PUTRAJAYA: The country’s first chief statistician, Ramesh Chander, died early yesterday in the US. He was 88.
According to chief statistician Uzir Mahidin, Ramesh held the position for 11 years from Jan 1, 1966, until Dec 31, 1977.
“While leading the department of statistics Malaysia (DOSM), he developed a statistical system that is still in use today,” he said in a statement today.
Uzir said Ramesh also contributed to pioneering the use of integrated household surveys for data collection to analyse poverty and socio-economic indicators, among other things.
He was also the first census commissioner who carried out the post-independence Population and Housing Census in 1970 and was involved in developing the framework for monitoring the targets and goals of the New Economic Policy, according to the statement.
Uzir said the Kuantan native played an active role in highlighting DOSM’s role in the Asian region and at the international level.
He served as the chairman of the Asian Statistical Conference, representing Malaysia at the Conference of Commonwealth Statisticians.
He was one of the founding members of the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) and a member of the technical committee for the World Fertility Survey, among other things.
Uzir said Ramesh remained active in advocating for statistics in his golden years by attending various forums such as the Webinar: Counting Everyone for a Better Tomorrow on July 7, 2020, Corruption in Malaysia: Who Will Bell the Cat on April 28, 2021, and the Population Statistics Seminar on Feb 14, 2022.
Uzir expressed his condolences to Ramesh’s family.
“DOSM will always remember and appreciate the late Ramesh’s contributions, especially in enhancing the statistical system to assist the country in formulating socio-economic policies and planning,” he added.