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Study: Malaysia Falls to 89th Spot on The Human Freedom Index 2023


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Source: Pexels | Engin Akyurt & CATO

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The freedom of existence and expression are crucial factors to virtually any human being on planet Earth. However, it’s unlikely that all people around the globe will experience an equal distribution of humanitarian rights in their country.

A study annually co-published by Canadian research centre Fraser Institute and American public policy organisation Cato Institute referred to as the Human Freedom Index (HFI) presents a broad measure of human freedom understood as the absence of coercive constraint. In the 2023 rendition of the study, this ninth-annual index used 86 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedoms to rank 165 countries.

Using metrics such as the rule of law, security and safety, movement, religion, the size of government, legal system and property rights, regulation, freedom to trade internationally, and relationships, among other things, the comprehensive list is meant to paint a broad but reasonably accurate picture of the extent of overall freedom in the world.

Malaysia placed 89th out of 165 countries on the HFI 2023 with a score of 6.66, dropping seven spots when compared to the same study conducted in 2022.

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As an executive summary, the study revealed that human freedom severely deteriorated in the presence of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe. Significant declines could be seen in the areas specifically pertaining to the rule of law and freedom to trade.

“The data show that there is an unequal distribution of freedom in the world, with only 13.8% of the world’s population living in the top quartile of jurisdictions in the HFI, and 37.6% living in the bottom quartile,” read a portion of the study.

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On a scale of zero to 10, Malaysia possessed a score of 6.28 on the personal freedom metric, ranking 107 out of 165 countries when weighed solely on this criteria. Avenues under this factor which worked against the favour of Malaysia on the list included the rule of law, which scored just 5.5 out of 10, while relationships held the lowest rating for personal freedom at 3.8 out of 10.

However, the avenue of economic freedom saw Malaysia rank at number 56, with sturdy scores for the strong money metric at 8.2 out of 10, while the avenue of regulation scaled at 7.5 out of 10. However, the factor of the legal system and property rights were placed at 5.7 out of 10, the lowest metric for the economic freedom division.

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Against other South Asian countries, Malaysia placed sixth, while Singapore took the top spot among countries in this area, placing at 44th with a score of 7.75. Rounding off the top five included Timor-Leste, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand in descending order.

Dominating the list and receiving the highest scores for human freedom overall included Denmark in third place with a score of 8.83 and New Zealand with a score of 8.88. The top country for the 2023 index, holding the top spot in 2022 as well, was Switzerland with a score of 9.01 out of 10.

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The bottom three countries on the record were Sudan at third from last with a score of 3.81 out of 10 and Yemen at 164th with 3.43. The country that was categorised as having the least human freedom altogether was Syria with a score of 2.96 out of 10, holding the final spot as it did in 2022.

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In concluding the summary of points found in the HFI, the study propelled the argument that freedom is a constant work in progress and that the purpose of the index is simply to instil a sense of exploration in understanding the value of individual liberty as it correlates with other aspects of various societies.

“Delving into those and innumerable other questions that the data may help us answer will surely lead to a better understanding of the role of freedom in human progress,” wrote a portion of the study.

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Click here to read the full Human Freedom Index (2023) report.

Do you think Malaysia’s position on the list is accurate? Let us know!


Also read: Did You Know That M’sians Can Replace Their IC by Just Calling a Hotline Number? Here’s How

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Source: CATO
Source: CATO
Source: CATO
Source: CATO

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