WHILE most Malaysians are preoccupied with their safety and livelihoods during the Covid-19 pandemic, they must also remember to take part in Census 2020 before the end of this month.
The first phase of the census was implemented through e-Census (online), which was launched on July 7 and was supposed to end on Sept 30. However, the deadline was extended to the end of the year due to numerous requests from the people. The census is a once-in-a-decade national survey conducted by the government to determine the number of people living in the country, including foreigners. It aims to identify the size, distribution, composition and socio-economic characteristics of the entire population and housing-related data and will cover more than 32 million people.
Such data will be very useful for planning and development purposes, including determining allocations for hospitals, roads, schools and institutions of higher learning, housing and social programmes.
The last census was conducted in 2010 and since then, there have been major changes in the economy, including the number of households and foreigners.
Regrettably, the overall response so far has not been encouraging despite the three-month extension. Malaysians are fond of doing things at the last minute, and herein lies the problem. When too many people rush to complete the task at the same time, the system may crash due to the heavy load. This actually happened in the last week of September.
I have heard many Malaysians ask: “Do I really have to complete the census forms?” The answer is “yes.” The Census Act 1960 (revised 1969) makes it compulsory for all members of the public to participate and answer all the census questions.
DR POLA SINGH
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