Padu requires subnational statistics data, says academician

The Malaysian government should consider integrating subnational statistics from parliamentary and state legislative assembly (SLA) levels once the Central Database Hub (Padu) is fully operational.

Academician Dr Sayed Mohammad Reza Yamani Sayed Umar, a research fellow at the Ungku Aziz Centre for Development Studies, Universiti Malaya, said these additional data sets will complement the socioeconomic database released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) last year, and serve as catalysts for local community development.

“Local-level statistics have proven invaluable in many countries, aiding fact-based policy-making and ensuring accountability,” said Sayed, in an article to Twentytwo13.

“Given the increasing demand for timely and reliable local-level data, leveraging administrative registers and geospatial information becomes imperative.

“However, local-level geography often diverges from administrative regions, necessitating the representation of statistics in functional areas like urban and rural zones for a clearer understanding. This approach enables users to access and analyse population, demographic, social, and economic data at various geographical levels.”

He added that in Malaysia, DOSM covered selected statistics at the parliamentary and state assembly levels, encompassing crucial indicators such as population, housing, employment, household income, education, and health, among others.

“With the utilisation of administrative data sources and geospatial data expected to expand, DOSM is poised to provide increasingly relevant and timely local-level statistics.

“DOSM’s role in furnishing comprehensive local-level statistics nationwide is crucial, balancing the imperatives of transparency and privacy. The latest subnational statistics from DOSM, covering 222 parliamentary and 600 state assembly seats, underscore the commitment to providing detailed insights for informed decision-making at various governance levels,” Sayed added.

Padu was launched on Jan 2, and Malaysians have been given until March 31 to register, and update their details in the system that aims to enhance governance, and improve policy planning and implementation, based on data.

However, the pick-up rate has been poor. Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin, over the weekend, revealed that “over 7.36 million Malaysians, or 35 per cent of the population”, have registered, thus far.

Uzir was optimistic that more people would register before the March 31 deadline.

Several politicians, including MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, had taken issue with the low registration rate, adding that the “government, especially the Economy Minister (Rafizi Ramli), must look into this seriously.”

Sarawak does not seem keen on this registration exercise, and representatives from the state government are scheduled to meet officials from the Economy Ministry this week to discuss issues related to Padu.

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