PETALING JAYA: The government will be asking Malaysia’s eight million households for detailed information ranging from our age to income as it conducts its most extensive national census exercise next year.
With Malaysians increasingly concerned about how the government should spend public money amid rising worries about cost of living, jobs, affordable housing and other bread-and-butter issues, the data gathered will guide the government’s policies and programmes to address these matters.
“Information from the census helps determine how government funding worth billions of ringgit will be spent across the country.
“Information from the census will be used to make plans and decisions regarding the public services required for each locality such as hospitals, schools, roads, and public transport.
“Local authorities also use information from the census to help meet the core needs of their area, ” the Statistics Department, which carries out the census, said in its Population and Housing Census Malaysia 2020 website (https://www.mycensus.gov.my.)
The 2020 census will be carried out starting from July 7 to end August next year. (July 7 next year is Census Day).
It will be the sixth carried out in the country since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Previous census exercises were carried out roughly every 10 years, namely in 1970,1980,1991,2000 and 2010.
Under the Census Act 1960, it is compulsory for Malaysians to take part and answer all questions on the Census.
According to the department, Malaysia now has a population of 32.6 million comprising eight million households living in 8.8 million living quarters.
A trial census exercise was carried out from July 24 to Aug 7 involving about 100,000 respondents in 20,000 households in selected areas nationwide.
Among the information collected in the trial census was on utilities, public facilities, homeownership, farming activities and a specially developed module aimed at gathering more detailed information on the disabled and senior citizens.
The 2020 census will be conducted using five methods.
They are computer-assisted personal interviews; face-to-face interviews using a smartphone; a “Drop Off and Pick Up” method for respondents to fill out their own questionnaires; telephone interviews and an e-Census for respondents to fill out their own questionnaire forms online.