E-census error – how can it happen?

Letter by Chuah Siew Eng

Dear Editor,

I wish to draw to the attention of the public of a possible glitch in the e-census. An answer I clicked for the category “religion” revealed to be different in the PDF copy I printed. Thinking I may have made a mistake, I reviewed my answers and confirmed that it was not my error. When I sought an explanation, the supervisor of the census takers for my area confirmed receiving another complaint over the same problem two weeks ago, adding that she had reported the problem to the Statistics Department. If that were true, why wasn’t it corrected for a whole two weeks? How many more people would have unwittingly assumed the computerised process would record their answers faithfully, as I almost did were it not for a note at the final page prompting a PDF check before submitting the form?

While my problem was eventually rectified (I received a polite call from the Department asking me to try the e-census again and this time it recorded what I inserted), I wonder whether it has been truly corrected in a fresh form.

So, although this comes at a cost to my privacy, I would like to call on others who are planning to use the e-census to try an experiment without submitting their form – click “no religion” under the category “religion” and see whether you get the same answer in the PDF. Originally, mine recorded it as “other religion”. I have not received any satisfactory explanation from the Statistics Department how such a mistake could have been allowed in the first place, and why nothing was done although another complaint has been lodged earlier. This casts serious doubts on the integrity of the census undertaking for which citizens are asked to be honest in giving their details – yet whether the authorities are capable of accepting the truths revealed appears questionable.

Yours sincerely,
Chuah Siew Eng
Kuala Lumpur

  1. #1 by k1980 on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 11:19 am

    I have the nasty feeling that the real purpose of the census is to collect and manipulate data proving that the social-economic status of the bumis is still way below that of the nons. Therefore the nep will be extended by another 50 years.

  2. #2 by frankyapp on Thursday, 19 August 2010 - 2:52 pm

    The census can also proved that Umno has failed the malays after more than 5 decades of rule,and the majority of the folks will instead vote for PR and need not have to wait for another 50 years to be rich like all Umnoputras and cronies now.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Friday, 20 August 2010 - 7:51 pm

    Yes I wonder how they are really inputting the data.
    I returned home a few days ago and found the small yellow card firmly pasted on my gate side wall.
    Does that mean the census taker has included my details without an interview?
    Quite puzzled at the exercise. Maybe someone gets paid for pasting that card on my house!

  4. #4 by House Victim on Saturday, 21 August 2010 - 12:33 pm

    I also found a small yellow card pasted on my mailbox when I was away form some days.

    Does that mean census had been done?

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