MALAYSIA - Malaysia has been moving up the rankings of various international indexes. Albeit at a slow pace, change is nonetheless happening and this positive change has been recognised by independent bodies outside of Malaysia.
The fifth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which was conducted by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace, found Malaysia to be the most peaceful country in Southeast Asia and the fourth safest in the Asia Pacific region behind New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
Announced in May, the index also found Malaysia to be the 19th safest and most peaceful out of 153 countries around the globe.
The index is composed of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of respected sources, which combined internal and external factors ranging from level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and respect for human rights.
These indicators were selected by an international panel of academics, businessmen, philanthropists and members of peace institutions for a year from March 15 last year.
The team has used the latest available figures from a wide range of respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the World Bank, various UN offices and peace institutes and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
According to the index report, Malaysia experienced an improvement in its GPI score for the fifth successive year and it rose by three places to 19th, supplanting Singapore as the highest-ranked Southeast Asian nation in last year's GPI.
This year, Malaysia's growing peacefulness reflected a rise in political stability, and improving relations with neighbouring countries (notably Singapore and China).