Thursday, August 03, 2006

I am a statistic

It's census season here in Australia.

Over the past week, census officers have been going around to drop off orange coloured form booklets which is COMPULSARY for every person residing in Australia to complete.

It's quite interesting that here, all the information filled out must related specifically to our location and situation as of a particular date - the 8th of August 2006. It's like they want to get a snapshot of the nation all at one time on this one day. So in the form, we need to fill out details of not just who lives at that address, but also of any other person who happens to be at our house on that evening. Imagine if someone is having a party that night... what complications that will have... because the form has only enough space for details of up to 6 people.

They even have a government ad showing on TV, telling everyone about census night and urging everyone to participate in this and be a part of history... helping the government by providing essential data for planning of things like infrastructure and education for the FUTURE. The future is a big thing after all. It's good to think long-term. I wouldn't trust a government that doesn't think that way. Unfortunately even here in Australia, sometimes you do wonder if they really are thinking long-term.

I remember in Malaysia... they held the national census every 5 years I think... (or maybe it was 10 years because national statistics in Malaysia always seem to be out of date... I used to find it very difficult to obtain up to date data for my research projects back at my Singapore job). In Malaysia, we called it BANCI! hehehehe... I'm so proud that I can still remember this profound Malay term.

During Banci time, they would also show advertisement on TV informing everyone about this... and I'm pretty sure that they had an official Banci song accompanying this advertisement. Malaysia has songs for just about EVERYTHING! Besides the numerous patriotic songs... there was a song about A.I.D.S.... about I.T. or Informarsi Teknologi... about racial harmony... about cleanliness... about road safety... about living a healthy lifestyle... and even about Dengue Fever... (I'm dead serious!)

What is it with the songs? Do they really make the message more effective in some way? Or could it be just some other ploy to throw away some money toward some government officer's struggling musician brother who needs a quick buck...

I don't remember any government ad in Singapore or Australia that is accompanied by some cheesy song in the background. Just give us the information as plainly and simply as possible... okaaay you can add in some gory images of mangled bodies in some speeding car accident... and yes also the scary close up images of tar-infested-smoke-filled lungs... but that's about it. No need to add in another silly jingle... we don't need another earworm

1 comment:

  1. I,m not sure of banci song since it occurs once every 4 or 5 years but there's an "Election Song' It goes like this : "Marilah, mari. Mari mengundi...Tunaikan kewajipan anda...." For your infor. Malaysians love to sing. No social function is complete without a karoeke session.

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