27/03/2024 10:09 AM
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.

By Sayed Mohammad Reza Yamani Sayed Umar, Ph.D

The Government of Malaysia launched the integrated system of central database hub (PADU) on 2 January 2024 in Putrajaya. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, highlighted the three objectives of PADU.

The first PADU objective is to provide a national database hub with safety, security, comprehensive and ‘near real time’ for the accuracy process of digitalisation and data analytics.

Secondly, to draft future national policies in which the government decision comprehends any decision according to PADU.

Thirdly, to accommodate the government policy implementation that is given to targeted groups of societies with regards to socioeconomic benefits and fiscal outlook.

Personal profile and data of Malaysian and permanent residents above 18 years old and their household members are safely and securely ensured by CyberSecurity Malaysia. PADU is open for registration and updating until March 31.

The government recently launched another flagship programme, the Bumiputera Economic Congress 2024 (KEB), last week. During the programme, Datuk Seri Anwar emphasised more equitable economic development and poverty alleviation among Malays and Bumiputeras, without marginalising other ethnic groups as well. The economic development in the current MADANI unity government is aimed to be more inclusive.

Taking into account parliamentary and state assembly level statistics

The government should consider parliamentary and state statistics in reaching the highest number of PADU registrations by the end of this month. The government ought to consider continuing subnational statistics of parliamentary and state legislative assemblies (SLA) in the future as soon as the PADU system is completed.

The parliamentary and state legislative level data will complement the socioeconomic database which the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) released on 2 March 2023.

The parliamentary and state legislative level data will be used as a catalyst for socioeconomic development of local communities.

In some developed and developing countries, the district, parliamentary and local assembly level data is beneficial to support economic development.

Local level statistics data support more fact-based policy-making

Local-level statistics data support more fact-based policy-making and are crucial for implementation and accountability.

It is known that increasing demands for timely and trustworthy local-level data will be hard to meet without an increased use of data source like administrative registers and geospatial information.

The local-level geography, however, differs from administrative regions which most countries have as standard geographies.

Geospatial patterns rarely follow administrative boundaries, which is why showing local-level statistics on more functional areas, such as urban and rural areas, are increasingly important.

It allows users to search, access, display and view information by population / demographic, social and economic data at various geographical levels.

Statistics at the local level explain the population living in geographical areas such as urban or rural areas, neighbourhoods, census districts, electoral districts or grids.

The data sources for compiling local-level statistics may be the population and housing census, administrative records and/or geospatial information. Local-level statistics are always aggregates, often based on micro-data but never revealing information about single individuals, households or establishments.

In Malaysia, DOSM covers selected statistics at the parliamentary and state assembly level (SLA), consisting of basic information such as population, housing, employment, household income, education, health, poverty, public safety, internet and social media, basic amenities and number of businesses.

With increased use of administrative data sources, such as population registers, taxation files and various geospatial data, such as building or real estate coordinates, the possibilities to produce relevant and timely local-level statistics is expected to grow.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has an important role to play in providing local-level statistics covering the whole country, taking into account the need to balance openness and privacy.

The latest 2023 DOSM subnational statistics of parliamentary and state assembly level covers 222 and 600 seats, respectively.


Sayed Mohammad Reza Yamani Sayed Umar, Ph.D, is a Research Fellow at the Ungku Aziz Centre for Development Studies, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)