PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been ranked as the second most “good” country in Asean, according to the recent Good Country Index.
The index aims to measure the contribution of every country to the common good of humanity relative to its size by tabulating 35 indicators taken from sources like the United Nations and World Bank.
Overall, Malaysia came in at 46th place out of 163 countries, beaten by neighbour Singapore, which ranked 24th.
Among Asean countries in the list, Thailand came in at 57th, followed by the Philippines (74th), Indonesia (83rd), Brunei (104th), Vietnam (115th), Cambodia (149th) and Laos (151st).
In the previous edition of the index, which was first published in 2014, Malaysia was ranked 58th worldwide, meaning this year the country has seen an improvement of 12 places.
Malaysia’s highest contribution to global wellbeing was in the area of prosperity and equality, ranking ninth globally, specifically for its open trading and direct investments in other countries.
Singapore ranked seventh in this category, for similar reasons.
The planet and climate category was where Malaysia contributed the least in, coming in at 153rd, 15 places behind Indonesia.
Exports of hazardous pesticides, carbon dioxide emissions, consumption of ozone-depleting substances and deforestation contributed to its poor environmental score.
Other areas where Malaysia positively contributed to the world included Internet security, international health regulations compliance, the freedom of movement of its citizens, the number of international students it caters to and the deployment of peacekeeping troops for UN missions.
Dominating the index were northern European countries, with Sweden outranking 162 other countries to top the index and outstripping other countries when it comes to prosperity, equality, health and wellbeing as well as significant cultural contributions.
The United States fared better than rival China, with the countries ranking 21st and 67th respectively.
Based on these results, Malaysia contributed proportionally more good to the world than the Asian economic powerhouse.
Despite 38 countries being added to the index since its first edition, Libya remained in the last place overall.
The index is the creation of independent policy adviser Simon Anholt, whose team compiled the results.
“What the index aims to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world,” he said.
A former advertising professional, Anholt worked as a political consultant, advising heads of states ranging from Austria to Zimbabwe on their national image, before he embarked on developing the Good Country Index.
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