land through locals as the legal owners and the foreign nationals as the beneficiary owners of the land which was recognised as legal by the court.

“In 2012, the authorities said that they would be amending the Land Code to reflect their new stance but until today, the amendment proposals has not seen the light of day. We as the Law Society would like to be part of the discussions to understand the amended Land Code,” he said.

The Brunei Times