M’sia ranked third most peaceful Asian country

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia retains its position as the third most peaceful Asian country after Japan and Singapore in the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI). Malaysia is ranked No. 29 globally, while Japan is in joint 10th spot with Ireland. Singapore ranks 21st globally.

The 11th annual study published on Thursday by the Institute for Economics and Peace scored 163 independent states and territories according to their levels of peacefulness. It found the world became 0.28% more peaceful than last year, with 93 countries improving in peacefulness and only 68 deteriorating.

Iceland topped the list with the lowest score, or peace index, making it the most peaceful country – a title it has held since 2008. New Zealand is ranked second.

Denmark fell from second position to fifth due to increases in the impact of terrorism and a
deterioration in the neighbouring country relations indicators.

Syria remains the world's least peaceful country for the second successive year, and has been ranked among the world's five least peaceful countries since the start of the civil war in 2013.

It has fallen 64 places in the rankings since the inception of the index and has had the largest fall in score of any country in the last decade. Iraq and Afghanistan have also remained among the bottom five countries of the index for the past five years.

The US ranked 114th out of 163 in the global assessment, falling from 103rd and 94th in the 2016 and 2015 Global Peace Indexes, respectively.

"The past year has been a deeply worrying one for the US, with the presidential campaign highlighting the deep divisions within American society," according to the study.

Researchers considered 23 peace indicators to determine scores, including the number of casualties from terrorism and conflicts in that country, the number of murders per capita and the ratio of military spending to gross domestic product.