KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Malaysia scored 7.24 out of 10 in Ikram’s Malaysia Negara Rahmah Index 2023, up from 6.47 in 2022.

The study evaluates the country on how it is perceived across 12 value-based attributes.

Malaysia performed best in “strong family institution”, “spearheading global peace and humanitarian effort”, and “a knowledgeable, civil and compassionate society” at 7.98, 7.93, and 7.72, respectively.

It scored the lowest in “equitable distribution of wealth”, “sustainable economy”, and “good governance” at 6.14, 6.84, and 6.86, respectively.

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“On the equitable distribution of wealth, when we look at one of the most important indicators for this — poverty alleviation — it scored the lowest, as one of the indicators,” Ikram vice president Professor Hanim Salleh told Malay Mail.

She said that the global economic slowdown that has affected the Malaysian economy also contributed to its lower score in the “sustainable economy” criteria.

To improve public perception on good governance, “the current government needs to do or improve a lot of things to get the confidence of the people,” she said.

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Malaysia’s score for “harmonious ethnic and religious relations” fell to 7.13 in 2023, compared to 2022’s 7.40.

The Malaysia Negara Rahmah Index 2023 study is a public perception study conducted by Kajian Dasar Ikram Sdn Bhd.

The study was conducted nationwide from September 2023 to November 2023. The study involved 3,192 respondents consisting of Malaysians of various races, aged 18 and above with a minimum education level of SPM.

It selected 71.6 per cent of the respondents from urban areas and 28.4 per cent from rural areas.