Malaysia ranks 38th in military strength, 6 past Singapore: Survey

US Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan W. Greenert inspects the honour guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Malaysia's Ministry of Defence headquarters in Kuala Lumpur February 11, 2014.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's military strength outranked larger economies like Singapore, Norway, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Denmark and South Africa, according to the defence analytical Global Firepower (GFP) 2014 survey.

The survey ranked Malaysia 38th out of 106 countries, one position ahead of Norway, two rungs clear of Ethiopia, three in front of South Africa, four past the UAE, five ahead of Denmark and six past Singapore, which was at 44th position.

"The GFP list makes use of over 50 factors -- including technology, arsenal, manpower, logistics, infrastructure, finances, geographical factors and natural resources -- to determine each nation's Power Index (PwrIndx) score.

"This provides the final ranking and allows smaller, technologically-advanced, nations to compete with larger, lesser-developed ones," the survey said.

Thus, Malaysia had a 1.3143 PwrIndx score as compared with Norway (PwrIndx: 1.3137), Ethiopia (PwrIndx: 1.3229), South Africa (PwrIndx: 1.3467), UAE (PwrIndx: 1.4216), Denmark (PwrIndx: 1.4379) and Singapore (PwrIndx: 1.4699).

A lower number on the indexes reflect a better performance in the GFP survey.

The top 10 countries in the survey are the United States (PwrIndx: 0.2208), Russia (PwrIndx: 0.2355), China (PwrIndx: 0.2594), India (PwrIndx: 0.3872), the United Kingdom (PwrIndx: 0.3923), France (PwrIndx: 0.4706), Germany (PwrIndx: 0.4899), Turkey (PwrIndx: 0.5171), South Korea (PwrIndx: 0.5536) and Japan (PwrIndx: 0.5581).

Tanzania stood at the last and 106th place with a PwrIndx of 4.342.

In the ASEAN region, Malaysia was ahead of Cambodia (82nd) and Laos (102nd), but lost to Vietnam (23rd), Thailand (24th) and the Philippines (37th).

"While the GFP list took into consideration several of the above factors, the nuclear capability of a nation and the political or military leadership are not taken into account.

"These factors have been omitted as it will defeat the purpose of such comparisons.

"Instead, the GFP ranking is based on each nation's potential conventional war-making capabilities across land, sea and air."

Also taken into consideration is the predicament of land-locked nations who do not have a navy, while naval powers can be penalised for their limited capabilities.