Slow Padu registration among Kedahans

ALOR STAR: Kedah folk, especially the elderly, are slow to register or update their information on the Central Database Hub (Padu) due to a lack of awareness about the government initiative.

According to the Statistics Department, only 118,254, or 7.5 per cent, of Kedahans aged 18 and above had registered for it as of yesterday.

Zainol Ahmad, a 60-year-old rubber tapper, said despite hearing about the initiative through news and social media for months, he could not fully grasp Padu's purpose.

Zainol, who is from Kampung Perik, said it was only after receiving guidance from staff members at a Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) that he decided to proceed with Padu registration and update his personal details.

"I was advised by members of my local mosque's committee to visit my nearby PEDi for Padu registration.

"After being briefed, I realised it's a beneficial step to take," he said during a Padu registration tour in PEDi Kampung Perik here today.

However, Zainol said some villagers, who are more senior than him, chose not to register, fearing they might miss out on government aid.

"Some residents believe registering with Padu will make the government aware of their actual financial status, potentially affecting their eligibility for aid," he added.

Meanwhile, Rusmani Jaafar, 50, said she registered with Padu after receiving an explanation from her village chief.

"Previously, I had heard about the initiative but could not fully comprehend it. Thankfully, my village chief explained it thoroughly to me," said the 50-year-old housewife.

Rusmani believed greater awareness about Padu's purpose would lead to increased registration among her neighbours.

Meanwhile, state Statistics Department director Nadia Marzuki said Padu registrations among Kedahans have been slow but steady since its inception.

"Public servants are updating their personal information. We've observed an increase in registrations and updates since the launch of Padu.

"We are conducting outreach programmes," she added.

She said challenges faced by the department concerning Padu registration include limited Internet access and the number of physical PEDi counters.

"In Kedah, there are 77 PEDi centres, but only 12 have physical counters, most of them in more urban areas. For deeper rural areas, we heavily rely on outreach programmes," she added.

Nadia urged public cooperation in Padu registrations to ensure the success of the initiative.

"We are ready to assist the public in the registration of Padu at all PEDi and Statistics Department counters. Registration at PEDi counters can also be done on weekends."

Launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Jan 2, Padu consolidates data from various government agencies, representing the Madani government's agile implementation and collective efforts.

The initiative aims at enhancing management efficiency, streamlining data collection, storage, and management, improving government service delivery, and saving resources through integrated and centralised data management.

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