(1) This Act may be cited as the Small Estates (Distribution) Act 1955, and shall come into force in relation to any State on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint and the Minister may appoint different dates for different provisions of this Act.
(2) In bringing this Act into force in Sarawak, the Minister may by order make such modification thereto as he deems necessary in relation to its application to the estates of deceased persons who at the time of their death were natives of Sarawak.
(2A) This Act shall come into force in the Federal Territory of Labuan on such date as the Minister may by order specify, and such order may provide for such modifications to this Act in its application in the Federal Territory of Labuan as the Minister may deem necessary, and also for the consequential repeal or amendment of any other written law in so far as it applies in the Federal Territory of Labuan.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
"Corporation" means the Amanah Raya Berhad, a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 [Act 125] pursuant to section 3 of the Public Trust Corporation Act 1995 [Act 532];
"Director General of Lands and Mines" means the Director General of Lands and Mines (Federal) and, in relation to an estate the whole of the immovable property comprised in which is situated in Sabah or Sarawak, includes the Director of Lands and Surveys, Sabah, or the Director of Lands and Surveys, Sarawak, as the case may require;
"Director of Lands and Mines" means a Director of Lands and Mines (State) and includes the Director of Lands and Surveys for Sabah and the Director of Lands and Surveys for Sarawak;
"distribution order" means an order for the distribution of a small estate made under this Act;
"High Court" means the High Court in Malaya or the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak, as the case may require;
"Land Administrator" means-
(a) in relation to Sarawak, the District Officer appointed for a district and includes any Assistant District Officer or Sarawak Administrative Officer appointed for the district or part thereof;
(b) in relation to Sabah, the Collector of Land Revenue appointed for a district and includes any Assistant Collector of Land Revenue appointed for the district or part thereof; and
(c) in relation to the States in Peninsular Malaysia, the Land Administrator appointed for a district and includes any Assistant District Land Administrator appointed for the district or part thereof;
"native" means a native of Sabah or a native of Sarawak;
"native of Sabah" has the meaning assigned to the word "native" in the Interpretation (Definition of Native) Ordinance of Sabah [Cap. 64];
"native of Sarawak" has the meaning assigned to the word "native" in the Interpretation Ordinance of Sarawak [Cap. 1];
"Native Title" has the meaning assigned thereto in the Land Ordinance of Sabah [Cap. 68];
"penghulu", with reference to Sabah and Sarawak, shall be construed as a reference to a native chief by whatever style called;
"petition for distribution" means a petition for the distribution of a small estate lodged under section 8;
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister under section 30;
"purchaser" means a person who, at the date of the filing by himself, or by any other person, of a petition for distribution, is in occupation of any land registered in the name of the deceased, whether as sole proprietor or co-proprietor, by virtue of an agreement for the sale of that land or any interest therein by the deceased to himself or to any person through whom he claims;
"Registrar" means the Registrar of the High Court and includes a Deputy Registrar, a Senior Assistant Registrar and an Assistant Registrar of the High Court;
"Registrar of Titles" includes a Registrar or Assistant Registrar appointed under section 3 of the Land Code of Sarawak [Cap. 81];
"State" includes a Federal Territory;
"valuation officer" means a valuation officer employed by the Government and includes an assistant valuation officer.