Ministry clears the air over land purchases with PA & TD

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The pressing issue on purchasing property or land through the Power of Attorney (PA) or Trust Deeds (TD) was highlighted once again at the 9th Legislative Council (LegCo) Meeting yesterday as several members requested for the move to be more transparent, Borneo Bulletin reported.

It was made clear by the Minister of Development, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi bin Hj Osman that equitable ownership using PA and TD is no longer recognised and all applications are disregarded.

“All property purchased through PA or Trust Deeds will be converted to temporary lease land which will not exceed 60 years and must be registered with the Land Department after the new regulations has taken effect.

“Currently, PA and TD are still widely used for land deals but are only limited to five years for land developers and 25 years for banks while other uses for PA and TD are not allowed,” explained the minister.

A decision was made for all instruments or documents holding PA and TD relating to the power and trust of possessing land jointly or under equitable ownership or individually in Brunei to be terminated.

All PA and TD will no longer be used for the purpose of buying and owning land. The ministry along with the Attorney General’s Chambers are in discussions to draft amendments on the Land Code and review new regulations that will benefit all parties.

“Whatever the outcome (from the discussion) all parties – either from the government, land owners, developers or investors -will not incur any loss,” he noted.

This also relates to the issue posed by YB Dato Paduka Awang Haji Abdullah bin Haji Mohd Jaafar on permanent residents and foreigners who have purchased properties or land through PA or TD. The minister also affirmed that properties in Brunei can only be owned by Brunei citizens hence .the purpose of terminating PA and TD is to stop giving land to ineligible individuals.

Meanwhile, YB Haji Awg Ahmad Morshidi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abdul Rahman queried on whether banks will be paid back after disbursing money on mortgage of land as security through PA and TD.

The minister said that owners of PA and TD are still allowed to request for temporary lease from banks.

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