Posts Tagged ‘Penang Land’

Land For Sale ! Hectare, Acre, Relong or Rai ?

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

In my many years of practice, I have come across land owners who are unsure about the exact land areas and even boundaries of the lands they own whilst some are confused with the land area conversion units from acre to hectare or relong to hectare and vice versa as different states have different adoption of land area measurement system. blogs into this subject of land area conversion units with an aim to give you a better understanding and guides on the current land area conversion units commonly used in the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia ie Penang, Kedah and Perlis as well as the neighbouring country of Thailand.

Hectare, Acre, Relong or Rai

Although Malaysia has officially adopted a metric system since 1982, the British’s imperial units and local units are also very much in use. The computerisation of land titles registration in land offices in Malaysia over the last two decades and the implementation of E Tanah system have replaced much of the old titles and have used International System (SI) unit of hectare in land registrations.

The old unit of acre, which is non-SI, is still widely use in Penang State whilst relong is the local unit commonly used by the people in the Kedah and Perlis States. A browse on the land for sale listing posted on Malaysia’s popular portal of shows that relong is still widely use in Kedah. 

In Kedah and Perlis, the early system of land tenure was influenced more by the ancient Thai Law of Property than by the Malay Customary Law. From an early date, ‘surat putus’ (or document of title) was issued by Sultans. Originally, these ‘surat putus’ was a written decision of ‘hakim’ or judge of the state following an ownership dispute, countersigned by the Sultan. The documents recorded the evidence submitted and the decision made together with the dimensions and area of the land concerned and a rough description of its locality and abuttals. The earliest survey of property lots started by 1912 in Kedah.

Whilst in Penang, the land registration inherited the British land tenure system. The English Law of Real Property and Conveyancing continued to be used until they were repealed and substituted with a system of Registration of Titles under the present National Land Code (Penang and Malacca Titles) Act, 1963. More at related article of history of land system.

Across the border to southern Thailand, the common land measurement is Rai. A Rai (Thai ไร่) is a unit of area, equal to 1,600 square metres (40 m × 40 m), used for measuring land area. Its current size is precisely derived from the metre, but is neither part of nor recognized by the modern metric system, the International System (SI). 1 Acre = 2.5 Rai, 1 hectare = 6.25 Rai. Guide on land measurement conversion in Thailand.

In UK, although the non-SI unit of acre is still in use, it will no longer be allowed when land is being registered come January 2010 in compliance with EU Metric Directive-European Union abolishes the British acre.

For advisory on land investments in Malaysia and Penang Properties, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.


SI units (Metric )
1 hectare = 10,000 sq meters

Non SI units
1 acre = 43,560 square foot
1 hectare = 2.471 acres

1 relong = 30,976 square feet
1 relong = 484 jempa
1 jempa = 64 sq ft
1 hectare = 3.4748 relong
1 acre = 4 rood
1 rood = 40 pole
1 rood = 10,890 sq. feet
1 pole = 272.25 sq. feet
1 sq meter = 10.76381 sq feet

Example 1
Land Area 5a 2r 20p = 5 + 0.5 + 0.125 = 5.625 acres x 43,560 square feet
= 245,025 square feet
= 22,763.80 square metes
= 2.2763 hectares

Example 2
Agricultural land in Kedah
Land Area 15 relong 50 jempa = 15 x 30,976 square feet + 50 x 64 square feet
= 467,840 square feet
= 43464.16 square metres
= 4.3464 hectares

Example of site plans attached in the old titles in Kedah and Perlis- with unit measurements in both relong and acre

Example of old land titles in Kedah issued in 1950’s

Penang’s new policy on land conversion

Friday, June 13th, 2008

The new Penang state government land policy seeks to encourage Penangites to become permanent landowners and boosting commercial and industrial growth. Under the new policy, industrial landowners in Penang can apply to extend their lease period from the present maximum 60 years to 99 years, while owners of leasehold residential lands can apply to convert their land to freehold status. More at We will be fair in land conversion.

The conditions and procedure for conversion are here and here.[Update : The official guidelines (Bahasa Malaysia version) on the new land conversion policy and the application form (Borang 12A) is now available and can be downloaded from the website of Penang State's Department of Land and Mines].

Land owners can begin submitting individual applications after June 15 to change the status of their land titles.

And here are the views and comments on the state’s new land conversion policy from man on the street, local community leaders, property consultants and housing developers to legal practitioners.

The move is expected to benefit industrial land owners or companies to secure financing to expand their factories as presently commercial banks are less keen to provide banking facilities to industrial lands and factories with short leasehold tenure of less than 30 years as collaterals.

Industrial/Housing schemes to benefit from this new land conversion policy

Industrial lands and factories in Penang’s Industrial Parks developed by Penang Development Corporation (PDC) are alienated on 60 years lease. These industrial parks are Bayan Lepas Industrial Park, Mak Mandin Industrial Park, Seberang Jaya Industrial Park, Prai Industrial Park, Bukit Tengah Industrial Park and newly developed Bukit Minyak Industrial Park.

Whilst PDC’s housing schemes are mostly leasehold properties of 99 years namely Bandar Bayan Baru and Bandar Seberang Jaya, Taman Pelangi and Komtar development area in Georgetown.

Other notable housing schemes built on state alienated lands of 99 years lease are Techware’s condominium schemes along the Sungai Nibong coastal area ie Gold coast, Putera Marine, Villa Emas, Putera Place and IJM’s housing schemes ie Tmn Sri Damai, Alphine tower, Parkview tower, Lakeside, Ocean view, The Spring etc. Others such as Mewah Court, Midland condo, Mutiara Idaman, Mutiara Heights, Pangsapuri Tanjung Tokong and Sri Saujana at Harbour city.

However, owners of leasehold high rise stratified units seeking to obtain freehold rights may have to be patient until the state government resolved legal matters with the Federal Government. More at Freehold land applications now on hold.

Several high profile townships such as the Seri Tanjung Pinang and Bayan Bay development (both on the Penang Island) and 456-acre Bandar Perda township and Bayu Mutiara in Bukit Mertajam of mainland Penang have since been granted conversion from leasehold to Freehold status. Related link at Penang projects to gain from conversion.

For more insights on Malaysia’s land administration policy, a recommended website by Ministry of natural resources and environment provides resources on Malaysia’s current land administration process, types of land titles , classification of lands etc.

For advisory on individual property investments in Penang, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

Aerial view of the Perai Industrial Park in central mainland Penang and its coastline. The development of the industrial parks in Penang since 1970’s have transformed Penang into the biggest industrial hub in the northern Peninsular Malaysia.

Bandar Perda, a privatized 456-acre housing project in central Seberang Perai which have been granted Freehold status…