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Improving land office delivery system
14/07/2006 The Sun - Law & Realty By Nicole Tan

I remember first setting my eyes on a “Piagam Pelanggan” or Client’s Charter in a Land Office about a few years ago. I felt my heart strangely warmed. Some of the promises given in the Client’s Charter were as follows:-

(i) to process all registration of dealings within 14 days;

(ii) to issue Official Search Certificates within the same day;

(iii) to issue certified true copies of the computerised title within the same day;

(iv) to register new titles within one (1) month;

(v) register lost titles within three (3) months; etc.

The Land Office also exhibited another board of “Etika Kerja” or Work Ethics extolling their purported virtues, namely “adil” (just); “amanah” (trustworthy); “bersih” (clean); “berdisiplin” (disciplined); “mulia” (flawless); “bersikap sederhana” (moderate); “dedikasi” (dedicated); “efisyen” (efficient); “ikhlas” (genuine); “jujur” (honest); “kreatif” (creative); “sabar” (patient); “sentiasa bersyukur” (always giving thanks); “tekun” (diligent); “teliti” (meticulous); “tidak boleh putus asa” (never give up); and “mendahului masa” (ahead of time). It is noted that “mesra” is missing. Maybe the Land Office can add it in?

What makes a good Land Office? Are the above Charter and Work Ethics good enough? The answer is yes and no. Yes, if the Land Office can truly deliver and achieve the standards as purported. No, if there’s no check and balance system to ensure that the standards purported are achieved.

The Government launched the New Strategies for Land Administration Package on 2 March 2004 to expedite resolution of land cases. This strategic package contains 43 measures to improve land administration, including the re-engineering of existing work systems and processes, as well as the enhancement of related support services. As an immediate measure, 26 Flying Squads were established as at end of 2003 to resolve the backlog in land cases pertaining to the registration of dealings and non-dealings, land alienation, registration of strata titles and conversion from Qualified Title (QT) to Final Title (FT).

We understand that as at end of July 2004, a total of 238,177 outstanding cases or 73.1% of the backlog in the registration of dealings and non-dealings in 12 states were resolved. In the case of strata titles, 117 out of 3,948 development schemes have been cleared, while 32,225 cases of backlog in conversion of land titles from QT to FT were resolved.

Several other measures to improve land administration were also introduced, including the following:-

(i) provision that all technical agencies submit comments and recommendations on land applications within a maximum period of two weeks;

(ii) delegation by the respective State Government Executive Councils of its powers in selected areas of land administration;

(iii) filling of vacancies for critical posts in Land Offices; and

(iv) improving competency in land administration through courses in land law and administration, land survey, Global Positioning System (GPS) and AutoCAD provided by the National Land and Survey Institute (INSTUN).

Further, all ministries were to establish a Ministerial Task Force on Reducing Bureaucratic Red Tape to enhance the public service delivery system. The respective ministers head the Task Force, which meets once a month and focuses on the following:-

(i) improving existing systems and work procedures to ensure efficiency as well as to prevent abuse of power and corruption;

(ii) identifying, reviewing and amending rules and regulations that may hinder the effectiveness and smooth delivery of services;

(iii) reviewing and recommending enhancements to service standards as pledged in the Client’s Charter and act upon feedback received through the “Customer Satisfaction Form”; and

(iv) studying and determining the resource requirements to enhance the delivery of services to customers.

All the above is well and fine but in theory only. It is proposed that the Client’s Charter be made available or publicised to the public at large and to have a proper check and balance system in place in each and every land office. May be the Land Office should penalise themselves for not delivering on time like what McDonald’s did by giving you a pack free fries albeit small if they cannot deliver your order within the time promised. What is the point of having a Client’s Charter if they cannot fulfil the promises contained therein? By paying lip service is not enough. There must be proper implementation of the above measures.

Further, it would be good to have a window to the public at large by having a customer service counter. This counter shall serve as the Land Office window to the world. This would cut down a lot of unnecessary doubts and waiting. For eg, a first timer need not go to every counter and ask. I believe that such a counter is already in place in every Land Office. However, it is noted that the counter is empty most of the time. It would be good to ensure that the counter is manned continuously. If the person in charge goes for a tea break then another person should relieve that person. The person at the counter must exhibit all the virtues in the Work Ethics board including service with a smile.

At this point of time, nearly three years later, are we seeing any improvement in the land office delivery system? It is sad to note there are still the prevalent delays; even if there is speed, it is at the expense of accuracy; the system lacks personal touch and is not customer-friendly; and lack of transparency. Flying squads whither art thou? We need your help so desperately. The flying squads should fly in anonymously and pretend to be a client to gauge the real problems and situations that real clients are facing daily and as far as we are concerned, there’s a long way to El Dorado.

In the meantime it would be prudent to know that there are feedback or suggestion boxes in every land office. Please feel free to make the complaints (if any). Further, Prime Minister’s Department has also set up a Public Complaints Bureau or iAduan. Just fill up the user-friendly e-form which can be found in The beauty about the iAduan is that you can check on the status of your complaint as each complaint is given a number.

The writer is a member of the Conveyancing Practice Committee Bar Council Malaysia


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