Star (Used by permission)
KUALA LUMPUR: Using fingerprinting during land and property transactions can offer a unique security feature to prevent fraud and to identify impostors.
Commercial Crimes Investigation Department legal/inspectorate division principal assistant director ACP Tan Kok Liang said there was no law requiring the mandatory use of fingerprints in such transactions.
“I am suggesting its use to help protect the property rights of people. Fingerprints cannot be forged, unlike signatures,” he said.
Tan had presented a paper on Should fingerprinting be introduced in property/land dealings? at the recent 14th Malaysian Law Conference.
The former head of the fingerprinting unit of the forensics laboratory said it
would be much easier to train a person to identify fingerprints than to detect
”The fingerprinting process is easy to implement. The inked thumbprint or fingerprint of the owner of the property or land should be affixed alongside his or her signature.
“This can then be used as a comparison if someone reports the loss of their land title,” said Tan.
In his paper, it was noted property worth RM4,874,567 had been lost due to cheating in 2006. The figure rose to to RM10,112,560 for the first five months of this year.
In papers presented by two other speakers, the issue of indefeasibility of land titles was raised.
The Federal Court had then decided that a bona-fide purchaser of land from a seller who had obtained the land through forgery could keep the land.
Prof Teo Keang Sood from the National University of Singapore law faculty said while he was hoping that the apex court would have the opportunity to make a correct pronouncement on the law relating to indefeasibility for the sake of certainty in land transactions, the assistance of Parliament might have to be relied upon as a last resort.
Real Estate Housing and Developers’ Association immediate past president Datuk Jeffrey Ng said it was all too frightening to comprehend that without doing anything, one could lose legal and beneficiary ownership of land due to fraud or forgery.
“There is an urgent need for Parliament to amend Section 340 of the National Land Code to provide greater clarity,” he said.