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Much Ado About Padu: Registrations Going Up, But Sarawak Raises Concern

Much Ado About Padu: Registrations Going Up, But Sarawak Raises Concern

The Statistics Department is hopeful that more individuals will follow suit in the final days before the deadline.

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The deadline to register for the Central Database Hub (Padu) is less than a week away.

With the registration to close 31 March, director-general of the Statistics Department Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said about 7.36 million Malaysian citizens — or 35% of the nation’s population — have updated their information in Padu.

In light of increased government awareness campaigns, he said the Statistics Department is hopeful that more individuals will follow suit in the final days before the deadline.

“We expect a significant increase. Until yesterday, there were about 7.36 million registrations, which exceeds 35% of those aged 18 and above – we estimate around 20 million Malaysian citizens are in that age group.

“The data also includes dependents under 18 years old, so the actual number exceeds 10 million when including all dependents,” he said yesterday at Kampung Tok Set, as reported by The Star.

While these figures are encouraging, there are still many concerns that have been raised concerning Padu.

Sarawak Delays Padu Registration

Recently, the Sarawak state government raised its concerns over Padu.

State Deputy Minister of Law, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and State-Federal Relations Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali has been directed by the state Cabinet to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the situation, according to state Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Abdul Karim also expressed his opposition to Padu and questioned the need for the federal government to create Padu when there is already an e-Kasih system for registering people seeking financial assistance.

He questioned the transparency of the Padu form, which exposes personal information such as bank accounts, ASB accounts, houses, and property names.

“It is just like stripping you naked. Do you want to do it?” he asked, as reported by Malay Mail.

Following all the questions raised, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has asked Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli to explain in the Cabinet Meeting.

Anwar made this statement after having a conversation with Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg

“…I had a discussion with the Premier of Sarawak and he voiced some concerns and raised some questions. Accordingly, the Economy Minister was asked to examine the issue and provide an explanation to the Cabinet,” he said, as reported by The Star.

In the meantime, the Perak State government requested for a deadline extension to guarantee that the state’s goal of 1.8 million citizens registering can be met.

According to State Communications, Multimedia, and NGO Committee Chairman Mohd Azlan Helmi, this is because the majority of the state’s population—roughly 50% of them are from rural areas.

“On the part of the government itself, whether at the central or state level, they have tried their best, but several factors need to be taken into account, including constraints from the manpower point of view, which facilitates the process of helping people to register.

“Besides, constraints in terms of telecommunication networks, especially in rural areas, also contribute to people’s problems to register. So, I request that the extension of the registration period be considered by the central government,“ he said, as reported to The Sun.

However, the Economy Minister has said that the deadline would not be extended since doing so will interfere with efforts to offer targeted subsidies by the end of the year.

“We need to follow the timeline to implement targeted subsidies. If I had more time, I’d have extended (the deadline),” he said as reported by FMT.

The People’s View

Some people, amongst the general public, also seemed to be divided with the registration of Padu. Their views concern the true intentions of the system.

While some are willing to register for the database system, some feel that the government is allegedly forcing the people to register.

READ MORE: Minister’s Recent Tweet On PADU Seen As A Threat By Some Netizens

One of the netizens said that the government should solve the safety issues concerning Padu.

Another netizen asked for the “threats” that not registering will lead to a citizen being left out of subsidies to stop.

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