KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Malaysia ranked 7th out of 135 countries in a recent index measuring charitable behaviour across the world by United Kingdom-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAD), thanks to its effort after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
According to the World Giving Index 2014 published this week, Malaysia’s joint 7th place with the UK was a significant jump from its 71st place in 2013, which CAD said suggested “a wholesale behavioural change” within the country.
“Malaysia has experienced a significant improvement across all three ways of giving, resulting in a 26 percentage point increase in its World Giving Index and a move from seventy-first place to seventh,” said the report.
CAD said the change is a “broad based one”, which was reflected in large increases of charity across all giving methods, and across all age groups and genders.
The report suggested that Malaysia’s massive leap was contributed by its humanitarian effort following Typhoon Haiyan in the neighbouring Philippines on November 8, 2013, that killed over 6,000 people, displaced more than four million people, and destroyed at least one million houses, causing at least US$14.5 billion (RM48.65 billion) in damage.
Malaysia also contributed after severe flooding in China during 2010 which killed more than 1,500, affected more than 230 million people as well as causing over US$20 billion (RM67.14 billion) in damage.
“From these examples, it is encouraging to see that across diverse cultures and geographical locations, people will respond to those in need, whether those people are compatriots or live in other nation states,” it added.
In comparison, neighbouring countries in the region such as Indonesia was placed 13th, Thailand 21st, and the Philippines 30th.
Singapore and Brunei were not polled for the index.
The report also noted that Asia saw the largest positive increase, while Southeast Asia is the strongest performing region in the continent, with five of its seven countries measured ranked within the Top 30.
Myanmar and the United States of America were both ranked first as the most generous countries, followed by Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.
The 10 worst ranking countries—or the least generous countries—were Yemen, Venezuela, Palestine, Ecuador, Montenegro, Croatia, Turkey, China, Russia and Bulgaria.
The index was calculated by a poll which asked three questions to samples in each country: whether he had in the past month donated money to a charity, volunteered in an organisation, or helped a stranger who needed help.
The poll was conducted by market research firm Gallup, as part of its World Poll initiative that operates in more than 160 countries.