Saturday, July 23, 2011

Malaysia is 19th safest country in the world

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been ranked the most peaceful country in South East Asia, the fourth safest in the Asia Pacific behind New Zealand, Japan and Australia, and the 19th safest and peaceful out of 153 countries in the world.

This ranking by the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2011 is the first time that Malaysia has been placed that high since 2007, being one of the six non-European nations making the top 20 list.

The other five were Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, Qatar and Australia.

The findings of the fifth edition of the survey by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace were announced at the end of May.

In 2007, Malaysia was ranked 37th and fell to 38th place in 2008 and improved for the next three years from 26 in 2009 to 22nd in 2010 and moving up to 19th in 2011.

The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of respected sources, which combined internal and external factors ranging from national level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights.

These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and members of peace institutions from the period of March 15, 2010 to March 15, 2011.

The research said Malaysia supplanted Singapore as the highest ranked in 2010 for South-East Asian (SEA) nation. Singapore ranked second in SEA and 24th overall, followed by Vietnam (30th overall), Laos (32nd overall), Indonesia (68th overall), Thailand (107th overall), Myanmar (133rd overall) and the Philippines (136th overall).

As for developed countries, United Kingdom was ranked at 26th, South Korea (50th), China (80th) and United States of America (82nd).

"Malaysia's growing peacefulness reflected a rise in political stability and improving relations with neighbouring countries, notably Singapore and China," it said.

The top 10 placement were Iceland as the country most at peace, followed by New Zealand, Japan (third), Denmark (fourth), Czech Republic (fifth), Austria (sixth), Finland (seventh), Canada (eighth), Norway (ninth), Slovenia (tenth).

Malaysia fell second behind Qatar in terms of Islamic country where the latter was ranked 12th, and it was the best compared to other middle eastern countries. Second placed in middle east was Kuwait, ranked 29th in the world.

The last 10 countries in the rank was Libya (143rd), followed by Central African Republic, Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and Somalia.

The research said that war-torn Somalia dropped one place to replace Iraq as the country ranked least at peace.

The research also registered overall score increases for several indicators, the largest of which were in the potential for terrorist acts and the likelihood of violent demonstrations.

Political scientist Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain said that Malaysians should recognise such rankings as it was internationally conducted and respected.

"We should target higher then. Maybe in 2020 we should already be in the top ten.

“What worries me is that some quarters here, who are politically frustrated would come up with other ideas like holding street rally and things as such. This would bring the ranking down," he told Bernama.

He said from his point of view, Malaysia was internationally respected and noted for peace and harmony and only those negligible number of ungratefuls chose not to recognise that because of their hidden agenda.

*Taken from NST Online

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