World less serene, but Malaysia jumps four spots in Global Peace Index

Malaysia retained its position as the fifth most peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. — Reuters pic
Malaysia retained its position as the fifth most peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Malaysia moved up four notches in this year’s Global Peace Index (GPI) and is now the 25th most peaceful country in the world, amid a decline in the average level of global peacefulness.

In the Index released yesterday, Malaysia retained its position as the fifth most peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific region after Australia, Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.

Malaysia was ranked as the 18th most peaceful country when it comes to militarisation, which among others measures the amount of economic resources committed to the military: a drop from its 10th position in 2017.

In comparison, neighbours Singapore was ranked the eighth most peaceful, followed by Laos (46), Indonesia (55), Cambodia (96), Thailand (113), Myanmar (122) and the Philippines (137).

Iceland, New Zealand, and Austria occupied the top three spot in the Index, while South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria were at the bottom.

 

 

This comes as the GPI 2018 showed that the average level of global peacefulness has declined for the fourth consecutive year, falling by 0.27 per cent in 2017.

The results of the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) found that 92 countries deteriorated, while only 71 improved.

The global economic impact of violence was US$14.76 trillion (RM58.6 trillion) at purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2017, equivalent to 12.4 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), or close to US$2,000 per person.

“The fall in peacefulness over the decade was caused by a wide range of factors, including increased terrorist activity, the intensification of conflicts in the Middle East, rising regional tensions in Eastern Europe and northeast Asia, and increasing numbers of refugees and heightened political tensions in Europe and the US,” said the findings of the GPI 2018 prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

 

 

The GPI 2018 found that the Middle East and North Africa region remains the world’s least peaceful area, and is currently home to four out of ten least peaceful countries in the world. No country from the region ranked higher than 40th position on the GPI.

South Asia, which is the second least peaceful region, also had a small increase in peacefulness, while the four most peaceful regions in the world (Europe, North
America, Asia-Pacific, and South America) all deteriorated.

Four of the five countries that had the largest improvements in peacefulness are in sub-Saharan Africa, despite the region experiencing a slight deterioration in its overall peacefulness in 2017, the GPI found.

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