Global peace, happiness indices expose opposition slander: Salleh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s good ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2017 and World Happiness Report 2017 has exposed the opposition oft-repeated slander of the country being not peaceful and the people not prosperous, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

The Communications and Multimedia Minister said the data also revealed that the opposition allegations were far from the truth and were merely persistent slander dismissing the country’s success to intimidate the people and raise public hatred towards the government.

The GPI released last month placed Malaysia as the 29th most peaceful country in the world among 163 countries, a position much better than those of the major powers such as the United Kingdom (on 41st position), the United States (114th), China (116th) and Russia (151st).

Malaysia’s position was also much better than most of the other Asean countries, such as Laos (48th), Indonesia (52nd), Vietnam (59th), Cambodia (89th), Myanmar (104th), Thailand (120th) and the Philippines (138th).

“With this data, what is the rationale for the opposition parties to claim that Malaysia is unsafe and not peaceful? Why don’t they appreciate the government’s efforts that have made Malaysia a safe and prosperous country for the people?” he asked in a post today on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my.

Salleh said the opposition also spread slander by claiming that Malaysians were no longer happy under the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak because of factors such as a high cost of living due to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), widespread corruption and unchecked crime.

He also said that the World Happiness Report 2017 issued last March placed Malaysia on the 42nd spot among 155 countries, much better than several Asean countries except Singapore (26th) and Thailand (32nd).

“Does not this data show the level of happiness and well-being of the people, unlike what is portrayed by the opposition? This is what I have been saying, that the opposition parties have been spreading slander about the success achieved by our country,” he said.

As for the rest of the Asean countries, the report released by the United Nations placed the Philippines on 72nd position, Indonesia on 81st, Vietnam on 94th, Myanmar on 114th and Cambodia on 129th. Poland was on 4th position, Italy 48th, Russia 49th, South Korea 55th and Hong Kong 71st .

The value of happiness is gauged using eight indicators, namely the country’s GDP per capita, government social support, the people’s life expectancy, the people’s freedom to make life’s choices, the generosity of the people, the corruption rate, the level of confidence and the people’s humanitarian attitude.

"Hopefully, this post will give the real picture of the peace and happiness enjoyed by our people. The data shows how much our success has been manipulated by the opposition … the opposition slander is serious,” he said.

Salleh, however, acknowledged that there was still much room for improvement to make Malaysia the best among the better countries.

"That’s what we are doing now. Unfortunately, in our quest to move forward, the opposition seems to be in a state of hysteria in insisting that our country is weak and falling behind,” he said. — Bernama