Friday, June 13, 2014

Malaysia ranked 56th in UN’s World Happiness Index

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia was ranked 56th out of 156 countries in the United Nations’s World Happiness Index last year.

Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said happiness of people in a country was dependent on urban well-being and the sustainability of a city as more than 70 per cent of Malaysians are urbanites.

“Our urban sustainability is at 75 per cent. This is considered average.

“The ministry’s Town and Country Planning department is monitoring the country’s urban sustainability and working towards improving Malaysia’s position in the World Happiness Index,” he said after the launch of Centre of Excellence for Urban Well-being and Happiness, here yesterday.

The Centre of Excellence (CoE), he said, was a think-tank that aimed to give urban solutions to town-planning issues which was becoming more dynamic and complex.

The think-tank would play a role in research, education and promotion of aspects related to urban well-being and sustainable communities.

Abdul Rahman said CoE would also conduct programmes, forums, and create an interactive website to encourage participation of the public and non-governmental organisations.

“The ideas and opinions of the grassroots gathered through CoE would be taken into account when the ministry drafts its policies and conduct programmes related to the country’s development.”

He added that there was a widening gap between the people and the government, thus initiatives like this would help bridge the gap.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also voiced out his concern on the emotional disconnect between the urbanites and the government. We are doing all we can to bridge this gap.”

Among others, he said, was the formation of Residents Representative Committee that would enable residents to deal directly with representatives from government agencies and voice out their ideas and grouses.

*Taken from NST Online

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