KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — While ranking in the world top 10 on affordability and business opportunities, Malaysia's capital could improve on health, safety and security issues as well as the ability to deal with natural disasters to be on par with Singapore and Hong Kong.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Cities of Opportunity Index — a benchmarking study of 30 leading global cities — placed Kuala Lumpur in 25th spot out of 30 cities in two categories: "health, safety and security" as well as "sustainability and natural environment".
In the first category, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney topped the list while Mumbai, Bogota and Laos occupied the last three spots.
Variables used to measure the health, safety and security indicator include road safety, health system performance, end-of-life care, crime, political environment and security and disease risks.
"The new security and disease risk variable measures the potential effect of nine possible threats — terrorism, cyber attack, market crash, nuclear accident, sovereign default, power outage, oil price shock, human pandemic, and plant pandemic—on a city’s economic output," the report said.
For the second category, Stockholm, Sydney and Seoul occupied the top three spots while Mumbai, Dubai and Jakarta were at the bottom.
In terms of sustainability, variables used were natural disaster exposure, natural disaster preparedness, thermal comfort, recycled waste, air pollution, public park space and water-related business risks.
"Sustainability is a concept that is both difficult to define in itself and to implement as a coherent public policy—especially as cities vary widely in terms of climate, geology, demographics, and economic development.
"The recent example of the United Nations taking over two decades to conclude the negotiations signed in December 2015 in Paris at the UN’s conference on climate change (COP21), commonly referred to as the Paris Climate Conference, is the most vivid illustration of how difficult issues of environmental sustainability are," the report added.
The 30 cities are sorted from the best to the worst performing, with each receiving a score ranging from 30 for best to 1 for worst. In the event of a tie between two cities, they are assigned the same score.
Malaysia scored an overall 19th position of a report which measured the social and economic health of 30 of the world’s leading business cities, beating Jakarta (28th), and Mumbai (29th) and just behind Beijing (18th place).
London claimed the overall top position in the index, followed by Singapore at second place and Toronto at third. Paris and Amsterdam came in at fourth and fifth place.
The 30 cities' performance was measured against 10 indicators including transportation and infrastructure, ease of doing business, demographics and liveability, technology readiness and cost.
Cities included in the report are: Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.