PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is the 58th “goodest” country in the world, an international survey measuring global contributions by 125 nations worldwide has concluded.
According to the Good Country Index (goodcountry.org), Malaysia’s position there was bolstered by its high contributions to prosperity and equality, while it was dragged down by its poor standing in terms of international peace and security.
Independent policy adviser Simon Anholt, whose team compiled the results, said the Good Country Index’s aim was to measure what each country contributed to humanity and what it took away.
“We’ve given each country a balance sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between,” he said.
Compiling results from over 35 indicators from the United Nations, World Bank and other institutions, a country’s ranking is determined by contribution to seven different fields.
Malaysia’s individual rankings in these fields are: 49th (science and technology), 28th (culture), 113rd (international peace and security), 87th (world order), 73rd (planet and climate), 10th (prosperity and equality), and 91st (health and wellbeing).
Indicators that pushed Malaysia up the ranks included its high open foreign direct investment outflows, open trading, creative goods exports and (the lack of) visa restrictions.
Factors that pulled Malaysia down included number of Nobel prizes won (none so far), level of press freedom, Internet security, hazardous waste exports and the number of UN treaties signed.
Of the 14 Asian nations (excluding the Middle East) in the list, Malaysia came out fifth, below Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
The top three countries in the index were Ireland, Finland and Switzerland, while Libya, Vietnam and Iraq took the bottom three spots.
Anholt added that high rankings in the index were not the exclusive domain of First World nations, noting that Kenya was at 26th place.
He said the index did not look at a country’s gross domestic product, and as such, smaller and poorer nations weren’t penalised over that aspect.
Anholt also said that the concept of “Good Country” was meant to encourage people and governments to consider the international consequences of their national behaviour.