Low risk of social unrest in Malaysia, survey shows

Low risk of social unrest in Malaysia, survey shows
File photo of a burnt building in Malaysia.

A research arm of international business magazine The Economist has rated Malaysia as a low risk country in terms of social unrest, a finding some experts here agree with.

Surveying 150 countries, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Malaysia among 31 countries with a low or very low risk of national instability, on par with Singapore.

In comparison, neighbouring Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines were marked as medium to high risk of social unrest.

EIU country forecasting services director Laza Kekic cited economic problems, coupled with poor political decisions and other factors, as leading to these risks.

Wide income inequality, poor government, ethnic tensions, low levels of social provision and a history of unrest were other contributors.

"Economic distress is almost a necessary condition for serious social or political instability, but it is not a sufficient one," he said on The Economist website.

The EIU, he said, noted a "deep sense" of dissatisfaction with the political elite and institutions in emerging markets.

Nearly half (43 per cent) of the countries surveyed were set as high or very high risk, including Bangladesh and Cambodia.

Universiti Malaya Law Assoc Professor Dr Azmi Sharom said economically, Malaysia was relatively prosperous, adding that public disaffection was quite rare.

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