Malaysia ranked top among countries in Southeast Asia in the latest annual democracy report released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), with an overall score of 7.24.
The Democracy Index 2021 report by the research and analysis division of The Economist Group ranked Malaysia higher than Timor Leste (7.06), Indonesia (6.71), the Philippines (6.62), Singapore (6.23), Thailand (6.04), Vietnam (2.94), Cambodia (2.90) and Myanmar (1.02).
Malaysia also ranked sixth in the Asia and Australasia region, and 39th globally.
According to data from 2006-2021, Malaysia’s score in 2021 showed much improvement from the previous year (7.19) and the best for the country in the period.
The Democracy Index, which began in 2006, provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped into five categories — electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.
In the Democracy Index 2021, Malaysia scored 9.58 for electoral process and pluralism; the functioning of government (7.86), political participation (7.22), political culture (6.25) and civil liberties (5.29).
Norway leads the index globally with a 9.75 score, followed by New Zealand (9.37) and Finland (9.27), while North Korea (1.08), Myanmar (1.02) and Afghanistan (0.32) are at the bottom of the list.
“The results reflect the continuing negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on democracy and freedom around the world for a second successive year,” the report stated.
It further said that the pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented withdrawal of civil liberties among developed democracies and authoritarian regimes alike, among others, by requiring proof of vaccination against COVID – 19 for participation in public life.
- The Edge Markets