Contact person for provided information:

Last modified on 18-May-2017

Hasnaliati Momin
Survey Department
Head of Cadastre Section
B.S.B. BB3510, Brunei Darussalam
survey (at)


Hjh Rusinah Hj Tengah

Survey Department

Head of Cadasre Information Section

B.S.B. BB3510, Brunei Darussalam

Part 1: Country Report

A. Country Context

A.1 Geographical Context

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Brunei Darussalam – in Borneo Island with Malaysia and Indonesia (states).

Brunei Darussalam is situated on the north-west of the island of Borneo, between east longitudes 114 degrees 04' and 114 degrees 23' and north latitudes of 4 degrees 00' and 5 degrees 05'. It has a total area of 5,765 with a coastline of about 161 km along the South China Sea. It is bounded on the North by the South China Sea and on all the other sides by Malaysian State of Sarawak.

By December 2014, Brunei with a population of 423,205 people, which represents an increasea of 17,205 people compared to 2013. The male population is greater, with 211,635 men, representing 50.66% of the total, compared to 206,149 or 50.66% women. Brunei shows a moderate population density, with 73 people per square km and it was in position 87th in our ranking of density population in 2014 .

The land surface is developed on bedrock of tertiary age comprising of sandstone, shale and clays. The terrain in the western part of Brunei Darussalam is predominantly hilly lowland below 91 metres, but rising in the hinterland to about 300 metres. The eastern part of the state consists predominantly of rugged mountain terrain, rising 1,850 metres above sea level at Bukit Pagon. The coast has a wide, tidal and swampy plain.

A.2 Historical Context

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The 1959 Constitution provides for The Sultan as the Head of State with full executive authority. The Sultan is assisted and advised by five councils - the Religious Council, the Privy Council, the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet), the Legislative Council and the Council of Succession

The 1959 Constitution established the Chief Minister as the highest official, with the British High Commissioner as adviser to the Government on all matters except those relating to the Muslim religion and Malay customs. Effectively, however, in all internal and financial matters, the country has been self-governing.

Land administration was first handled by the British Resident which has the power to issue the letter of ownership to land applicants until the "Declaration of Constitution" in 1959 where this power was given to His Majesty Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan Negara Brunei Darussalam through Sultan in Council.

A.3 Current Political and Administrative Structures

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Brunei is an independent sovereign Sultanate which is governed on the basis of a written Constitution.

His Majesty The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan is the supreme executive authority in Brunei Darussalam. His Majesty has occupied the position of Prime Minister since resumption of independence in 1984.

Brunei's administrative system is centred on the Prime Minister's Office which has provided the thrust behind His Majesty's aim to introduce greater efficiency in the Government. In his National Day speech in 1987, His Majesty pointed out that it was essential to keep the country's administrative machinery up-to-date in line with the development of Brunei as an independent nation. His Majesty has followed a combination of traditional and reforming policies, moving away from a structure of a Chief Minister and State Secretary to a full ministerial system with specified portfolios.

A.4 Historical Outline of Cadastral System

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B. Institutional Framework

B.1 Government Organizations

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Since independence, the government Administration are as follow:

  • Prime Minister's Office
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Industries and Primary Resourses
  • Ministry of Religious Affairs
  • Ministry of Development
  • Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ministry of Communications
  • Ministry of Energy

Survey Department is the authority to produced Land Titles (but not registration), plans, maps and other matters regarding cadastral surveys, demarcation etc. Other government that are involved in Land Administration include Land Departments (registration, transfers), Town and Country Planning (planning, master plans etc). The three Departments are under the Ministry of Development.

B.2 Private Sector Involvement

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Most cadastral surveys are ubdertaken by the government but Licence surveyors involvement in cadastral surveys are subdivision, revision surveys and TOL surveys.

Qualification of a licence surveyors is required to pass an exam on cadastral surveys, planning issues and land administration set by Brunei Surveyors Board

13 registered license surveyors in Brunei Darussalam.

B.3 Professional Organization or Association

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BIG (Brunei Institution of Geomatics) was established in 2003 and currently inviting Geomatics practitioners in Brunei to join. BIG membership compromised of Surveyors, Valuers and Planners.

B.4 Licensing

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Brunei Licence Surveyors act is being used for licencing and registration of Cadastral surveyors.

B.5 Education

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Surveying programs up to technician level is currently provided in Institute Brunei Technical Education, further studies available overseas e.g. U.K., Canada, Australia and Malaysia.

C. Cadastral System

C.1 Purpose of Cadastral System

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Brunei Cadastral system was designed for the proposed of registration, transfer of ownership etc.

C.2 Types of Cadastral System

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Cadastral systems for the whole of Brunei is based on torren systems and use lot number as the identifier. Two departments are involved in cadastral i.e. Survey Departments providing the technical aspects, surveys, mapping etc and Lands Department providing the Registration, transfers etc.

Survey Department provides cadastral mapping e.g. Land Titles, Plans, actual surveys e.g. fixing lots, subdivisions where all lot boundaries are fixed with cadastral surveys (demarcations).

Since 1999 Strata Title Act was implemented and Brunei Survey Department is the Authority to carry out survey, to produce plans and Titles. The act was meant to monitor and control Strata Title Survey and to safeguard everyone involved.

C.3 Cadastral Concept

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C.4 Content of Cadastral System

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Total number of Cadastral lots in Brunei is just over 94,122, these are mostly privately owned lots, Temporary Owner of Land and a number of lots occupied by government departments. The plots have been completely digital and supported by field notes and Survey Plans.

Cadastral database was updated data  every 3 hour on the Survey Geoportal through Fusion Manipulation Engine (FME) software.

D. Cadastral Mapping

D.1 Cadastral Map

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Survey Department using textual database (oracles) to store lot information etc although GIS software is currently being used to link the database and digital plots for the propose of map productions visualisation and to comply with other departments requirements for subdivision etc.

Survey Department is currently preparing Cadastral Lots in a form of Sheets at 2,500 scale with information such as lot number (as the identifier) with other information such as district, village boundaries, locations etc. cadastral maps are also available at different scales when requested. 

Cadastral lots can be seen in the Survey Geoportal.

D.2 Example of a Cadastral Map

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D.3 Role of Cadastral Layer in SDI

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Currently Survey Department is on Geoportal of Survey Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) whereby all the cadastral digital maps are available for viewing overlay with the images to departments and public.

Sharing data for Goventment Agency, Public Sector & Private Sectors.

E. Reform Issues

E.1 Cadastral Issues

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E.2 Current Initiatives

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Digital maps are available within the departments network although initiatives are being made so that this cadastral information is available in the net.

Any application of idigtal data can be browsed through Geoportal for any development and planning purposes.

F. References

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Part 2: Cadastral Principles and Statistics

1. Cadastral Principles

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1.1 Type of registration system

title registration
deeds registration

1.2 Legal requirement for registration of land ownership


1.4 Approach for establishment of cadastral records

both, systematic and sporadic
all properties already registered

2. Cadastral Statistics

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2.1 Population


2.2a Population distribution: percentage of population living in urban areas


2.2b Population distribution: percentage of population living in rural areas


2.3 Number of land parcels

--- Number of land parcels per 1 million population

2.4 Number of registered strata titles/condominium units

--- Number of strata titles/condominium units per 1 million population

2.5 Legal status of land parcels in URBAN areas:

percentage of parcels that are properly registered and surveyed
percentage of parcels that are legally occupied, but not registered or surveyed
percentage of parcels that are informally occupied without legal title

2.6 Legal status of land parcels in RURAL areas:

percentage of parcels that are properly registered and surveyed
percentage of parcels that are legally occupied, but not registered or surveyed
percentage of parcels that are informally occupied without legal title

2.7 Number of active professional land surveyors


2.8 Proportion of time that active professional land surveyors commit for cadastral matters (%)

--- Approx. full-time equivalent of land surveyors committed to cadastral matters

2.9 Number of active lawyers/solicitors


2.10 Proportion of time that active lawyers/solicitors commit for cadastral matters (%)

--- Approx. full-time equivalent of active lawyers/solicitors committed to cadastral matters