EFFORTS by the Statistics Department to collect data for the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey 2014 have been hampered because residents are afraid to open their doors for the officers.
They found it especially difficult at gated-and-guarded communities.
A total of 9,500 respondents from Selangor were randomly chosen for the survey on the people’s spending habits.
Selangor Statistics Department director Ibrahim Jantan said 132 temporary enumerators had been trained to do the one-on-one interview.
“We understand people would be apprehensive, especially now with the rampant crime situation.
“However, our officers have identification cards that the residents can check,” he said, adding that the officers would also have an introduction letter signed by him to explain to respondents the purpose of their visit.
The exercise began in January and is scheduled to continue until December.
Ibrahim said one of the more common problems they faced included reluctance by the respondents to spend a few minutes to answer questions.
Many people are unaware that the household income survey has been conducted since 1974 and the one on basic amenities started in 1987.
The survey on household expenditure had been conducted since 1957, said Ibrahim.
He assured the residents that the collected data would not be leaked, as provided for under the Statistics Act (1965).
For most people, Ibrahim said the survey was not important, but it was vital for the Government to collect information on the income and expenditure distribution pattern of households, identify poverty groups and the accessibility of basic amenities by households in Malaysia.
“This data will be used by the Government as input for the formulation of national development plans, including the Eleventh Malaysia Plan,” he added.
The expenditure data is used in the calculation of weighted Consumer Price Index (CPI) that helps measure the country’s inflation rate.
“At the end of the day, it will help consumers as well. It is the basic data to determine the poverty index in the state and the country,” he added.