Census 2020: 4.5 million residents recorded under e-census so far

Census 2020: 4.5 million residents recorded under e-census so far

KUALA LUMPUR: The online Malaysian Population and Housing Census 2020 (Census 2020), also known as ‘e-Census’ implemented between Jul 7 and Oct 26 has so far recorded a total of 4.5 million residents, or 13.4 per cent of the country’s population of about 32.7 million.

Malaysian Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that Putrajaya, Perak and Selangor recorded the highest completion rates, while for Sabah and East Coast states in the Peninsular, the completion rates were still below 10 per cent.

“We’ve received about 50,000 completed census on a daily basis so far, but we are targeting around 80,000 to 90,000 completed census per day so that we can achieve a 40 to 50 per cent completion rate for the e-Census,” he said in an interview during the ‘Ruang Bicara’ programme on Bernama TV tonight.

He said among the complaints received about the e-Census by the public were issues with the filing code, as well as questions that were considered irrelevant by some of them.

“Regarding the filing code issue, what we have done at the Statistics Department is basically list out all the addresses of residences in Malaysia, namely nine million of them, but when the system receives information which is keyed in (by the user), the matching process could take up to three days, as what is stored in the system and what people fill up is different.

“So what we had done on the field or in some states to help the public previously was to hold e-Census clinics with the Rukun Tetangga communities, but now, we can only work in green zones due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Regarding the questions asked in Census 2020, Mohd Uzir said they were not from the Malaysian Statistics Department, but rather from various ministries, agencies and private organisations that require information to implement public policies as well as development plans for the country.

“In (Census) 2010, there were only 50 questions (but) this time there are 108, and they are not only for a certain group of people, but for the entire Malaysian population of 32.7 million, so the questions might seem irrelevant to some in the city, for instance about facilities like electricity, water and transport.

“But for rural folk, it may be meaningful because the government can make improvements from the data obtained and know exactly where to allocate funds…maybe this needs to be explained further on social media,” he said.

Regarding the second phase of the census (face-to-face) which has been pushed back to Jan 20 next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mohd Uzir said that it will be implemented taking into consideration advice from the Health Ministry and the National Security Council.

“Phase two, which is face-to-face, was previously slated between Oct 7 and Oct 24, but it has been rescheduled. We hope that there will be no obstacles when we begin on Jan 20, but at the same time, our decisions and action plan will always prioritise the safety aspect under the new norm, including following the standard operating procedures that are set,” he said. -Bernama