In the implementation of land registration, there are still many people that do not have complete evidences of land ownership. This condition causes difficulties in the land registration of former customary land (tanah bekas milik adat).
Under Article 4 paragraph (1) of Minister of Agrarian/Head of National Land Agency Regulation No. 5 of 1999 on Guidelines of Settlement of Communal Rights of Customary Law Society, the communal land can be registered by the members of customary law society, government institution, legal entity or individuals. To register the right, the Government Regulation No. 24 of 1997 on Land Registration (“GR No.24/1997”) requires the applicant to submit the written evidences, witness or his/her statement as set out in Article 42 paragraph (1) of GR No. 24/1997 and its elucidation. If the evidences are no longer available, the applicant shall have to prove that he/she has controlled the land for 20 years consecutively.
Under Article 76 paragraph (3) letter (a) and (b) of Minister of Agrarian/Head of National Land Agency Regulation No. 3 of 1997 on Implementing Provision of Government Regulation No. 24 of 1997, if the evidences to prove the right are no longer available, the applicant shall submit (a) statement letter from the applicant that he/she has controlled the land for 20 years consecutively in good faith, and (b) statement letter from head of village/head of sub district and at least 2 witnesses.
The Circular Letter No 9/SE/VI/2013 on Former Customary Land Certificate (“SE No. 9/SE/VI/2013”) states that the statement letter from the head of village/head of sub district has a function to inform (i) the certainty of ownership, control, utilization of land in accordance to the physical reality in the field, (ii) the history of land ownership, transfer or acquisition based on the records as set out in the village registry book, (iii) whether or not the land is free from any dispute or is encumbered as security for any loan.
Under the SE No. 9/SE/VI/2013, the statement letter from the head of village/head of sub district shall at least contain information as follows:
- subject of rights (owner);
- location, boundaries and land area;
- control, utilization and use of land;
- history of land ownership, transfer or acquisition;
- certainty that the land is not a government’s assets or other party’s assets and not located in the forest area;
- the land is not encumbered as security for any loan and free from any dispute.
The SE No. 9/SE/VI/2013 also provides the format of statement letter to be used by the head of village/head of sub district. The statement letter is not an evidence of land ownership.