Mr Pritam Singh asked the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) whether the Government will release race-based and/or community-based data that are shared in closed-door settings with community leaders and groups, to Members of Parliament on a confidential basis if need be; and (b) if not, why.
Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: Our public agencies make available a wide range of data, which includes race- and community-based statistics. Some examples of such data are set out below.
This data is used to inform the formulation of our policies, including those which are designed to address community-specific needs.
The Government does not make all race-based data publicly available, for reasons which have been previously explained. However, where appropriate, the Government would discuss such data with community leaders and/or other stakeholders in a confidential setting. This assessment, as to when this is done, and with which groups of community leaders and stakeholders, is guided by what is in the public interest, including the relative benefit of so doing against any negative impact. This has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Some examples of publicly-available data with breakdown by ethnicity include:
(a) For education, the Government publishes data on the level of education that students are attending, the highest qualification attained, and the fields of studies by polytechnic and university graduates.
(b) For housing, the Government publishes data on the type of housing, home-ownership, and the geographic distribution of residences.
(c) For health, the Government publishes data on the prevalence of obesity, chronic health conditions, smoking, and poor mental health.
(d) For income and employment, the Government publishes data on household income, employment status, the type of industry, and the type of occupation.
(e) For other important social areas, the Government publishes data on religion, marital status, the number of children born, and the language most frequently spoken at home.
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
1 August 2022