Statistics Act 1965 to be amended

Efficiency and effectiveness will be improved on par with the best statistical agencies around the world, says minister


THE Statistics Act 1965 (Revised 1989) will be amended to strengthen the country’s statistical system and give a bigger role to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Minister in the Prime Minister’s (PM) Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) said the DoSM’s efficiency and effectiveness will be improved on par with the best statistical agencies around the world.

“In line with this is the appointment of a chief data officer in the ministry, department and agency under DoSM’s supervision to develop a systematic mechanism for coordination, reach and cooperation in data sharing.

“The national statistical system needs to be strengthened to ensure existing data are coordinated and can be used by the government in formulating policies or making decisions,” he said in his speech at the opening ceremony of the National and World Statistics Day celebration and the Malaysia Statistics Conference 2020 which was livestreamed on Facebook yesterday.

The theme for this year’s National Statistics Day is “Connecting the World with Data We Can Trust”.

Mustapa said a National Data Analysis Centre will be set up with the cooperation between DoSM, the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit, as well as ministries involved to ensure each planning and decision-making processes are based on analysis in line with the government’s digital initiatives.

“Impacts of the improvement in the national statistical system will include the readiness of more comprehensive data for the government to formulate short- and long-term policies for the nation.

“Besides that, it also aims to increase analytical expertise for all sectors, including economy, social and demographics,” he added.

The Cabinet had approved the establishment of a National Statistics and Data Council on Sept 9, 2020, as the highest advisory body to provide the direction for the national statistical system and coordinate information.

This is suitable with the needs to cultivate a culture of decision-making based on facts, said Mustapa.

He added that its first meeting will be chaired by the PM with a few ministers and representatives from government agencies and the private sector.

Meanwhile, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the production of comprehensive statistics requires cooperation of the entire ecosystem of the national statistical system .

A strategic and effective cooperation between government agencies, private sector and the public is sorely needed, he added.

On Census 2020, he said it will be extended until Dec 21, while face-to-face session for the second phase is rescheduled to Jan 20 until Feb 6 next year.

“To date, 12.2% of the Malaysian population has given cooperation in filling out the e-Census,” he said.