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Brief BackgroundBrief Background

The Department of Lands and Surveys Sarawak was set up in 1918 and entrusted with the role to administer land and carry out cadastral surveys. It was a dounting task then, primarily due to the shortage of trained staff and the availability of proper survey equipment. 

The Department was subsequently split into two, namely Survey and Land Department in 1925. The Survey Department was responsible for laying the foundation of an accurate cadastral survey system. In 1931, the Department's strength was boosted with the arrival of surveyors from United Kingdom and New Zealand. The Land Department, meanwhile, concentrated largely on land registration, guided by the Land Ordinance that was introduced in 1932. In 1933, the two Departments were again merged into a single entity and has since been known as the Department of Lands and Surveys Sarawak. During the Japanese occupation in Sarawak between 1941 and 1945, the Department continued to carry out land administration and transactions albeit on a reduced scale under a Japanese civil affairs officer.

At present, the Department of Lands and Surveys Sarawak has four core branches, namely Land, Survey, Planning and Valuation and six supporting branches: Enforcement, Information System, Public Relations Unit, Human Resource Management, Finance and Human Resource Development. The Department is headquertered in Kuching and has offices in all the 12 divisions Statewide. The Director of Lands and Surveys is based at the Headquerters while the divisional office is headed by a Superintendent. Core functions of the Department are Land Administration, Land Surveying, Town and Country Planning as well as Property Valuation.