KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has moved up a notch in the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI), claiming the 29th spot as the most peaceful country in the world. The GPI 2017 report surveyed 163 countries.
Malaysia also placed as the fifth most peaceful country in the Asia Pacific region after New Zealand, Japan, Australia and Singapore. North Korea and Philippines remained among the least peaceful countries ranking 150 and 138, respectively. Indonesia registered the greatest decline in the region, driven by deterioration in indicators measuring political terror, and number and duration of internal conflicts. Philippines also deteriorated in the overall score, coming in at 138 since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016 and started a nationwide war against drugs and crime.
Meanwhile, Cambodia made the most progress in the region and this is reflected in the lower levels of labour unrest in the past year as well as an improvement in the number, duration and role in external conflicts, reflecting the ending of a border dispute with Thailand in 2011. However, Malaysia was listed among 25 countries that fell into conflict between 2008 and 2017, where there are more than 25 deaths from battle in any given year. Iceland ranked top in the GPI, followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark. Iceland has remained as the most peaceful country since 2008 while Syria was ranked as the least peaceful country after Iraq and Afghanistan.