Planning for our country’s future

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Oct 2014

Data from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2014 will help shape the 11th Malaysia Plan.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2014 of 84,000 respon­dents will provide crucial input for a successful five-year 11th Malaysia Plan to be rolled out next year.

The focal point of the survey is distribution of household income, says the Statistics Department’s price, income and expenses statistics senior deputy director Azahari Raslan.

Accurate data from the public is vital at every stage of policy making, from conception to implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes, he says.

“The survey on expenditure is carried out once in five years while the income survey is done twice over a period of five years.

“This year, the surveys will be carried out simultaneously and will coincide with the country’s transition to a new edition of the Malaysia Plan,” says Azahari.

Since 1974

The Household Income Survey was first conducted in 1974, covering Peninsular Malaysia. It was extended to Sabah and Sarawak in 1980.

In 1987, the poll was conducted together with the Basic Amenities Survey to study Malaysians’ accessibility to basic amenities.

The Household Expenditure Survey, on the other hand, was introduced as the Household Budget Survey in 1957-1958 in the then Federation of Malaya before being implemen­ted concurrently nationwide from 1993-1994 onwards.

The Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) also identifies the poor and hardcore poor groups, assesses households’ accessibility to basic amenities, and helps to determine goods and services to be included in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The results of this survey will enable the Government to formulate policies and programmes that would benefit the people, such as the development of infrastructure and basic amenities, promotion of entrepreneurship, and social safety net programmes relating to specific groups such as the disabled, single mothers and senior citizens.

“Malaysia achieved an average monthly household income growth of 7.2% between 2009 and 2012, from RM4,025 per month to RM5,000 per month during the two censuses,” says Azahari.

“The poverty rate in the country has declined significantly to 1.7% in 2012 and the Govern­ment forecasts that the number will further decrease by the end of the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015).

“To achieve this, we need to know where the pockets of poor in our country are so that the issue can be addressed,” he says.

House calls

The HIES 2014 exercise began in January and more than 49,000 households have res­ponded to the survey as of July. The survey will continue until the end of this year.

Three types of questionnaires will be used: the Income Survey, Household Expenditure and Facilities 2014; Household Income and Basic Amenities 2014; and the Daily Record Household Spending.

Statistics Department officers will call on randomly selected households to gather data on demography, income, expenditure and basic amenities using these questionnaires.

Examples of sources of income that will be asked include the respondents’ paid employment, income from self-employment and property income.

Under Section 5 of the Statistics Act 1965 (Revised 1989), all respondents in Malaysia are required to provide actual information or best estimates in the census and the information will be protected as confidential under the law.

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