REGISTRATION OF DEALINGS
Torrens system: a land administration system
based on registration
Registration the cornerstone of the Torrens
Title/interest by registration
To overcome the defects of the Deeds system.
T. Damodaran v Choe Kuan Him  2
“The whole purpose of the system is to get
away form the complicated system of rules
which in England regulate dealings with land,
particularly those relating to such matters as
notice of encumbrances…”
Teh Bee v K Maruthamuthu:
The New Zealand case of Fels v Knowles was
“Under the Torrens system, the register is
Frazer v Walker:
The court laid down the principle that the
Torrens system was intended to provide
immunity of the registered proprietor from
Types of dealings
Dealings capable of being registered:
No title or interest in land will be created
until the instruments affecting these dealings
have been registered.
Dealings not capable of registration:
1. Tenancies exempt from registration (TER)
Registration of dealings
S 205: Dealings capable of being effected.
S 206: Dealings must be effected by a proper
instrument of dealing, must be registered.
No need to register TER and lien.
S 207: Instrument of dealing shall be in the
forms in the First Schedule. (eg Form 14A for
transfer, Form 16B for charge etc.)
Effect of unregistered dealings
S 206(3): shall not affect the contractual
Unregistered charge: Mahadevan v Manilal
An agreement to secure a debt in favour of the
creditor in respect of the debtor’s land creates
an equitable charge giving rise to an equitable
right in favour of the creditor, although no
charge or lien within the provisions of the
How registration is effected
Instrument of dealing is presented to the
He notes the time of presentation (S 292).
He enters the particulars of the instrument in
the Presentation Book.
See whether certain requirements are complied
with under S 301.
Register the dealing in the manner stated
under SS 304-308.
What constitutes the act of
The Registrar shall register any instrument by
making a memorial on the register document
of title under his hand and seal.
Mohamad bin Buyong v Pemungut Hasil
“the making of a prescribed memorial of the
dealing in the register document of title under
the hand and seal of the registering authority”
Mohamad Buyong v PHT Gombak
In that case, an entry of a transfer on the RDT
was not signed.
It constituted a “bare entry”.
Since it was not signed by the Collector, there
was no registration effected.
Making a memorial on the RDT.
The memorial shall consist of (S 304(3)):
a short description of the nature and effect of the instrument,
a statement of its number in the Presentation Book,
the reference under which it is to be filed,
the time and date of registration.
Making a memorial on the instrument itself
completing the Heading under Form 13A (to be inserted in all forms
of dealings) under his hand and seal.
Section 304 (4):
Every memorial of registration made…shall be conclusive
evidence of the registration to which it refers and the effective
time and date thereof.
Duties of Registrar when effecting
“The Registrar shall not register an instrument until
every instrument presented prior thereto, and affecting
the same land or interest, has been registered, rejected
In other words, the Registrar shall not enter a
second registration until he has settled the earlier
Every instrument of dealing must be registered in
the order of time in which it is presented for
Is this provision mandatory of
Mohammad bin Buyong
There were several transactions that were sought to be
effected over the same land.
Issue: Whether LA can register the transfer while
entry of an earlier transaction remained on the land?
Hashim Yeop Sani J:
“on the facts of this case, the words “shall not register”
appearing in section 300(1)(a) of the Code are merely
directory and not mandatory and it is also my view that the
apparent failure on the part of the registrar to comply with
this section does not invalidate the registration…”
However, in Teo’s book mandatory
Section 300(1) expressly lays down the
principle that every instrument of dealing must
be registered in the order of time in which it is
presented for registration.
The view of Hashim Yeop Sani J in
Mohammad Buyong should be confined to the
facts of the case.
Duties of the Registrar
Matters for consideration:
S 297: registrar to determine whether fit for
If fit for registration, Registrar may register it.
If not fit for registration, proceed to S 298 or
suspend registration in order to rectify the error, or
reject the instrument my marking it with the word
“Rejected” and return it with a note of the reasons
When is an instrument fit for registration?
When it fulfills the conditions under Section
(eg attestation, not contrary to law, not
contrary to any restriction in interest, stamped
Nature of the Registrar’s duty
administrative S 302, S 303.
Correction of errors
Section 380 circumstances where the
Registrar may make corrections on the
document of title or instrument.
Registrar is required to maintain the
“Correction Notebook” where he shall record
details of all corrections made.
Registrar must endorse on the instrument the
reason thereof and the date it was effected.
Corrections cannot be made by erasing any
words or figures.
Island & Peninsular Dev. Bhd v Legal
Adviser Kedah  2 MLJ 71
The error or omission referred to in Section
380(1)(a) is confined to those made by the
Registry of Land Titles and not to those made
by the parties in the instrument of transfer.
See also Mohammad bin Buyong
Effect of registration
Confers an indefeasible title or interest.
i.e. a title/interest which is free from all
adverse claims or encumbrances not noted on
Will be discussed in the next lecture on