PETALING JAYA - Malaysia has been ranked the second best place in South-East Asia to be a mother, according to a report published by a non-governmental organisation Save the Children that promotes the rights of mothers and children.
The country came second in the region (68th in the world) after Singapore which came in at 15th globally while Thailand was placed 72nd followed by Vietnam (93), Laos (129) and Cambodia (132).
Myanmar was named the worst place to be a mother in the region while the Philippines, tied for the 106th place with Indonesia last year, pulled ahead to 105th as the latter fell to 113th.
The London-based charity estimates that 800 mothers and 18,000 young children are dying around the world every day from largely preventable causes.
The report noted that it compared 178 countries in terms of maternal health, education on child mortality and the level of women's income as well as political status.
More than 60 million women and children needed humanitarian assistance this year, said the report.
The top recommendation from the group was to improve access to high quality healthcare and to place more emphasis on the benefits of investing in women's education and economic empowerment.
"Every country must be better prepared to assist mothers and children in emergencies," said the report.
Somalia came at the bottom of the global ranking although only narrowly below the Democratic Republic of Congo - the lowest ranking country last year.