PETALING JAYA: Most Malaysians were cooperative during the face-to-face interviews for the Malaysia Population and Housing Census (Census 2020) by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, said chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (pic).
“Most Malaysians were helpful when approached at their homes for Census 2020, which is done once every 10 years.
“Census officers or enumerators have been going to the ground since February to do face-to-face interviews, adhering to strict standard operating procedure (SOP).
“But there is still a small number of citizens who are reluctant, thinking they may be product marketers or others, ” he said yesterday.
To break the barriers and misconception, Dr Uzir said some enumerators had to adopt the extraordinary approach to gain access to a certain area to conduct the survey.
“Condominiums and high-end residential areas remain challenging for our enumerators. For example, in Selangor alone, we have over 2,000 condominiums.
“To get the job done, enumerators will first need to approach the local council or building management for permits before getting access.
“The written permission will help reduce fear and convince the residents to cooperate.
“For some high-level staff or expatriates to understand the survey’s importance, we send letters to their employers, such as factory owners or their chief executive officers, to inform them, ” he said.
Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Uzir said enumerators are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure their own safety and that of residents they approach.
“In some cases, they even put on full PPE suits before entering a place to conduct the survey.
“It is all in a day’s work for the enumerators, ” he said, adding that even the homeless will be surveyed.
Plans are under way for the department officers to go to the ground with Welfare officers and non-governmental organisations to survey the homeless.
For this once-a-decade census, which will be the base data for many upcoming research and analysis later, “everyone matters no matter who you are, ” he said.
With the e-Census reaching its saturation with more than 20% adoption, Dr Uzir said it is necessary to have the face-to-face interviews to “get the job done.”