By Vexen Crabtree 2013
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|Social and Moral Index||95th best|
|Capital||Kuala Lumpur (legislative/judical) and Putrajaya (administrative)|
|Land Area1||328 550 km2|
|Life Expectancy3||74.455yrs (2012)|
|ISO3166-1 Codes4||MY, MYS, 458|
“During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore, as well as Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo, joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's independence were marred by a Communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore's withdrawal in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to the development of manufacturing, services, and tourism. Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (in office since April 2009) has continued these pro-business policies and has introduced some civil reforms.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8
|UN's Human Development Index|
|67||Trinidad & Tobago||76.0||70.2|
|68||Antigua & Barbuda||76.0||76.3|
|72||St Kitts & Nevis||74.5||73.5|
|Social and Moral Development|
|102||Sao Tome & Principe||53.2|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (at birth)|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
Malaysia's population is predicted to rise to 37.27 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 2.58.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Malaysia and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Malaysia is on the way towards ending gender inequality but women are still in an unfavourable position much of the time.
|Disbelief In God|
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim (or Islam - official) 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)10.
Malaysia has a particular problem when it comes to human rights surrounding freedom of belief, especially when it comes to issues surrounding Islam. The following case illustrates the depth of the problems:
“A few years ago, Lina Joy, a Malaysian who had been born a Muslim, started proceedings in civil court to obtain the right to marry her Christian fiancé and have children. She maintained that she had converted from Islam to Christianity and, consequently, did not need the permission of the Islamic sharia courts that typically governed such matters for Muslims in Malaysia. The lower civil courts ruled against her, and ultimately she brought the case to the nation's highest court, which - in May 2007 - rejected her appeal. Thus, her official identity card still designates her religion as Muslim. The high court ruled that one cannot, at one's whim and fancy, renounce a religion. Lina Joy continues to endure many death threats from Muslims who consider her an apostate and she lives in hiding. Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, a Muslim human rights lawyer who helped with her case, has received one death threat that was widely circulated by e-mail. This e-mail featured his picture, with the heading "Wanted Dead" and the text "This is the face of the traitorous lawyer to Islam who supports the Lina Joy apostasy case."”
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Malaysia states:
“The constitution protects freedom of religion or belief. However, portions of the constitution as well as other laws and policies restrict this freedom. Prosecutions for blasphemy usually target those who offend Islam, but an insult to any religion can give rise to prosecution. Every Malaysian citizen over the age of 12 must carry an identification card, a 'MyKad', which must state the bearer's religion. This requirement alone appears to breach the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPT) under which States have no right to demand to know the religion of any of their citizens; a point reinforced by Section 3 of General Comment 22 of the Human Rights Committee: 'In accordance with articles 18.2 and 17, no one can be compelled to reveal his thoughts or adherence to a religion or belief.' But, in addition, the government has a history of limiting how citizens can identify their religion.12
The constitution defines ethnic Malays as Muslim. Authorities at the state level administer Sharia laws through Islamic courts and have jurisdiction over all Muslims. Sharia laws and the degree of their enforcement vary by state. State governments impose Sharia law on Muslims in some cultural and social matters but generally do not interfere with the religious practices of non-Muslim communities; however, debates continued regarding incorporating elements of Sharia law, such as khalwat (being in close physical proximity with an unrelated member of the opposite sex), into secular civil and criminal law. Although specific punishments for violation of khalwat vary from state to state, it is typically punishable by some combination of imprisonment up to two years, a fine of RM 3,000 ($940)13, or several strokes of the cane.
Amending the penal code is the exclusive prerogative of the federal government. Despite contradicting federal law, the state governments of Kelantan and Terengganu passed laws in 1993 and 2002, respectively, making apostasy a capital offense. Apostasy is defined as the conversion from Islam to another faith. No one has been convicted under these laws and, according to a 1993 statement by the Attorney General, the laws cannot be enforced absent a constitutional amendment. Nationally, Muslims who seek to convert to another religion must first obtain approval from a Sharia court to declare themselves "apostates." This effectively prohibits the conversion of Muslims, since Sharia courts seldom grant such requests and can impose penalties (such as enforced "rehabilitation") on apostates. Additionally, Articles 295-298A of the penal code allow up to three years in prison and a US $1,000 fine penalties for those who "commit offenses against religion", which covers "blasphemous" statements, usually against Islam.”
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)14
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users in Population|
|47||Bosnia & Herzegovina||52.00|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
(World Position, 2013-2016)16
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom17|
|120||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||120|
|Global Peace Index|
|Human Rights Treaties|
|Press Freedom Index|
|R & D Spending|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Gross National Income|
|56||Antigua & Barbuda||$13 883|
Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 28.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
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