Small Estates (Distribution) Act 1955 [Act 98]

Part III   cite [+]


20 Application of Part   cite [+]

(1) This Part shall apply only in the districts of Jelebu, Kuala Pilah, Rembau and Tampin in the State of Negeri Sembilan.

(2) Part II shall apply without modification in all cases where the deceased was not a member of a tribe.

(3) Where the deceased was a member of a tribe, Part II shall take effect subject to the provisions of this Part in respect of any property comprised in the estate of the deceased and situated within the districts to which this Part applies.

21 Interpretation   cite [+]

(1) In this Part, "Enactment" means the Customary Tenure Enactment of Negeri Sembilan [F.M.S. Cap. 215] and "tribe" means one of the tribes specified in Schedule B to the Enactment.

(2) This Part shall be read with the Enactment and words defined therein shall have the same meanings in this Act.

(3) In the event of any conflict between this Act and the Enactment, the provisions of the Enactment shall prevail.

(4) For the purpose of this Part, the estate shall not include such part of the estate as is "customary estate" within the meaning of the Enactment.

22 All tribal estates to be "small"   cite [+]

The estate of any deceased person who was at the time of his death a member of a tribe shall be deemed to be a small estate, whatever its total value, and every such person shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have died intestate in respect of that estate.

23 Jurisdiction   cite [+]

(1) The Land Administrator of the district in which is located the tribe or section of a tribe of which the deceased was a member shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the estate under this Act:

Provided that if the value of the estate exceeds five thousand ringgit, the hearing of any petition for distribution shall be before one or more officers nominated for that purpose by the Menteri Besar of the State of Negeri Sembilan and the officer shall have all the powers of a Land Administrator having jurisdiction over the estate under this Act.

(2) Where the deceased has left customary estate in addition to other property, the Land Administrator or other officer nominated under this section shall, wherever practicable, fix the hearing of the application under section 10 of the Enactment for the same time and place as the hearing under section 12 of this Act.

24 Principles of distribution   cite [+]

In making any distribution order, the Land Administrator, which expression, in this section, shall be deemed to include the officer nominated under section 23, shall apply the following principles:

(a) if any land appears to be ancestral customary land, though not registered as such, it shall be transmitted to the customary heiress, subject if necessary to life occupancy;

(b) where any property is found as a fact to be harta pembawa or harta dapatan, it may be transmitted to the customary heiress of the deceased subject to the right of any other person to a share in or charge over that property according to the principle of untung, where applicable, and on registration of the order the Land Administrator may, if necessary, add the words "Customary Land" to any title affected but he shall not be bound to do so;

(c) where any property is found as a fact to be harta carian bujang or harta carian laki bini, it may be transmitted according to the custom of the luak and on registration of the order the Land Administrator may, if necessary, add the words "Customary Land" to any title affected but he shall not be bound to do so;

(d) the Land Administrator shall give effect to customary adoptions where they are satisfactorily proved;

(e) in all cases, regard shall be had to any partial distribution of property made or agreed upon in the lifetime of the deceased and to the existence of any property which is affected by any such distribution or agreement though not part of the estate;

(f) wherever practicable, the Land Administrator shall avoid transmitting undivided shares in any one lot to members of different tribes; and

(g) where funeral expenses are by the custom chargeable on specific property and the party on whom that property ought to devolve has not paid them, the Land Administrator may require the party to pay the funeral expenses as a condition of inheriting that property or may, by the order, charge that property with the amount of the funeral expenses.

25 Appeals   cite [+]

(1) Any appeal under section 29 which relates to customary land or to the estate of a deceased member of a tribe shall be heard by an Appeal Committee appointed by the Ruler instead of by the High Court, and subject to confirmation by the Ruler, the report of the Committee shall be final. The Ruler may make rules of procedure and prescribe fees for such appeals.

(2) Unless an Appeal Committee is appointed under subsection (1), any such appeal shall be heard in the same manner as an appeal under section 15 of the Enactment.