Strangely enough, I do not have any recollection of any census enumerators coming to get data from my house since we moved here. Yet we have that little orange card placed on the wall just outside our house.
Hubbs took down the orange card just in time, because a couple of days later, as we were cleaning up after dinner, the doorbell rang, and I was greeted by a man and a woman, who looked pretty darn tired. The man introduced themselves by saying, “Kami dari Jabatan Perangkaan..” and I noticed the tags they were both wearing too.
I made idle conversation with them before they began asking the questions for the census. Apparently they had just broken fast (it being the first day of Ramadhan) and now they were off to do their rounds. Perhaps they were tasked with coming to homes in the evenings just so they could be sure more people would be at home after a day’s work.
Anyway, I couldn’t help but wonder why they didn’t have a formal form to fill out the questionnaire. Better yet, they could have entered all the answers electronically into a system or electronic form. Nope, all they used was an old notepad and my answers were all scribbled in pencil.
For the benefit of those who have not gone through this exercise, these are some of the questions asked. Not sure why they differ from some of the other people’s questions though…
- Number of occupants in home
- Full name of occupants, birth date and age, and place of birth
- Occupation and place of work (NO, we were not asked for our salary or salary range)
- Highest level of education, and place studied
- Number of rooms in the house
- Number of cars
- Whether or not we owned laptops
- Whether or not we owned a personal computer
- Whether or not we had a radio at home (they told me there was no need to ask if there’s a TV because it was assumed everyone had one)
The entire question and answer session took no more than 20 minutes, and just to ensure we stick the little card (yellow this time!) to denote our home had been entered into the Census, the guy even placed the double-sided tape ready on the card for us!