Malaysia slips in 2012 Global Peace Index

Malaysia's rankings had slipped from 18 to 29 in Global Peace Index (GPI) for 2012, the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) said in a statement on Tuesday.

The index comprises 23 indicators which gauge factors — such as on-going domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarisation — in 158 countries. Five additional countries were added to the index this year, allowing the GPI to cover 99% of the world's population.

Although Malaysia's overall index score remained unchanged at 1.5 points — where lower scores indicate a more peaceful representation — the results of some of its indicators have deteriorated.

Malaysia's indicator for violent demonstrations was downgraded by 0.5 points to 3.5 points, while its measure for political instability also worsened by 0.5 points to 2.0 points. The index also released results for other factors on top of the baseline 23 indicators, including a measure for freedom of press. Malaysia's score in this area fell by 5.2 points to 56 points in 2012.

Despite a fall in results, Malaysia is still the regional leader in terms of GPI rankings, beating Singapore (23), Taiwan (27) and Vietnam (34). Iceland remained the most peaceful country in the world for the second consecutive year, while Somalia also maintained its position as the least peaceful nation.

According to the report, the world improved overall in peacefulness, reversing the results of two consecutive years where the GPI showed a decline in global peace. All regions — excluding the Middle East and North Africa — saw an improvement; and for the first time since 2007, Sub-Saharan Africa did not occupy the bottom spot in rankings.

"Improvements in the Political Terror Scale, and gains in several indicators of militarisation arising from austerity-driven defence cuts were the two leading factors making the world more peaceful in 2012," the IEP said.

It also reported that if the world had been completely peaceful in 2011, the economic benefit to the global economy would have been an estimated US$9 trillion (RM28.63 trillion) — equal to the size of the German and Japanese economies combined.

Highlights - General

- The world has become 5% less peaceful since 2008
- Europe is the most peaceful region, with 13 of the top 20 most peaceful countries
- War ravaged Afghanistan returns to the bottom of the index
- Syria’s GPI score has fallen by 70% sine 2008
- The total economic impact of containing violence is estimated to be US$9.46 trillion in 2012

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