PENANG: Penang has become the first state in the country to have a special booklet containing up-to-date data on population, household, labour, economic, education, health and family planning patterns.
Dubbed HandyPop, the booklet’s information was compiled by the National Popula-tion and Family Development Board Malaysia (NPFDB).
The board’s population division director Rohani Abdul Razak said 1,000 copies of the booklet would be distributed to government agencies and non-governmental organisations in the state.
“We will print more if needed. We are also getting ready to print HandyPop booklets for the other states.
“The Penang HandyPop is the first to be printed because we realise that the state depends largely on statistics and demographics to plan its development.
“The data was obtained from various bodies such as the Statistics Department, Econo-mic Planning Unit and the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I believe we are the first agency in the country to produce such a booklet and we will continue with the publication of the HandyPop series at least once every five years,” she told reporters after the launching of the booklet by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah.
She said the information was also available in a mini disc format.
Rohani said the department was now in the midst of developing a Penang PopNet website.
Rashid, in his speech, urged all state government departments, NGOs and related bodies to refer to the booklet before planning any social, economic or educational development programme.
“The state government has always used statistics as a guide when proposing and implementing development strategies.
“Prior to this, we had to go to several different bodies such as the statistics department and the Socio-Economic and Envi-ronmental Research Institute (SERI) to get relevant data,” he said.
Present were NPFDB director general Datuk Fatimah Saad, NPFDB Penang director Abdul Shukur Abdullah and Jawi assemblyman Tan Cheng Liang.